11 Must-have planning apps for Road Trips

A road trip would not be the same without a smartphone. They have literally revolutionized the way in which we are able to now travel both domestically and internationally. That huge paper map that my mum always used to have shoved in the back of the passenger seat seems like an ancient way to figure out a route!


Girl sat in Toyota Coaster bus motorhome

Our smartphones have made travel immeasurably easier than it has ever been before, and to be honest we are all about making travel as easy and stress-free as possible.


Here are our top 11 Road Trip apps that we use on a daily basis during our road trips with @Naiathebus. If you want to check out more about the road trip we are on in Australia you can check it out here.


Not only will these apps make your life easier on the road, but make it better, save you money and allow you to plan for the best road trip ever!


Fuel Map Australia


We will start with the one that's going to save you money. A lot of our monthly allocated budget is spent on fuel, so we use Fuel Map Australia which allows us to look ahead at where we will be heading and plan to stop at the cheapest fuel stations.


App Cost: Free


Campermate


This is the first of two that we will recommend for all things road tripping. Campermate covers a whole heap of aspects including campgrounds, paid, low cost and free sites, places to stop and fill up your water, toilets, dump stations and more. It is probably one of our daily go to apps as we usually need one of these services at least once a day. There are reviews that you can always check out on there, often including pictures of what the place looks like. An extremely resourceful app that is up there in our top 3 must have apps. It works in both Australia & New Zealand.


App Cost: Free


Wikicamps


The second of two that we recommend for general helpful information whilst on the road. Similar to Campermate, it includes info like camping sites, backpacker hostels, toilets, dump points, water, places of interest. What we like about Wikicamps in the ability to add 'favourites' and rate a place to give an indication of popularity or whether it's worth a stop. It is good to utilise both Campermate and Wikicamps interchangeably as they will often listed different free camps.


App Cost: $7.99


Google Maps


This one may seem like an obvious one, but it is a favourite for a reason. It provides real time traffic updates so you can switch your route if required, plus you can search fuel on your route, toilets, groceries and more. One of the best things about it is the ability to also download the maps offline, this is a must in places like Australia as there are large stretches in states that don't have any signal. If you forget to download the maps in advance, the app will still keep running and take you to where you need to go even if you run out of signal.


App Cost: Free


Hipcamp


We recently discovered this gem of an app which hooks up locals and travellers. It offers more unique stays from camping, motorhome parking. lodges, treehouses and glamping. You'll find big backyards, local farms and more, offering a range of facilities. Some offer power and toilet facilities while others just offer a piece of land for you to park on. There are some pretty great nightly deals to be snapped up ranging from as cheap as $10, often with a wonderful view!


App cost: FREE


Weatherzone


This app is a lot better than the basic weather that comes already installed on an iPhone. It usually provides the most accurate information which is important for planning those road trips with the ability to look around a week ahead. You can also add other locations, not just your current location to allow you to plan ahead.


App cost: Free


Spotify


For most this is an already 'must' have app! No road trip is complete with a spotify playlist to listen to whilst on the open road. You can create your own playlists, download them for areas that you may have no signal, and now listen to some really great podcasts for those longer drives.


App cost: Free (premium options at a monthly cost)


Beachsafe


Want to know what beaches are near you? This app will provide all the information that is possibly available about a beach. Want to check the surf before heading out with your board? Check out what facilities are available, the tide or swell.


App cost: Free


IFAW


This one is only based in NSW Australia, but it allows you to be able to report any injured wildlife on the road. Sadly it can be a common occurrence, particularly with kangaroos.


App cost: Free


Waze


Waze is a great app as it can be used all around the world. It is a community based navigation app that collects data from other users on the road in real time. Other drivers are able to input real time data if there are traffic jams, hazards or incidents on the road.


App cost: Free


All trails


If you like walking, hiking or biking then this is the perfect app. It contains all the best trails in a given area, it's also available to download so you can view it offline incase you lose signal. You can filter by difficulty level, whether it's dog friendly or kid friendly.


App cost: FREE for basic use, Pro version is $29.99 for the year


What other apps would you recommend for a road trip? Let us know!


Other blogs you might be interested in: