10 free road trip apps that won’t use all your data

Anyone who’s ever been on a road trip knows that planning it is a lot of work. From making sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape to coordinating everything to finding the best things to do along the way, it can be a stressful time. Even if you plan months in advance before you know it the day will be upon you and you’ll be so busy running around making sure everything’s ready to go that you won’t have time to think about anything else.

To make your planning and time on the road more enjoyable, download these road trips apps – they’ve saved me my fair share of headaches while on the road! Plus, some of these are just plain awesome.

1
Google Maps

My favourite road trip app is by far Google Maps. Like a GPS, this app lets you set your end-point and, complete with voice navigation, will guide you to your destination without having to ever look at your phone. It makes driving in unfamiliar places a lot easier and safer. Just keep in mind that the time estimation is just that, an approximation. It will often take you longer than it tells you.

Don't want to rack up ridiculous data roaming charges? Easy! Download the maps ahead of time over wifi, turn off your data, and continue on your way. The GPS on your phone is active even if your data isn't. Just be careful about losing service as your GPS won't work.

It's also amazing for planning your trip before you even leave. Instead of blindly guessing the best route, you can easily scope out the roads ahead of time. Discover how far apart your destinations are, which allows you to easily plan out your days.

Apple | Android

2
Gas Buddy

I don't know what I'd do without this helpful little guy. He'll find you the cheapest gas in town, which will really help you save your precious pennies. I use this app all the time, both on the road and at home.

If you don't want to use your data, just find free wifi or scope it out ahead of time (but not too far, prices change quickly).

Apple | Android

3
Roadtrippers

This is a must-have for your trip. Just plan your route and the app will show you awesome stops along the way, from whatever category you're most interested in. You won't miss out on all the little, hidden gems with this app in your pocket! You'll be planning your trip before you're even on the road. I'll certainly be using it for my trip this summer!

To make sure you don't use data, use this app to plan your trip before you leave.

Apple | Android

4
PackPoint

When you're planning to spend a week or more living out of your car, it can be hard to remember everything you need. From shorts to bedding to first aid, there's a lot to remember. And, if you're like me, you'll spend half as much time double checking that you did, in fact, actually pack those shower shoes as you did packing.

This app takes the stress out of packing by creating that list for you. Just choose where, when, and what you're doing and this app will make a list for you. It might just save your butt this packing season!

This app connects to the internet to find weather based on your location, so make sure to use it before you leave. Besides, this is a packing app so it won't be much help once you're actually on the road!

Apple Android

5
Overdrive

There are all kinds of music apps out there, but sometimes you just can't listen to more music. That's when it's time to switch over to the FREE ebooks and audiobooks! Overdrive has thousands of free audiobooks and all you need to get access to them is a library card. Just log into your library and browse their collection. You can download the books so that they don't use any data or cut out while traveling; some are available right away, while others you might need to request (usually the more popular ones).

To avoid data charges, make sure to download your books ahead of time.

Apple | Android

6
Google Translate

While only helpful if you're driving through a foreign country, Google Translate can't be beaten for helping you translate on the go. Just download the language ahead of time and hold your phone up the foreign word. As if by magic, your native language will appear on your screen, making it easy to read and navigate in foreign countries.

Once you've downloaded the language, this app doesn't connect to the internet and works as your own personal translator.

Apple | Android

7
Star Chart

Part of the magic of a road trip is camping under the stars. Gazing up at the stars from your tent, just point your phone at the sky to learn all about what you're looking at! The app uses your GPS to pinpoint your location to show you the night sky.

This app only uses your GPS (as long as you have service) and works great offline. Bring it into the backcountry without fear of racking up giant roaming charges!

Apple Android

8
Netflix

8. Netflix

With thousands of TV shows, movies, and documentaries available, Netflix is the only TV subscription I have at home. Netflix recently released an update where you can download shows to watch offline - which is amazing for road trips! While I'm a huge advocate for unplugging while on a road trip, sometimes it's nice to curl up and relax with your favourite show.

Before you head out, just sign into your account on your phone or tablet (the downloads are only available through a mobile app), and navigate to the Download section. Not all titles are available, but there certainly more than enough to keep you entertained! While on the road, make sure to only watch your downloaded titles, else you'll certainly be slapped with a HUGE data bill.

Apple | Android

9
Smart Reciepts

This is a great way to keep track of all your receipts throughout your trip. You create a date period, such as your trip, and enter all of your receipts in that time period. Enter the receipt name, price, currency, and category to easily keep track, as well as attach a picture to each entry. While I'd recommend keeping the originals if traveling in a foreign country, this is an easy way to keep track of your expenses.

Once downloaded, this app never needs an online connection, except for updates.

Apple | Android

10
TV Food Maps

This is a great app for all the traveling foodies out there. Enter your start and end points and the app will list all the food destinations featured on the Food and Travel Channels on the way! You'll never eat somewhere questionable again!

While the app doesn't work well without an internet connection, just check the list out ahead of time and map out all the places you'd like to go.

Apple | Android

  • I love eating, hiking, and taking awesome road trips. I'm particularly fond of perogies and mangos; find them for me and I'll be your best friend. My love of exploring began as a kid; my family took many road trips and I loved building forts in our backyard. There's nothing I'd rather be doing than exploring the world around me.

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