Road tripping has changed over the years. When I was a kid, we’d visit our local AAA office to order a TripTik® – a little bound booklet filled with highlighted maps of our journey. But with everyone carrying a smartphone these days, there are so many available apps for a road trip with kids. On our recent road trip to Quebec City, Canada, I found a few of these apps to be essential for our trip. Here are the five best apps for a road trip with kids – all are available for both Android and iOS platforms.
Waze is an absolute essential if you are road tripping. This community-based app will tell you when there is a road hazard, police officer, construction, or heavy traffic. It’s best to use if you have a passenger in the car, since it’s difficult to focus on. Waze will even provide alternate directions if it can find a quicker way to your destination.
The latest version of iOS got rid of Google Maps, but you can still add it in the app store. Despite the fact that I have built in GPS in my car (and Waze), I still use the Google Maps app. It’s especially nice to have when on foot in a new destination, since it provides walking directions as well as driving directions.
The Yelp app is my favorite tool for finding the best local restaurants in the area. In addition to user-generated reviews, you can use it to check out menus, make sure the restaurant is kid-friendly, and get a feel for prices. I’ve found so many great hidden gems with the app.
Ever been in the situation where you were running low on gas on your trip? Gas Buddy not only lets you find gas near you, it also shows the current prices. I’ve found it invaluable when I was running low on gas while in an unfamiliar area.
The OpenTable app is great for both home and travel. Once you find a restaurant on Yelp, use the OpenTable app to check availability. That way, you don’t waste time traveling to a restaurant that isn’t available.
Edit: The original version of this post listed RoadNinja, which no longer works.