as any wanderlust-struck human knows, traveling is exciting, but can easily get to be pretty scary or overwhelming. whether you’re on the road with a tank on “E”, or driving into a new city without a clue where the nearest campgrounds are, there are lots of curveballs that can come your way while traveling. the next time you find yourself in a new place or in a sticky situation, these 10 free apps will (hopefully) come to your rescue!
RV Parks & Campgrounds
i’ve always found that google is the worst at showing you available campsites near you. that’s why this app is a must- it shows you a map of RV parks all across the united states and even sorts them by rating. it also shows you verified store parking lots you can camp in for the night if you’re just looking for a quick power nap before hitting the road again. win!
the key to any good roadtrip is finding the cheapest gas possible. that’s why this app made the list! Gas Buddy shows you the gas stations near you, which is super useful when you’re in a new place or in the middle of nowhere, but it also shows you the current price of gas at each station! you can also enter to win $100 in gas every day. i’ve never won, but you might have better luck than me. 😉
okay i love nature as much as anyone else, but i’m also a millennial and love to browse instagram. sorry not sorry! this app is amazing. it not only shows you places near you that have public wifi access, but it also gives you the password if necessary. you can search by city and save locations for when you want to use the app offline. this app has information on more than 2 million hotspots across the world- perfect for when you’re in another country and want to explore but don’t want to search frantically for wifi when you’re out and about.
my favorite thing about visiting state and national parks is asking around to find the best hikes. but, this usually means not knowing what i’m going to be doing until i get there. with this app, you can research hiking, biking, and running trails before you even enter the park! there’s reviews by other hikers, ratings according to difficulty, and even pictures if you’re the type of person who likes to see the view before you get to the summit- i know i am! with information on over 50,000 trails around the world and GPS abilities to get you to the trailhead, this app is a must.
even though this app is more for planning trips, Skyscanner is, in my opinion, the best app for finding cheap flights. i love it because you can select “everywhere” in your destination and also search by entire months, which is great for when you’re feeling spontaneous. when i’m bored in class, i just search flights (until i realize how zoned out i was and how many notes i missed-oops!). you can also search hotels and rental cars in any destination. this app is a must for any traveler on a budget.
this app is also meant for planning, but it’s great while on the road too! you can map out your route and find places to stay in the cities you’ll be driving through, see popular attractions on your route, and create and share itineries with friends.
this app is also great for finding cheap flights! it shares tips and tricks to getting the cheapest flights possible and shows you a ton of options. you can see different prices on each airline and can save trips for later if you’re not ready to buy just yet. you can’t search as broadly as you can with Skyscanner, but if you’re looking at specific dates to a specific location, this app is for you!
if you’re looking for campsite next month or one in a few hours, ReserveAmerica Camping is your go-to. it will tell you available campsites in state parks, rv campgrounds, or cities and the prices for the night. perfect for on-the-go or planning ahead!
Oh, Ranger! is the official app of the American Park Network. this app makes finding city, national, and state parks around you so easy! you can sort results by the activities you want- hiking, climbing, fishing, etc.- or by proximity. you can also see maps of each park and any lodging, concession, or weather related information. if you’re in a new city looking for an escape from the urban life or just want a new park to explore, this app is a must have!
TripAdvisor is a fan favorite for a reason. i think it’s much better than yelp for finding restaurants and hotels, and shows more honest reviews. there’s not much to be said about this one, other than it is a traveling necessity!
what apps do you consider a necessity when traveling? let me know down below! i’m always looking for ways to simplify life on the road 🙂 safe travels!