Sometimes a trip isn't about the destination, but the journey. That's why I love a good road trip once in a while.
Sure, flying can usually get you to your destination faster, but you miss so much in between. There are so many interesting attractions, spectacular views and fun family times to be had on the road.
Of course, planning a road trip takes a bit more work than flying. You also have to keep kids - and some adults - entertained longer.
That's why I load my smartphone up with plenty of useful apps. Here are five that you should take with you on your next road trip.
Roadtrippers gives you an easy-to-browse preview of what you’ll see on your trip.
Simply enter your starting point and destination, then select the places that you’re looking to discover. Filtering options include attractions, entertainment, food, historical landmarks, natural wonders and scenic drives.
Many of the destinations Roadtrippers gives you will have images, reviews and web links. That makes it easy to plan for the cost and time.
iExit Interstate Exit Guide
Road trips can be difficult if you're traveling a new path. But with iExit Interstate Exit Guide there won't be any more guesswork about what restaurants and hotels follow the highway exit you're planning on taking.
Even if you're looking for something in particular, iExit can help you. Be it an Applebee's or just somewhere with french fries, a good root beer float and an internet connection - this app can help you find whatever it is that you need.
If you're searching for an affordable hotel to rest your head, iExit can help you pick the best one. This app features over 2,700 hotels and accompanying deals so you'll get the best value no matter where you are and what your price range is.
Speaking of pre-planned routes going wrong, you can never tell when traffic is going to slow you down. Maybe the road is closed for construction. Having a good navigation app is essential.
If you’re not already using Waze, I’d definitely recommend checking it out. It's more than just a point-to-point navigation app.
Waze lets drivers share real-time information with each other. Say you’re driving on the interstate, and an accident cuts traffic to one lane. You'll know well in advance and can take an alternative route.
If you’ve got an inquisitive kid along for a car ride, this app might keep them occupied. It's also great for adults who love knowing every detail about places along the road.
Field Trip from Google uses GPS data to provide you with a live feed of any nearby historical locations or locations of interest. Where it really shines, though, is the information you get.
You can get a full history of interesting bridges, buildings, restaurants, businesses, landmarks and much more. It's like a guidebook that's never out of date.
If you've ever driven in the Western U.S., you know that on some roads you can go for hours between sights. You might need something to keep your fellow passengers occupied.
A great game for the car is Mad Libs. It's simple, creative and funny, and now it's on your smartphone.
Just be sure to bring along an in-car charger for your phone or tablet, or a backup battery. These apps don't do you any good if your gadgets die mid-trip.