Shopping used to be one of my favorite pastimes and I was exceptionally good at! So good, I got paid to shop for other people (I was a personal stylist). And trust me; there is nothing more fun than spending someone else’s money!
These days however, I rarely get the chance to gaze in fancy windows…much less go shopping. Which is fine by me, I prefer being too busy rifling through nature to rifle through stores. Although, a little shopping at a local farmers market is good for the soul!
But to tell you the truth I think I’ve shifted my shopping habits to online (I do love Amazon Prime) and specifically…apps, especially the free ones. I’m always searching for that next time saver, experience enhancing or money saving app.
So, with all this time and research I’ve done, I thought it was high time I share my must have road trip apps! Almost all of these apps are free and available for both android and iphone, just check your app store!
Since having our Amazon Prime membership we have started taking advantage of the extra benefits (other than the free two day shipping) such as the free prime music and unlimited streaming video. With the amazon music app we can download playlists and songs on our phones and listen to them while driving down the road or anytime we don’t want to use our data to stream music.
When we first saw this app it blew our minds!!! Literally!!! You know those fun panoramas you can shoot on your phone? Well, Photo Sphere takes it to the next level providing a 360 degree view. The photo is completely interactive on compatible mobile devices with an accelerometer, it can also be viewed on a computer with a similar interface to Google Maps.
See all of our photo and camera gear here: Our Top Camera Gear for Travel Videos & Photography
Recycling is very important to us on the road. iRecycle can tell you how, where and when to recycle just about anything. Using your current location, ZIP code, address or city, get access to vital details for collection points, such as website, phone number, directions, hours of operation and other materials collected.
Roadtrippers is a fun app for finding unique stops along your route. You can also use it to plan out your trips, estimate fuel costs and more.
We love playing disc golf as its a way to enjoy the outdoors, explore an area and meet locals all at the same time (best part is disc golf is usually free!). This app has a long list of features but the biggest one for us is the ability to find and get directions to the closest course.
If you haven’t noticed yet, we really love craft breweries! Not sure where to grab a pint? Untappd shows us popular bars nearby and what’s on tap. Share reviews, ratings and photos of the beers you drink with your friends around the world. The best recommendations typically come from our sophisticated, beer drinking friends, so we can find out where & what they drink.
Search by taking a picture: point your mobile phone camera at a painting, a famous landmark, a barcode, QR code, a product, or a popular image. If Goggles finds it in its database, it will provide you with useful information. Goggles can read text in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Turkish, and translate it into other languages which is great when we head down to Mexico for Dental Work.
This app shares the Internet access of your Android phone with your computer or tablet. PdaNet+ works on most Android phones. It does not require a tether plan, that will save you $10/month from most carriers. In USB mode it is capable of handling download speeds well above 35Mbps.
For more on how we stay connected, check out this post: Stay Connected on the Road – Phone, Internet, Free Wi-Fi
Find the cheapest gas on the go – for free! Locate gas stations near you and see their current gas prices. We use this app all the time when we’re planning a drive.
Finding state and national recreation lands for hiking, fishing, camping, boondocking, wild camping and just about any other activity can be difficult sometimes. This handy app helps you find nearby public lands and confirms that you’re in them with the GPS function on your phone. We have lots more about Wild Camping (aka, free camping/boondocking).
Another Wild Camping fave here! This app has more of our favorite free wild camping locations listed than any other source we’ve found. There are thousands of camping locations across the United States that are owned/operated by towns and cities, counties, states, and federal agencies including the National Park Service, Army Corps of Engineers, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Department of Defense and Tennessee Valley Authority. Also included are locations operated by Native Americans, utility companies and non-profit organizations.
State Lines has all the basic information we need when traveling throughout the United States. Whether by RV, car, train, bike, space ship, plane or boat. If you’re frequently crossing state lines you’re always under new regulations, taxes and bans. Currently with over 55 pieces of travel relevant information including state sales tax, time zones, towing & RV specific laws, gas/diesel taxes, rest area overnight parking rules, default speed limits, alcohol sales laws, smoking bans, open container laws, state park camping entrance fees, leash laws, helmet laws, cell phones & texting while driving, left hand turns and more.
The new Honeycomb version features over 550,000 free and paid locations in 144 countries worldwide. Wi-Fi Finder is simply our favorite app for finding free or paid public Wi-Fi hotspots online or offline.
For more info: Stay Connected on the Road – Phone, Internet, Free Wi-Fi
Onavo Count helps us better understand and budget our mobile data usage. With sleek and simple reports, real time alerts, and usage rankings, you will gain valuable insights into how you use your data, which is crazy important as most carriers are cancelling their unlimited data offerings. For more info: Stay Connected on the Road – Phone, Internet, Free Wi-Fi
Trover is the app for travelers. Satisfy your wanderlust with a stunning collection of geo-tagged traveler photos. Create visual bucket lists of where you want to go. Post photos and notes from your own travels, and inspire others to go where you’ve been. Showcase your stuff and watch the thanks pile in.
See how we use Trover here: A Date With San Diego
Like a professional tour guide always by your side. Instantly find out what’s nearby and create tours for longer excursions. Offline access avoids data charges.
PRI’s Android app offers live and on-demand access to our favorite public radio programs, including episodes and segments from national award-winning shows like PRI’s The World, The Takeaway, Studio 360, This American Life and more! Download it to hear, read and share entertaining and insightful stories from around the globe.
Track and log your mileage, fuel consumption, maintenance, services and costs of your car or motorbike and know exactly how much your car costs. FuelLog calculates a lot of useful statistics like fuel consumption and economy (e.g. mpg or l/100km) of your car or other vehicle, total cost and mileage, average cost per distance or gas amount, average cost per month, year and driven distances, expenses and a lot more. Everything is managed in a nice-looking and very easy to use interface.
Coverage provides an at-a-glance “universal” data coverage map by interactively overlaying the major nationwide USA cellular providers. Coverage focuses on helping travelers keep connected as they roam, no matter what network (or combination of networks) they use. Use Coverage to determine which direction is best to head towards, or which route is likely to keep you the most connected in your travels.
For more info: Stay Connected on the Road – Phone, Internet, Free Wi-Fi
When RVs have to go… these guys know where to go! Search for RV dump stations from your current GPS location while you are on the road, or search by a city of your choosing!