Download these road trip apps before you hit the road.

By Elizabeth Rhodes
Updated July 29, 2020
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Credit: Justin Bailie via Getty Images

Smartphones have revolutionized the way we travel in countless ways. Paper maps and GPS navigation systems have been replaced by our iPhones and Androids, making road trips infinitely easier. Whether you need a road trip planner to map out your next journey or an app to find a way around a traffic jam, we’ve got you covered. Below, we’ve rounded up the 10 best road trip apps for your adventure.

Related: More travel tips

1. Roadtrippers

Roadtrippers is one of the best (and most popular) road trip planner apps out there. You can plan your journey (adding up to 150 stops with a premium account), collaborate with friends or family, and discover great places to stop along your route, like national parks, roadside attractions, hotels, and more. The app is free, but to enjoy all the bells and whistles, you’ll want to upgrade to Roadtrippers Plus for $29.99 a year. Available on iOS and Android.

2. Google Maps

Everyone needs a trusty navigation app on their phone, and Google Maps is a favorite for good reason. Map your way to your destination, and find out how long it will take with real-time updates and traffic conditions. Plus, find nearby stores, restaurants, hotels, and more with this easy-to-use app. Available on iOS and Android.

3. Waze

With real-time updates that help you avoid traffic jams, construction, and more, Waze will have you navigating new cities like a local. No one wants to spend hours sitting in traffic instead of exploring, so Waze collects data from other drivers to streamline your experience while helping you get to where you want to go. Available on iOS and Android.

4. GasBuddy

Paying for gas can eat up a lot of your road trip budget, but GasBuddy is here to save you a few bucks. The app helps drivers find the cheapest gas stations, so you never pay more than you have to when filling up your tank. You can also help other drivers by entering gas prices as you travel, or use the app to find the closest gas station and nearby parking. Available on iOS and Android.

5. Roadside America

The offbeat and kitschy roadside attractions you can find throughout the United States are one of the most delightful parts of taking a road trip. The Roadside America app will help you find unique places worth stopping at along your route, like “world’s largest” sights and other oddities. The app costs $2.99 with extra in-app purchases, and it’s only available on iOS.

6. iExit Interstate Exit Guide

Knowing where to stop can be tricky, but this app takes the guesswork out of finding places to eat, get gas, and go to the restroom. Simply find the exits near you and see what they have to offer. Available on iOS and Android.

7. HotelTonight

Even if you’ve planned out all your stops, some nights, you might just need a place to crash. HotelTonight is here for those moments, with day-of deals on hotels near you. The user-friendly interface means you can book a discounted room in minutes, so you never have to stress about finding a place to stay. Available on iOS and Android.

8. Airbnb

Book vacation homes and experiences around the United States (and across the globe) with the Airbnb app. This app is great for finding a place to stay, whether you’re booking a rental home weeks in advance or looking for a last-minute place to sleep. Available on iOS or Android.

9. The Dyrt

If camping out under the stars is more your speed, you’ll want to download The Dyrt, a free app that helps you find tent, RV, and cabin sites across the United States. Plus, other campers post reviews and photos of the sites, so you can always choose the best place to stay for the night. Available on iOS or Android.

10. Spotify

What is a road trip without a perfect road trip playlist? Tune into your favorite music, queue up curated playlists, and listen to podcasts (like Travel + Leisure's latest podcast) as you cruise with the Spotify app. Get Spotify Premium for $9.99 a month, so you can listen to music without ads and download playlists for offline listening. Available on iPhone and Android.