Whether you’re on the road for a weekend or a month, a phone will always come in handy. I protested smart phones for a while before I moved into my built-out ‘97 Toyota Previa, but finally caved when I realized how much easier it’d be with one.
I got a month-to-month T-Mobile plan ($40 for 3GB of high-speed data and unlimited data after that; plus unlimited talk and text), and I’m so glad. I use my phone and data almost constantly during travel days.
From saving on gas to staying safe alone, here are some of my must-have apps for any road trip.
Gas Guru finds the cheapest gas near your location. Pretty straightforward. I love it! I also like to check my route for the day to see where the cheapest gas is and plan my refills around that. If I see it’ll be cheaper 100 miles away, I’ll just refill just enough to get there.
Great for finding cheap oil changes or any other little indulgences on a budget while passing through places.
A task-managing app that’s absolutely crucial to staying organized in my business. They also just launched offline capabilities, so now you don’t need to use data or be on wifi to access your to-do list and project goals. Yeehaw!
This might be my most-used app. It’s like magic — as soon as I hit the road and get in motion, the ideas begin to flood my mind. Recording voice memos is a great way of taking notes safely while driving. It’s also a means to practice communicating thoughts into words — something I’ve always struggled with. I’ve become more confident of a speaker just by using Voice Memos.
If you go to Starbucks regularly, become a rewards member now! I wish I did it sooner. I have a monthly coffee shop budget so I just load my card up in the app and stay on track with how much I’m spending. It also gives me access to free drinks and other goodies. I love visiting local coffee shops as well, but I can always rely on Starbucks for strong wifi and power outlets.
This is a new one that I downloaded after the one time I was followed. It’s simple. You hold your finger down in the app when you start to feel unsafe, and after you let go you have four seconds to enter your pin. If you fail to do so local police and your emergency contact will be notified. I haven’t had to use this, but it’s great to know it’s there.
What are you must-have road apps? I’d love to hear if you have recommendations that might help while traveling or are just plain fun!
Amanda Sandlin is a graphic artist currently exploring North America in her ’97 minivan. She’s the creator of the #atwildwoman and writes about being a solo creative woman on the road. You can find her at www.amandasandlin.com and @amandsandlin.
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