15+ Insanely Useful Road Trip Planner Tools And Apps (Best Route Planners, Interactive Maps + Packing Tips)

Post Summary: Road Trip Planner tools and apps to make your trip a breeze!

Where to next, driver?!

Whether you’re going on spring break with your friends, that long-anticipated family road trip, or that bucket list drive down the Pacific Coast Highway, any successful road trip requires proper planning and execution.

Before we had all these road trip planner tools, Berty and I would frantically piece together routes and spend way more time than necessary researching information instead of enjoying our time on the road.

Since then we’ve mastered our tools, and we’re writing this post to save you the road trip planner learning curve. 

We’re spilling all the details on our favorite road trip planner tools and apps so that you can spend more time having fun and less time stressing about it!

Psst..want some tips on taking great travel photos on your phone? Read our favorite photo editing apps for smartphones here!

Road Trip Planner Post - TheMandagies.com

15+ Insanely Useful Road Trip Planner Tools And Apps (Best Route Planners + Interactive Maps)

1. Instagram

Okay, yes, we get it. Technically Instagram isn’t a road trip planner, but it sure helps get us inspired to plan our road trips!

Of all the online trip planners our there, Instagram is actually a really great base to finding amazing locations to see along our road trip routes.

Sometimes all it takes is that ONE photo to spark your desire to see a destination, and we think that’s an amazing thing!

We especially like to use the Save Feature and categorize photos into different folders that we can look back to later.

Some of our current folders are “Washington Hikes“, “Oregon Photo Locations“, “Southwest Road Trip Inspo”, and more!

Join us and over 23,000 adventurous travelers as we connect and share more inspiration on Instagram!

Road Trip Planning Apps (Instagram @themandagies)

2. The Dyrt

The Dyrt is the #1 rated app for camping, and quickly becoming a new star in the road trip world too! Their road trip planner tool is desktop AND mobile-friendly to help you create the perfect adventure on the go, with the largest reviewed collection of campgrounds in the US. (This includes everything from FREE campsites to RV resorts!)

Berty and I have been using this road trip planner tool religiously this season, from our Pacific Coast road trip, a scenic loop around the Olympic Peninsula, and a recent trip to see all the National Parks in Utah.

We love the fact that we can find campsites on the go, especially with their downloadable map feature that can be used offline! Pro members get access to features like offline browsing, national forest and BLM maps, and road trip planning apps to find campsites along your route!

Get a 90 Day Free Trial to The Dyrt’s Pro Membership by signing up here, make sure to use the code Mandagies90.

The Dyrt Road Trip Planning App

3. Outdoorsy

Do you want to hit the open road for an epic adventure…but just need the vehicle part? 

Outdoorsy is a company that is kind of like an RV road trip planner. You type in where you want to pick it up, your trip dates, and the site will provide you with tons of options of RVs, Vans, and campers to rent!

This site isn’t just for people searching to rent a camper. Do you have your own RV just sitting in the lawn? It can make you some money when you’re not using it! Listing your RV on Outdoorsy is quick, easy, and safe!

Don’t let a lack of a proper car prevent you from planning the best road trip. Give Outdoorsy a try! We went through them to rent our Sprinter van on our latest trip to Sedona and it was so much fun!

Read More: The Complete Guide To Backcountry Camping For FREE 


4. Google Maps Is Probably The Best Road Trip Planner Tool Out There!

Yes, road trip navigation is essential. But here are a few extra tricks we like to use with Google Maps…

Google Road Trip Hack #1 (Offline Maps In A Pinch)

Start your navigation/directions and keep the app running even when you are stopped.

This way, if your phone gets out of cell-service range, the GPS tracker will still run. This ensures that you can get where you’re going even in the middle of nowhere. Just make sure you keep that phone charged!

Google Road Trip Hack #2 (Download Offline Maps Ahead Of Time)

Do you know you’ll be out of service when planning your next road trip? Download offline maps to stay in touch!

Here’s How To Download a Google Offline Map:

  1. Open the Google Maps app on your phone
  2. Click the menu and find the “Offline Maps” icon (it’s a cloud with . a line through it)
  3. Click Custom Map
  4. Zoom in or move around the map to your desired area. Click download.

Now you’ve got a complete offline map! Use it whenever you don’t have cell service and know exactly where you are on those forest roads.

Once we get plan a road trip route, this is probably one of the first things we do. It’s important to have navigation at all time!

Offline Maps and free camping go hand in hand. Click here to read our guide to finding free camping spots all over the US!

Google Road Trip Hack #3 (Use The Save Feature For Your Road Trip Bucket List)

Every time you get a suggestion about a place, star it on your map!

Berty and I get a lot of suggestions when visiting new places and we constantly pulled out our notepad to write locations down.

Now with Google Maps, we can quickly mark a location for a visual reminder! To do this, you look up the location’s name or address and add it to your “saved” folder so it appears as a star on your regular Google Map.

If you want to get even more detailed, you can mark them separately to categorize them into “favorites”, “want to go”, and “already gone” places for a nice clean visual.

Here’s a picture of our google maps LITTERED with beautiful places to check out!

Road Trip Planner Tools - Google Maps

5. TRAVEL BLOGS Are The Best For Road Trip Tips

Travel blogs are a great resource for detailed information and personal stories about road trip ideas all over the world. When researching places to see on a road trip, we read tons of articles and blogs to get many perspectives and opinions.

While there are obvious benefits to actual travel guides, we like the personal touch of a blog the best. This way, we hear stories from a unique perspective and first-hand advice from people who have experienced a road trip route.

Here are some of our favorite blogs for consistent and quality travel information and inspiration for road trip inspiration.

  • ReneeRoaming.com for beautiful photography and inspirational locations – especially for road trips to US National Parks!
  • LocalAdventurer.com for detailed road trip travel information and practical tips.
  • AdventureofAplusK.com for fun stories about van life, including their fun Youtube channel about their adventures on the road!

What are your favorite travel blogs? If you’d like to receive epic travel inspiration from our own blog, sign up here so we can send new posts directly to your inbox!