It's time to fly down the highway on a spontaneous road trip, with no plan except the plan to have an adventure and make some great memories. You've packed up some clothes, some snacks, and you have your smartphone. Which apps are best for managing your road trip? Check out the following.
Image via Flickr by Kevin Dooley
You can switch drivers often and carry on through the night. You can find campgrounds along the way. Or, you can opt to sleep on a soft bed in a comfortable hotel. If your budget allows for the third option, the Hotels.com app will come in handy. With a listing of over 140,000 properties, it will make finding a place to crash for the night easy. You'll find decent prices, and you can even make last-minute reservations.
When the big E looms, access the GasBuddy app to find the lowest prices on fuel nearby. GasBuddy users report gas prices, meaning that you have an entire community at work helping you find the best deals for filling the tank. GasBuddy is available on most devices, including the new BlackBerry devices like the BlackBerry Z10 and the BlackBerry Q10. With the BlackBerry version of the app, it is super easy to share prices on GasBuddy via the BBM integration.
Image via Flickr by epS0s .de
Waze is another app that helps you benefit from other drivers on the road. Drivers report things like speed traps, accidents, construction work and other things that might slow you down. Waze helps you be prepared for obstacles ahead of you. If you want to avoid obstacles altogether, you can pull over and look up another route. Waze also provides street maps and voice navigation. Even if your road trip is spontaneous in every way, it's still nice to know that you won't get completely lost and that you can avoid stressful road conditions.
A review at download.cnet.com says that "Yelp is a must-have app for every mobile user." By using your phone's location, it helps you find nearby businesses. For each business, you can get an idea of the kind of prices they charge and read reviews. With Yelp, you can search using keywords, or choose a category and browse through listings. This app is especially handy when hunger strikes, since with it you can find local, affordable places to eat and avoid the same bland chain restaurants.
Sometimes the best part of a road trip is when you get out of the car, stretch your legs, and snap some photos. It's even better if those photos get taken at quirky little places you never expected to visit. The Roadside America app lets you know when you approach points of interest like museums, statues, and oddities. It even has a nifty "Sunset Alert" feature, which alerts you to your last daytime photo opportunity.
Where are you planning to go, or are you planning not to make a plan? When you have good music on the radio, fun games to keep the kids occupied, and great apps on your smartphone, your spontaneous road trip will be memorable and easy to manage.