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Make Sure You Download These 10 Apps Before Hitting the Road

Keep yourself entertained, fed, and safe on your upcoming road trip.

Whether you’re striking out on a day trip or making a cross-country trek, one of the keys to a successful road trip is being prepared. So while you’re making sure your snacks and playlist of crowd-pleasing jams are all in order, make sure your phone is similarly outfitted with everything you need to ensure you’re ready for any bumps (both metaphorically and the kind that can cause a flat tire) you may encounter along the way.

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PHOTO: Shadowspeeder/Shutterstock
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Gas Buddy

(iOS, Android)

Possibly the most acute sense of regret a person can feel is pulling off the highway to fill up your tank, finding your way back to the onramp, only to see another gas station with lower prices. When you have GasBuddy at your fingertips, however, you’ll always be certain that you’re getting the cheapest gas around.

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PHOTO: Anna Kraynova/Shutterstock
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Sygic

(iOS, Android)

Having a navigation app on your phone for a road trip pretty much goes without saying. The only thing that’s more of a road trip given is having four tires on your car. And while you’re probably pretty familiar with Google Maps by now, give Sysgic a try on your next road trip. Sysgic’s offline maps (essential if you’re going somewhere with spotty service or you’re not keen on using up all that data) are incredibly high quality and will ensure you don’t make a wrong turn. Or, if you do make a wrong turn, they’ll ensure that you get back on track.

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PHOTO: Jacob Lund/Shutterstock
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SongPop 2

(iOS, Android)

If you’re looking for something with a little more razzamatazz than 20 Questions or I Spy to kill some time, have your co-pilot fire up SongPop 2. This music trivia game plays a short section of a popular song (you choose the genre/decade) and you have to guess the title or the artist from a list of multiple choice answers. Technically, you’re competing against other users but it’s a fun, streamlined approach to Name That Tune.

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PHOTO: Anne Preble/Unsplash
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WhatsGood

(iOS, Android)

The road trip fast food stop is a blessing and a curse. On one hand, you can indulge in those guilty pleasures you’d otherwise skip over. On the other hand, sitting in a car for several hours while you’re feeling sluggish from a burger-based feast is less than ideal. So why not use WhatsGood Marketplace to not only find healthier options, but also give yourself a good excuse to explore and support local communities? WhatsGood will show you nearby farmers’ markets, some of which you can arrange pick up for ahead of time in case you’re in a hurry to get back on the highway.

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PHOTO: Traimak_Ivan/iStockphoto
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Flush

(iOS, Android)

While that iced coffee may have seemed like a good idea at the time, as the minutes tick by you’ll find that you’re progressively more and more invested in when you’ll see a sign for the next rest stop. If you want to expand your search for an available toilet beyond roadside signs, make sure you have Flush on your found. Flush gives you access to information about over 190,000 bathrooms that are open to the public. So not only can you figure out where you can stop, you can go in knowing if the bathroom requires you to pay a fee or ask for the key.

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PHOTO: Rostislav_Sedlacek/iStockphoto
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Your Car Insurance’s App

Hopefully, you won’t need this. But if something goes wrong while you’re on the road you’re going to want to have easy access to all of your car insurance info. Search the App Store or Google Play for your car insurance and see if they have one available. Features will vary from company to company, but most will likely include a digital ID card and roadside assistance.

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PHOTO: Mike Marquez/Unsplash
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BarkHappy

(iOS, Android)

Your loyal canine companion is the light of your life, so of course you brought them along for your big road trip adventure. Inconceivable though it may be, however, not every place is as accommodating toward pups as pet owners might like. So if you want to make sure your pit stops are dog friendly, download BarkHappy. This mobile app helps you find dog-friendly hotels, restaurants, dog parks, and even allows you to set up a doggy playdate if your dog could use a buddy to frolic with.

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PHOTO: Zach Miles/Unsplash
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US Public Lands

(iOS, Android)

Looking for a good spot to stretch your legs? The US Public Lands app makes it easy for you to find parks and other lands that are open to the public. Not only can you filter for lands based on which agencies maintain them, but you’ll also have easy access to each agency’s website so that you can see exactly what activities are allowed wherever you’re headed.

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PHOTO: Memory Stockphoto/Shutterstock
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Openbay

(iOS, Android)

The only thing work than having car trouble is having car trouble far from home—aka far from that trusty mechanic it took you so long to find. Openbay makes it easy to not only find local auto shops, but to get service estimates, appointments, and pay all in one place. That way you can spend less time worrying and get back on the road quickly.

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PHOTO: zhu difeng/Shutterstock
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HotelTonight

(iOS, Android)

Sometimes not having a plan is part of the plan. Who hasn’t dreamt about hitting the road and just seeing where it takes you? But even if you don’t have a destination in mind you’re still going to want somewhere to lay your head at night. If you book your room for the night through HotelTonight and you may be able to score a last-minute deal. Does the thought of striking out into the world without knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt where you’re staying? You can still book your hotel room up to 100 days ahead of time.

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