It’s finally time. Time to hit the road on that big adventure you’re been planning all winter. You have your car packed with all of the gear you could possibly need. But, there might be a few things missing from your “essentials” list. I’m talking about smartphone apps that will come in handy, out on the road. The cover just about anything and everything from weather information to saving on gas purchases.
I’ve put together a list of apps I use out on the road that have saved me some headaches, and I recommend them to anyone that spends any amount of time traveling this great country of ours.
Weather apps: There are two of them that I use that give me the weather information I need, especially if I can’t find someplace along the road where I can watch the Weather Channel to find out what’s ahead.
RadarScope: This is by far the best radar app I’ve seen, and it’s not loaded with ads that constantly get in your way. When set up for the 248nm range, you can see any type of precipitation that may be along your route, as well as what’s around you. It’s available for Android and iPhone for $9.99 USD, and worth every penny.
Ad-free NOAA WX: Although this app hasn’t been updated in quit some time, it’s still very functional, as well as useful for looking up current weather conditions in your location, as well as forecasts. You can look-up all of that info by simply typing in the city and state you’re in, or the zip code. You can also use it to get weather information for just about any location in the U.S. The information comes directly from the National Weather Service, so you won’t have to worry about some incompetent TV weatherman giving you a mostly inaccurate forecast. Sorry iPhone users, this one is for Android only, and it’s free.
Hotel, motel, and restaurant reviews: Forget Google maps, and the hordes of fake reviews. The TripAdvisor app is the way to go. One thing I really like about this app, is if the company suspects a fake review has been posted by anyone, including a business owner, they will remove it immediately, and ban that user. They have zero tolerance for that garbage. However, I have spotted my share of fake reviews, but not nearly as many as I’ve seen on Google. Most of the “bad” reviews I’ve seen for some of the hotels and motels were posted by disgruntled people that didn’t get a hair dryer in their budget motel room, or were expecting steak and eggs to be part of the “continental breakfast”. You can pretty much ignore those morons. It’s free, and available for both Android and iPhone.
Things to see, and places to go: Roadtrippers. This is definitely a useful app, because it will usually show me some really odd places to check out that I didn’t even know existed. It will also show you gas stations, hotels/motels, restaurants, museums, as well as a lot of other different places in your vicinity. You can zoom out on the map to see even more places to go explore. It’s free, and available for Android. (iPhone users check the App store for availability).
Gas/diesel: Pilot/Flying J Travel Centers have the MyPilot app. Not only can you look up and see where their locations are at, it will also show you what amenities are at each spot. You can save $.03/gallon at the pump, if you swipe the MyRewards card, or you can scan the app inside the store to get the savings. A registered MyRewards card is needed to use this, but…it’s free and you can get one at any of their locations. Android and iPhone.
As for hotel chain rewards cards, there are too many to list, and everyone has different preferences. None of them offer any savings, so they won’t be listed here.
I’ll be sharing more of these with you as the year progresses (as well as the miles), so make sure you stay tuned to this blog.
Until next time,
Bon Voyage, and Happy Roadtrippin’!