Hit the road this summer with these mobile apps
Travel season is in high gear. If you plan on driving to your destination, allow these mobile apps to help you navigate every step of the way. Whether you are looking for cheap gas en route, want to share your travel experiences with others, or just need the official rules for who gets shotgun, we have the best apps to download for a perfect summer road trip.
Gas Guru: Cheap Gas Prices (iPhone, iPod Touch, Android: Free)
Developed by YellowPages.com, Gas Guru is the latest download-worthy app that gives you the lowdown on where to find the cheapest gas. Like the similar service, GasBuddy, Gas Guru helps you find gas stations near you – or where you will be traveling. The display of nearby stations is prioritized by either price or proximity, letting you decide if saving an extra ten cents per gallon is literally worth going that extra mile. But it doesn’t stop there. Gas Guru not only provides directions and a phone number for the stations whose gas it just priced out, but even lists nearby attractions to the gas stations like restaurants, coffee shops, auto repair, ATMs and roadside assistance. You can essentially plan a trip to dinner based on where the cheapest gas is located. Fill ‘er up!
AAA TripTik Mobile (iPhone, iPod Touch Android: Free)
For those who will be driving through unfamiliar territory, we recommend the free AAA TripTik Mobile app. Like Gas Guru, TripTik maps out the nearest locations for things like rest stops, restaurants and campsites. One added bonus is the voice-activated turn-by-turn navigation that lets drivers better concentrate on the road while running the app. Members of AAA can also take comfort if your car starts making a funny noise and belching smoke. You don’t need to panic because this app can point you toward the nearest mechanic. Or better yet, simply use the app’s AAA roadside assistance feature. There is a field to store your AAA member number, which will then be sent automatically anytime you need help, saving you time fumbling for your card.
Rules of Shotgun (iPhone, iPod Touch: Free)
Once you get safety and road trip economics out of the way, the next big issue you need to tackle is who gets to sit in the front seat. If you are hitting the road with more than one friend or family member, avoid any undue fights by becoming well-versed in the language of “shotgun.” Download the free Rules of Shotgun app and remember: “The shotgunner must be in clear sight of the car, and shotgun can be called regardless of whether the driver is in sight of the car.” No cheating!
Best Western To Go (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android: Free)
This official app from Best Western does a lot more than just help you to find hotels and book reservations. It works almost like an interactive scrapbook for the details of your road trip. The app lets you create a travel itinerary, and track progress through notes and photo-sharing every step of the way. Not only will this give you the opportunity to show off how great of a time you're having on the road to family and friends, but the fact that they have your travel plans might put them a bit more at ease.
State Lines (iPhone, iPod Touch: $2.99)
Do you get frustrated when traffic laws vary from state to state? Know the rules of the road and more by downloading the State Lines app. This app is full of information from each state, including default speed limits, cell phone and texting bans, right-on-red rules, radar detector bans and more.