Road Trip Apps: Plan Your Next Pit Stop With iExit

iExit Logo

iExit Logo

So, you’re driving down the freeway and you want to pull off for a bite to eat, a bathroom, a place to spend the night, or even a hospital. But, oh no! You’re not familiar with the area. Good thing you’ve got iExit on your phone! Well, you should.

Check them out online if you’ve never heard of them before: iExit App

With the iExit App you can see where you are right now and what the upcoming exits are. Then you, or ideally your co-pilot, can scroll through them until you come to the exit that looks like it best suits your needs. This doesn’t just tell you that there are restaurants at a given exit, it tells you precisely what restaurants are there. It doesn’t just say fuel is available, it tells you what brands there are and if you click deeper you’ll find out what other services they offer.

This is a real game changer. What a great way to help your road trip be a little better!

GasBuddy Is A Must-Have Road Trip App

Gas Buddy

There are a lot of very useful mobile apps out there these days for the road trip enthusiast. One of the best ones goes by the name of GasBuddy.

Gas Buddy

GasBuddy provides information on fuel prices across the country. While this is interesting to look at as a whole, where it becomes useful is when you use it to find the most affordable gas in your hometown or in the towns you’ll be driving through. They compile this information from members of the site, known as buddies, who enter in real-time fuel price information as they see it at local gas stations. This provides for some very accurate data as the information is extremely up to date.

The app itself allows you look at the pricing information both in list form and as part of a map so you can also find the closest gas station to you.

Signing up with the site and becoming a Gas Buddy yourself can be a lot of fun. It can also feel rewarding to be such a useful part of a mobile app that really does provide some useful information.

There are even contests available where you can win free gasoline!

GasBuddy is available for both Android and iPhone.

Road Trip Apps: MarineTraffic

MarineTraffic

There are a lot of mobile apps out there that can either help on a road trip or just provide some entertainment. One of the more interesting ones, especially if you’ll be driving anywhere near water, is MarineTraffic.

When you get the MarineTraffic app, you’ll open it up and see a world of small little graphic boat shaped icons. What you’re seeing is the current locations of a number of boats and ships that happen to be in your area. Monitoring the water traffic around you can be a lot of fun too.

If you are booking a cruise or taking one of the Washington State Ferries, you can also monitor the location of your ship as it tracks across the map to your location. Another way to use it in this way is to watch your ship’s position while you’re on board. You end up knowing a little bit more about where you are or how long until you get to your destination than those around you.

One of the ways we used this app in a fun way was when we visited Sequim, right on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. As we sat on the deck, right on the water, we could see the freighters, sailboats, and cruise ships passing right out in front of us. All I had to do was whip out my phone, open up the app, and I could tap the icon of the ship right out in front of us. This opens up the next window which shows a photo of the ship (if available) plus some information like where was its last port of call and where it was heading to next. We even turned it into a fun game with the kids as they would try and guess where they were coming from and going to.

MarineTraffic

Whether using it to find your incoming ship, monitor the location of the ship you’re on, or just using it for entertainment purposes as you relax near the water, the MarineTraffic app can be a lot of fun and be very interesting too.

MarineTraffic is available on iTunes, GooglePlay, Amazon, and more.

You can even check it out on the desktop web version online:

MarineTraffic App

Great Road Trip Apps: Yelp

Looking at apps that are great for road trips or vacations, this week we’ll focus on a very popular one that most of you have interacted with before, Yelp.

Yelp came about in 2004, was initially a failure as an email based platform, before succeeding wildly by the end of the next year when it was relaunched as an online review source.

Yelp is pretty simple. Basically, when you go anywhere, and I mean anywhere, you can then go online via your computer or your mobile phone and leave a review. You can do this by reviewing plumbers, oil change establishments, and even retail stores in your hometown. You can also do this for travel businesses like hotels, attractions, and restaurants too and that is where the payoff is for road tripping enthusiasts.

Part of the deal when on a road trip is that sooner or later you’re going to end up in an unfamiliar location and be in need of a bed for the night, a good meal, or something fun to do. That’s where Yelp comes in. All those Yelp users who’ve visited that location before you have hopefully left helpful reviews. You can then pull up the app on your phone and get an updated list of the best place to spend the night or get a bite to eat.

This takes a lot of the guesswork out of the task of deciding where to stay, eat, or play. It’s important though to give back on Yelp. When you leave town, take a few minutes and rank the establishments you did business with. Write a review too. Did you love that appetizer last night? Was your bed way too hard? How about the pool? Was it clean or did it smell kind of gross?

Be honest in your reviews. Help the next traveler coming along behind you be able to take advantage of the same recommendations you just did. Also, be fair to the owners of the establishment. If they did a good job, reward them by saying so to their future customers.

Yelp can be very valuable to you and the traveler who comes along after you.

Yelp is available for both Android and Apple.