You've embarked on your road trip. Your passenger won't stop talking about their Aunt's foot fungus, and you just realized that you forgot to book a hotel for your last night. You attempt to distract yourself from your growing anxiety when you notice storm clouds on the horizon. It's going to rain, and in a few minutes your phone's going to light up with an email saying, the outdoor concert your driving to might get cancelled. Before you turn your car towards the nearest cliff, stop. Rewind. Download these free apps before your trip, and you'll never have to live this nightmare.
It's a road trip tenet that predates the road: “Go forth, but do it with music”. Humans have been rolling around with tunes since the first Homo Sapiens drummed a beat on their knee. Fortunately, we’ve come a long way since turning our patella into a rhythm section. For example: Spotify. This free app gives you access to millions of songs, lets you create that all-important road trip playlist, and even offers podcasts. Best yet, you can download audio for offline use!
The only drawback? Advertisements. Erase them by subscribing to Spotify Premium. For just $9.99 a month you can erase those pesky ads, access exclusive podcasts, use unlimited skips, and more.
Available free on iOS, Android, and most web browsers. Download here: Spotify
Got a library card? It’s that decaying piece of plastic in your wallet/purse/keychain. Dig it out. Download Libby. Congratulations! You can now borrow e-books and audiobooks from thousands of public library's digital databases. The app even works like a library. You check-out the book, borrow it for a designated amount of time, and then digitally return it. Libby allows you to check-out up to 25 titles, and renew them when needed. Not impressed? Libby even lets you download the book for use offline. That way, when your cell-service disappears, your audiobook won't.
Available free on iOS, Android, and most web browsers. Download here: Libby
Sure, you could just type ‘weather’ into Google, and get the temperature. The only problem? A road trip requires foresight. This free app is like a weather prophet! Allow the app to track your current location, or type in a destination. It’ll produce a real-time map of the region. MyRadar will then show you the weather stats for the area, and the forecast for the next couple of days. But that's not all! The app populates the map with real-time weather systems. Useful when you’re trying to avoid blizzards, or track a storm.
Available free on iOS, Android, and Windows. Download here: MyRadar
Haven’t bought the new Tesla yet, huh? Me neither. Don’t worry though, you don’t have to cry every time you visit the pump. GasBuddy finds you the cheapest gas prices in your area. It comes outfitted with a trip cost calculator, gas price map, and even offers a free credit card that will save you up to 25¢ per gallon. Keep your money for what really matters on the road—snacks.
Available free on iOS, Android, and most web browsers. Download here: GasBuddy
Driving for hundreds of miles wasn’t hard enough. You want to camp too. Fine, ya masochist, but download The Dyrt. This app allows you to find outdoor accommodations across the United States, whether you’re in a tent, trailer, RV, or cabin. It provides millions of listings, reviews, prices, and tips from other campers who have already visited. If camping is your game, The Dyrt is the name.
Available free on iOS, Android, and most web browsers. Download here: The Dyrt
You’d sooner sleep in the Bates Motel from Psycho than camp. Well, HotelTonight is for you (deranged serial killers, not included). This free app helps you find the best hotel deals for your road trip. Even better, they’re pro-spontaneity. HotelTonight specializes in finding you last minute deals at highly rated locations. Don't plan, just drive.
Available free on iOS, Android, and most web browsers. Download: HotelTonight