This guest post was contributed by Elsa Strickland.
Road trips are a great way to see the country and bond with your traveling companions. You get to see some beautiful scenery and take in local culture that you simply don’t experience via bus, train or plane. When making your travel plans, consider taking the scenic route. The International Business Times found that 25 percent of Americans plan on taking a road trip as part of their vacation plan, so you’ll be in good company. To help you out, we’ve rounded up the best apps and games to take along with you.
Gas Buddy is a social community that supplies current information about gas prices. If you know cheap gas is right around the corner, you can hold out before filling up your RV. Make sure you input the gas prices you find on the road as well to enhance the service and earn points as you go. Gas Buddy is free and available on iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry.
iExit can be a real life-saver when you’re lost and in the middle of nowhere. It’s not always clear which exits are good choices to get gas or food, or whether you’re near an exit at all. This app gives you information about the upcoming exits, from how far away they are to what you can expect to see when you get there. Don’t end up running out of gas by thinking the next exit is right around the corner when it’s really 20 miles away. This app is available for Android and iOS for 99 cents.
Instead of dealing with radio stations that are probably playing the same five pop songs over and over again, use a streaming radio service such as Pandora. It isn’t a complete substitute for your radio problem, as you are probably going to run into some low signal areas, but it offers a good alternative when you have a solid connection. Spotify is another good choice for this, although it requires you to be a little more hands on with fine tuning your music preferences. Both Pandora and Spotify apps are free for iOS and Android phones.
While Google Maps is certainly a helpful app, it can be useless when you’re in an area where you don’t have reception. Instead of wandering around aimlessly, Co-Pilot Live continues to direct you offline, giving you a general idea of the directions you need to take and when you should be taking them. That way you end up in great shape no matter what your signal is. This app is available for Windows 8, iOS and Android for $8.99.
T-Mobile created an app to help prevent distracted driving. Customers of T-Mobile’s 4G network have the ability to put their phone on “Driving Mode,” which limits the phone’s use. It automatically silences all calls and texts, sends calls to voicemail and blocks a user’s ability to read texts while operating a vehicle. DriveSmart Plus automatically detects when you are driving (although you can manually override it if necessary). DriveSmart Basic has the same features but must be manually activated.
Hey backseat drivers, this one’s for you. Let your driver keep his or her eyes on the road while you zone out in the backseat with an online game. Hidden object games at www.iWin.com will keep you entertained for hours and are available for most digital devices.
Elsa is a freelance travel writer and photographer who is always on the move.