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What are the best road trip apps? Everyone has a list and everyone thinks their list is the best. That’s why they write them, right? To get likes and pins on Pinterest?
I’m not here to tell you what the best road trip apps are. I’m sure there’s someone out there with that list. Just search on Pinterest and you’ll find 30 dozen of them. Hell, even I‘ve saved a few myself.
That being said, I have a few that I cannot live without and use on every road trip. I’ve gone through several cycles of add and delete but these are my keepers. It may not be the best list, but it’s mine.
Oh iExit, how I love thee! A few weeks ago I wrote about why I love the interstate and iExit goes right along with that. iExit only works on the interstate, but it works beautifully. Need a rest stop, it’s 20 miles up the road. How about a Starbucks? Search and find one at the next 3 exits. Not only that, iExit detects your driving detection and can show you what’s ahead, even if you’re planning to change interstates. You can narrow results for gas stations, restaurants, fast food, hotels, points of interest, rest stops, shopping and more.
Have you ever tried Waze? It’s a GPS style app that feels a little like a game to me. It’s user-generated content and a little more. Put in your destination and Waze will tell you the best route to take to avoid traffic, construction, etc. Trust it to give you the best. I didn’t take the side roads once when Waze told me too and I was stuck at a standstill for an hour. Fellow users post construction, obstructions and police officers which Waze will notify you. The gaming feature I mentioned is the points you gain from traveling and listing obstructions. Connect it with Facebook and see which of your friends have the most points. Get out there and road trip more to win!
Raise your hand if you played Mad Libs in the back of the car on a road trip growing up? I know I did. And the app is the same Mad Libs we know and love. Except for this time, we don’t have to erase to play the same game again and again. The Mad Libs app is free with in-app purchases for different “books.” The kids and I like to use this one when everyone is sick of the traditional road trip games (license plate game anyone?) It’s cause for lots of fun and laughter and definitely breaks up some monotony. Plus, it’s a good teacher of word types.
Just like Mad Libs, Heads Up is a fun way to create some laughs on the road. If you haven’t heard or played this one before, stop what you’re doing and go get it now, I’ll wait. Heads Up is not only great for car rides, back seat passengers only, but is also fun when you have to stop for the night. Heads Up is like a charades game where players have to act out or use descriptions to get you to say the word on your forehead (your phone.) A lot of the decks I’ve found are a little obscure for the kids (not enough life experience yet!) but there are family and animal decks that can be used. And just like Mad Libs, there are in-app purchases to add more decks.
Stack the States
Stack the States is my daughter’s favorite game to play on the phone. Think of it like Geography trivia meets Tetris. I like this one for road trips because, well, it’s all trivia about the 50 states. Stack the Countries is also available and a lot harder!
When you have time to kill between destinations, it can be fun to find those oddball locations just off the interstate. I love the Roadtrippers website and they have their own app. You can plan your routes, search for recreation, dining, ghost towns or the world’s largest ball of yarn. The app syncs with anything you may favorite on the website and if you’re so inclined, you can plan a road trip based on your favorites. There’s a lot to look at and it can be overwhelming with so many choices. I recommend setting aside an hour or twenty to browse their website. In fact, that leads me to…
The DOT tip of the week… always use the apps as a passenger and not a driver. And download them ahead of time to get familiar with them.
So, what do you think? What is on your list for “not the best” but your must-have road trip apps. I’d love to check out a few more. Comment below with the next app I need to check out!