Summer is officially here. And incoming warm weather means one thing: road trip season. John Steinbeck once wrote “we find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.” It’s this philosophy on travel, this wanderlust, which makes the All-American road trip such an integral part of our summertime experience.
Before you hit the road this year, take a spin on your smart phone, laptop or tablet and download some of these apps designed to make your road trip easier, more affordable, and more fun. Then throw some clothes in a bag, fill up the tank and put the top down for a trip you’re sure to remember for years to come.
Nothing will put a damper on your road trip faster than the cost of summer gasoline. But don’t fret; this app will scour the area near you for the lowest price on gas near year. What’s more, it will map a route to the station you choose, and give you turn-by-turn directions, so you don’t waste any of that precious petrol driving around in search of lower prices. Need another reason to check this app out? How about the fact that it’s 100% free?
If you’re a AAA member, you’ll appreciate this app, which is free as well. It allows you access to all of your AAA information, as well as the locations of nearby AAA approved repair shops, rental spots, and mechanics. No one wants to think about emergencies on vacation, but it’s good to know that you have help at your fingertips if you need it.
What’s a road trip without good music? A Rhapsody subscription is just $9.99 a month, and allows you to download unlimited songs. Compare to the standard iTunes rate of .99 cents per song, and a Rhapsody subscription will pay for itself before you’ve made your first playlist.
It’s not a road trip until you’ve detoured to at least one oddball roadside attraction. Let’s face it; you’d be pretty bummed out to find that you drove right past the West’s biggest ball of twine or the tallest thermometer in the world, right? $1.99 is a bargain for this chance to scope out a slice of Americana pie.
So you’ve arrived in a new city and you’re ready to start exploring. Only one problem: you have no idea where to go. Yelp’s user reviews can help with everything from
finding an affordable place to stay to a local diner with free Wi-Fi. Yelp is also a great place to find the activities and attractions that the locals love, which are often the most affordable (and most fun) things to do in a city.