If you know me at all you know we are travel ballers. My entire life for most of the year is taken up traveling from baseball field to baseball field. Road trips are not only something I enjoy very much, but also something I get the privilege of doing a lot. Now, when my kids get older I plan on making a lot more stops! Imagine your first trip to St. Louis and you don’t even get a glimpse of the Arch because you’ve severely mistimed your arrival & must spend every moment you are there inside a building (that one was for gymnastics back when we had 3 full-time traveling sports kids in the family). Sometimes it’s way to hectic & I look forward to much more relaxing…getting to stop and smell the roses..literally once in a while. In the meantime, I have been through my share of “must have” apps for traveling. A lot of the “must have”
crap apps I’ve tried are a waste of much-needed space on my over-worked phone. I made of list of ones that don’t suck & are totally helpful on a road trip.
1. Spotify-Here’s where we get to another..if you know me at all moment…I LOVE Spotify. Spotify is a music service. On your phone, in your car, on your sonos, it’s everywhere you are & it plays all the songs you want it to play! (unless you want to play Taylor Swift, she didn’t want to play with Spotify…oh well. 🙂 )It’s my must have app for living. You can get a perfectly great free version, and if you’re like me you’ll spring for the paid monthly service, because it will give you happiness and solve all your problems.*
2. GasBuddy– This is the app I use to share gas prices with you guys when I share the “cheapest gas around Fort Smith.” This app is great for road trips because it has a “Find Gas Near Me” feature & it comes in real handy. You can sort between close to you and cheapest close to you. Sometimes you just gotta go with what’s close. This app has a big bonus. It has a Trip Calculator that takes into account what mileage your vehicle gets, the gas prices along your route & of course how far you are traveling to tell you about how much you can expect to spend on gas for your trip. It’s nice to use when budgeting for a lengthy road trip.
3. Google Maps-Because no matter how many apps you try for directions, you always come back to this one, and to be honest no one likes to get lost..or in my case ride with a lost guy. 🙂
4. Co-Pilot– Offline Navigation as a backup for Google Maps because you never can be too un-lost enough.
5. Urbanspoon– Because what’s better than an app that tells you where the closest food is?! You can search by nearby, style of cuisine, or you can shake it for a surprise suggested restaurant . This is an often used app. Teenage boys are always starving when they get in the car!
6. Instagram– Instagram is a quick & easy to use photo sharing app. What fun is a trip if you can’t share your moments? Our family and our other “not baseball” friends wouldn’t get to share these memories with us if not for social media apps like Instagram.
7. Hotel Tonight-You would think if you planned well you wouldn’t need this one, but when you need it, you need it. We have been there several times when games run late or start early..they are semi-close to home & you think you’ll make it home and back until you get to tired to think about making the drive. The scariest instance was when we were travelling to Denver around Christmas time one year, and a crazy, crazy, snow storm came from no where. It was so bad we couldn’t see anything & had no idea where we were. Hotel tonight came in really handy that night.
8. Sit or Squat– Pretty self-explanatory. 🙂 Looking for the closest restroom? Here’s your app.
9. iExit– This one can be used in place of Sit or Squat and additionally it will tell you everything that’s coming up off the exits. I love this. Here’s a great example of why…if you love food like I do…Let’s say you see an exit ahead, you’re hungry and this exit has McDonalds (which you’ve probably had your fill of), and you don’t know what’s at the next exit (which, if you’re like me) is probably nothing for the next 60 miles, right?! This app solves that problem & I’d say that’s a big problem solver! Other than getting lost nothing starts an argument quicker than hungry people who don’t know when they’ll get their next meal…like most American kids. 🙂
10. Roadside America– ($2.99)-remember how earlier I said I was going to take time to enjoy some things when my kids get older? This is the app I’m going to get to help me with that mission. here’s the description: Never miss another giant twine ball, crazy museum or hilarious statue. Unlock all 10,000+ attractions. RoadsideAmerica.com reveal a world of nutty sights and wonders along the highway. I’m down! Sign me up for that! 🙂
I hope these apps are helpful. Are there any you consider “must haves” I left off this list? I’d love to hear of other helpful apps.
*Did I really have to put a disclaimer here or you have a sense of humor? 🙂