7 Useful Road Trip Planner Tools & Apps
One thing you should know about me is that I am a planner & I love it! I have created itineraries to visit Yosemite, Banff, and New Mexico so I will be ready to hop in the car when the time is right. My free time is usually spent researching blogs, Pinterest, and Instagram for places that look crazy beautiful. Over the years I have fine-tuned my planning skills and I’d love to share it with yall.
Instagram is a large source of where my inspiration comes from. I follow various travel accounts that visit and talk about their trips to the Pacific Northwest, Utah, Arizona, California, etc. It helps me create a plan and budget so taking a road trip doesn’t seem as daunting.
When I find a picture on Instagram that features a location that piques my interest, I first click that location and view the other photos with the same tagged location. This allows me to get a better idea of what that location actually looks like. If I decide I want to someday visit, I save the image by clicking the bookmark icon on the bottom right-hand corner of the image. These images are saved to my account’s saved section which can only be accessed by you from your account’s profile. These folders are private and are completely customizable.
By using this technique I found Lone Rock Campground!
Fun trick: Click and hold the bookmark icon to create a folder of your saved images or to add an image to an existing folder. I have organized my folders by state.
Some of my favorite Instagram Travel Accounts:
Yes, Apple Maps helps you get from Point A to Point B, but that’s not all! You know when a friend recommends a tiny mountain town, camping spot, or beach and you think to yourself “Oh I have to remember that,” but you forget? Yeah, that used to happen to me all the time. I soon realized you can save locations to your Apple Maps account or Google Maps. It’s gotten to the point where I automatically pull up Apple Maps when someone is talking about a great spot to camp, explore, or hike. Similar to Instagram, I save these locations in folders sorted by state.
How you save locations to Apple Maps:
- Search for the location on Apple Maps
- Find the location and swipe the location screen up so you have the options to Call, Add to, Share, etc
- You will want to hit “Add to…”
- You can add the location to a new or existing folder by simply tapping it
*You can sort your saved locations by folders split up by state, trailhead, camping location, restaurant, free showers, etc. It’s totally up to you!
Roadtrippers is an amazing resource for those that are, well, road tripping! You plug where you are departing from and your final destination and it pulls up tons of great things to do and see along the way. You can plan out your trip on their website which will then sync up to their app on your phone once you’re ready to hit the road. If you want to include more than 7 stops on your road trip you will need to upgrade to Roadtrippers Plus for $29.99 a year. Not only does it point out popular outdoor attractions, but it will also give you restaurants, hotels, camping spots, and various other points of interest.
Sometimes during a road trip, you do have the luxury to compare gas prices to find the cheapest place. When that does happen I suggest using Gas Buddy. This app allows you to search by price, distance, type of fuel, and type of cards accepted so you can find the cheapest gas out there.
Pinterest isn’t just for recipes and crafts. I scour Pinterest for months before I plan on taking a trip. I can usually find great How-To guides, Must-Do, Itenaries, blog articles, photo inspo, and new people to follow on Pinterest. Once again, I have organized my Pinterest boards into states so it’s easy to go back and plan a trip.
We can’t forget our trusty favorite, Spotify! I know Spotify doesn’t technically help you plan a trip, but where would we all be without Spotify Premium? One of my favorite features on Spotify is Collaborative Playlists. For example, I am planning a trip to Lake Powell for my birthday with 12 of my closest friends. I created a playlist and made it collaborative by creating a blank playlist > hitting those three dots > make collaborative. It’s a great way to include all your friends to make a fun vacation soundtrack and everyone is happy! I suggest also downloading the playlist before you hit the road so you still have tunes in areas with a spotty signal, like Lake Powell.
I believe the Digit App in my most used app on my phone. It has allowed me to easily save thousands of dollars that I would have spent carelessly before on unimportant things. The app allows you to create different goals with or without a due date. I currently get paid every Friday so I have divided my bills into weekly amounts and send that money to Digit.
In addition to helping me save up for rent and what not, it allows me to save for vacations! Every week I put about $10-$20 towards my vacation goal so when it times to take a vacation I have the money to fund it!