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, 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 trips 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!
10+ Insanely Useful Road Trip Planner Tools And Apps For Your Best Trip Yet
Okay, yes, we get it. Technically this isn’t a road trip planner, but it sure helps get us inspired to plan our road trips!
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 “Hawaii”, “Oregon Destinations”, “Southwest Road Trip Inspo”, and more!
This road trip app is desktop AND mobile friendly to help you create the perfect adventure on the go.
Roadtrippers allows you to add all of your bucket list stops and then creates the ideal route between all of your favorite places.
It also estimates how much you’ll spend on gas, as well as how many miles you can expect to drive.
Berty and I use this road trip planner tool for pretty much every road trip we plan, from our Pacific Coast road trip, a scenic loop around The Olympic Peninsula, and for our most recent trip to see all the National Parks in Utah.
You can save trip routes, share them with friends, and edit them on the go for last minute changes!
3. Google Maps
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
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
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!
4. Travel Blogs
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, 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.
- ErinOutdoors.com for honest stories and deep thoughts about travel mentality.
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!
We love coming to Pinterest to help us plan our road trips, especially for route plans and stops along the way.
We love Pinterest because it gives you the ability to save pins to read later and collect inspiration as you plan the ideal road trip route.
You can even categorize your saved pins into separate boards to keep track of things like routes, road trip packing lists, and location inspiration.
Click here to visit (and follow!) our Pinterest profile for more road trip planner information!
This program is pretty much a virtual checklist for all those list lovers out there!
You can create checklists, upload files/pictures, and leave notes to yourself, among many other features.
In checklists, you can visually see the progress you have made on different lists which is helpful for a visual learner like me (Emily).
This road trip planner tool is desktop AND mobile friendly, so you can take it on the road!
We actually use this app to organize our blog business, but it can be used for any personal projects as well. Home improvement, school work, as a road trip planner, you name it!
Read More: 8 Steps To Planning A Flawless Weekend Trip
If you are on a tight road trip budget, this is the website for you.
Allstays is a site that was originally created for truck drivers and RV campers, but it’s quickly growing in popularity among the nomadic van life community.
The site provides extremely useful information about where to sleep for the night, all the way from paid motel rooms to free wilderness sites in the forest.
You can easily search by state, and filter any kind of camping location you prefer. In the more popular areas like Utah, people frequently leave helpful reviews and pictures so you can get an idea of what to expect.
You can also narrow your search even more to locations with things like showers, laundry, hookups, and even internet!
Click here to discover your next epic camping spot!
Planning a West Coast Road Trip: Read Our Tips For Sleeping In A Car / Car Camping
Simply asking people for advice on our Facebook page has been a huge help to us!
If we are looking for places to go or things to see on a certain route, we like to turn to Facebook.
People love an excuse to bring up their own vacation experiences (us included!!) and who better to trust than your family and friends?
You’ll be surprised at how helpful people can be. You might even be able to re-connect with a friend or two along the way!
Tight on your road trip budget but still want to take that epic adventure this Spring Break? Don’t fret – we know the solution!
Gas Buddy is a desktop and mobile road trip app that helps you find the cheapest gas prices along your route so you save the maximum amount of money.
Type in your starting point and destination, and it will calculate the fastest/quickest route and search for the money-saving stops throughout.
Gas Buddy has a trip cost calculator, a directory of local gas prices – even down to the specific gas stop along your route to save you the most money!
You can even add the make, model and year of your car to get a crazy accurate estimate of how much you should be budgeting for gas.
Want To Save Even More Money? Read More Road Trip Budgeting Tips Here
10. Mint – A (Road Trip!) Budgeting Tool
Speaking of budgeting, if you are detail-oriented like me (Emily), Mint is going to change your life.
While the picture below isn’t the exact interface (you can understand why I wouldn’t want to take a screenshot of our personal information…) it’s actually updated and has more features to play with.
You can add everything from your bank accounts, credit cards, and even your car or house.
It also has a goal setting feature, which helps you stay on track for saving for your next road trip adventure!
The combination of their visually appealing tools, easy to read information, and responsiveness to multiple devices means that this road trip planner tool can actually make budgeting fun!
Read More: How To Save Money While Traveling
*BONUS ROAD TRIP PLANNER TOOLS*
We couldn’t help it! As we take more road trips, we just had to add to our resource list of road trip apps we use and love and share the goods with you.
Keep reading for more helpful trip planning apps, and things that make life on the road a whole lot easier!
Like Allstays above, this is another road trip tool that helps you find free campsites, especially around National Forests, parks, and other popular wilderness areas!
We loved it because it works offline (for us at least!), and it helped us find many spots to camp for free right outside of Sedona, Arizona on our latest southwest road trip.
Many of the places listed are vouched for by other experienced campers, so you can see when someone posted about the spot and its current condition. It also lists helpful information like GPS coordinates, description of amenities, and whether it’s still open.
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 (coming soon!)
We can’t finish this list without some good ‘ole tunes!
Absolutely no good road trip is complete without great music. Make sure to add in some of your favorite podcasts too for a good mix of tunes and stories.
To give yourself a good mixture of tunes, try and create a few playlists with different genres so that you can match your music with your mood.
Even better, encourage all your road trip mates to make some so everyone has a chance to listen to music they love!
Here are some of our current favorite podcasts, tunes, and audiobooks for road trips.
- My Favorite Murder Podcast
- No Small Thing (Deep diving into topics)
- Sleeping At Last Podcast
- Audible Books (Get 2 books free by clicking here!)
Here’s a playlist we’ve created especially for this road trip planner post! (We hope you like lo-fi surf rock!)
What are some other road trip planner tools that you like to use? Tell us in the comments below!
READ MORE ROAD TRIP PLANNER POSTS
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