On the Road: Five Apps to Help You Discover the Road Trip of a Lifetime

Road trip season is here, which means it’s time to start thinking about where you want to go, and how you’re going to get there. Whether you’re planning a day trip, a weekend jaunt or an epic road trip adventure, these days you’ll find a number of road trip apps practically made for you.

We’re a little biased, but Washington—our home state—is a fantastic starting point for some of the best road trips in America. With that in mind, we’ve put together a top-five of our favorite roadtripping apps, each paired with a Washington-based trip you can use it for (and we hope you do!). Here’s what you need to plan, capture, and hack your next road trip.




What it does: This is the do-everything practical app for road trips, with the ability to provide you with driving routes, gap prices, real-time traffic updates, and even speed traps. Waze is powered by drivers like you, so it’s a source of constant crowdsourced information about what’s happening on the road, and is the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app.

Use it for: Long road trips like the Pacific Coast Road Trip (Olympic National Park, WA to San Diego, CA).

Availability: Android, iOS (Free)


OffMaps 2


What it does: OffMaps 2 stores your trip maps so that you can use them for navigation even when the signal goes out—an important function when you’re potentially exploring some wilder territory.

Use it for: Trips incorporating the urban and the not-so-urban, like the Mountains to Sound Greenway (Seattle to Eastern WA, through the Cascades).

Availability: Android, iOS ($0.99)




What it does: Songza has all the streaming plenty of Pandora, with a splash of quirk that would probably suit your next road trip to a T, letting you select playlists based on mood and activity (“Driving in the left lane,” for example). This app is on the border between entertainment and ambience.

Use it for: Trips with variable scenery and mood, like Seattle to Las Vegas.

Availability: Android, iOS(Free)


Roadside America


What it does: For a trip of discovery, this is the app to see. The Roadside America app provides location-based information on notable places coming up on your route, including the famous and infamous. This is the app for finding the giant twine ball, the museum of cheese, the giant chicken—you get the idea.

Use it for: Trips taken at a leisurely pace, like The Great Northern (Seattle to Acadia National Park, ME).

Availability: Android, iOS ($2.99)




What it does: Photosynth makes it quick and simple to create interactive panorama images of your trip, a fantastic resource if you want to capture the magic to share with others, and so you can re-experience it yourself.

Use it for: Breathtaking, scenic trips like Columbia River Gorge, WA.

Availability: Android, iOS (Free)


Have a favorite Washington State road trip? Give us your best in comments or tweet it to us!

Of course you need the right car for the journey, so don’t forget to check out the latest TRED-approved vehicles—one of them could be your next road trip companion 🙂

Happy roadtripping, folks!


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