Planning your trip is part of the fun, but it can also be overwhelming at times! To kick off the New Year, I wanted to share some lists of Travel Apps I use as a road trip planner to save money and time. When planning travel with kids, I especially need to take extra time to figure out safe trails to hike, fun sites to see and kid friendly places to eat! These apps have made planning convenient, quick and some have even helped me to save some money.


  • Road trips
  • Lodging and Camping
  • Flights
  • Saving Money
  • Hiking Trails
  • AND more!



Road Trip Planner to Save Money and Time

Road trips can be thrilling- and part of the fun is discovering new places as you go. But sometimes, it’s nice to be aware of what the highlights are of the places you are passing through. A road trip app can help you save time and find the best routes (avoid that pesky road work!) The following apps are for iPhone and Android.

(My personal favorite)
FREE, premium is $29.99/yearYou can add 7 way points for free, or 150 with premium. Find road side attractions, quick routes, places to eat, lodging, fuel and more. If your biggest concern is more about things to do, this is a great app for you.
Google MapsFREEIf your biggest concern is navigation, Google maps is your go to! I like how I can add several way points and get accurate estimates of how long it takes to get to point A to B.
WAZEFREEWAZE is helpful for avoiding traffic and road work by collecting data from other drivers to streamline your driving experience.
iExit Interstate Exit Drive
(My favorite for traveling with kids)
FREEI am forever grateful for this app when I lack time to take the back roads or when I am traveling with my kids! If you are needing to get gas, use the bathroom, find food or get a coffee, this app will lists which exits are coming up on your route, what’s there and what they offer.
Roadside America$2.99 to downloadIf you are seeking out the most unique attractions on your road trip (quirky food stops, murals, Instagram photo sites, tours, etc) this app was made specifically for you! I’d say it’s one of the most fun apps for travel!
GasBuddyFREEGasBuddy is helpful for finding gas stations and the cheapest fuel in the area. It can also help you find parking (helpful for downtown visits!).

Road Trip Planner to Save Money on Lodging and Camping

When it comes to lodging or camping, there are many reasons why we may have one specific thing we are looking for. The following apps are for iPhone and Android. From find campsites, booking last minute hotel rooms on sale to finding a day use room during a long layover, I got you covered!

The Dyrt
(My Fave Camping App!)
FREE, premium upgrade to $39.99/yearAre you taking out the RV or just looking for spots to go camping in general? This is THE App you have always needed! Features are real intel and feedback from previous campers, tips, pictures, book campsites and find the best camping spots near you.
Hotel TonightFREEIf you are needing a last minute reservation for a hotel room, consider saving some money by using Hotel Tonight. This app features deals on rooms that have been unsold, which means a discount for you! There are thousands of places listed from all over the world.
DayuseFREEDo you have few hours to kill before a flight or need a spot for less than a one night stay? Dayuse allows you to book hotel rooms for a few hours at hotel chains like Marriott for 75% or less of the original price.
One: NightFREEIf you are a spontaneous traveler booking a hotel room last minute, One: Night gives you access to amazing hotels at discounted prices simply because you are booking last minute.
AIRBNBFREEOf course, Airbnb is a helpful app to see what is in the area, although the pricing is not always the best. I want you to note that there are other great apps you can use that are similar to AIRBNB: VRBO,, HomeAway, FlipKey, onefinestay, VillasDirect, Outdoorsy and Couchsurfing.

Road Trip Planner to Save Money on Flights

One of the most intense parts about traveling is finding an airline that gets you to your destination quickly and doesn’t cost and arm and a leg. The following apps for iPhone and Android help you to watch the sales of ticket prices by sending you alerts with price drops for various airlines. You can also book through these sites.

NameCost **** Features
(My favorite)
FREESkyscanner helps your set up price alerts on the specific flights desired. I have used this apps several times to track when prices go down. I was able to book flights that were $100 cheaper because of this app. No destination? No problem! You can use their explore option to see where it’s currently cheapest to fly!
The biggest con to this app, is it’s note representative of all flights.
KayakFREEKayak is an easy app to use because of it’s simplicity. The app has a flight tracker, airport gate information and price alerts for price changes.
HopperFREEHopper is helpful in finding the best timing to buy a flight. They have a color coded calendar to show the best blocks of time to book your flight (these are indicated in the green zone). You can also monitor the price until you get a good deal.
Google FlightsFREEI couldn’t have this list complete without having Google Flights. This is usually where I start off my search & from there, I use Skyscanner to monitor the price. I like that it includes all airlines.

Road Trip Planner to Save Money on Planning Hiking Trails

Why use a hiking app? Hiking apps aren’t only useful, but can be life saving. They can provide offline navigation (this is handy for those National Parks!), allow you to share your location with your loved ones and to discover all the trails your destination has to offer. As always, it’s a good idea to have a physical copy of your map (most State and National Parks visitors centers provide this) and to check the website of the area you are hiking for closed trails. All apps listed are for iPhone and Android.

NameCostOffline Use Best For
All Trails
(My personal favorite)
FREE, upgrade to premium for $29.99/yearPremium OnlyFinding new trails and trail reviews
Google MapsFREEYesPlanning
Gaia GPSFREE, upgrade to premium for $39.99/yearPremium OnlyNavigation, Download detailed maps, Find camp sites, Document where you have hiked
CairnFREE, upgrade to $4.99/month or $26.99/yearPremium OnlySafety (Find cell coverage on maps, hike distances, record and save trails you hiked, live tracking, rescue advice, notifies contacts when you are past due)

PRO TIP: Buy a state park pass or America the Beautiful pass for National Parks to save time and money. You can get passes for state parks at your designated state’s State Park website or an America the Beautiful Pass here.

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