October, 2018

Life-Saving [Free] Travel Apps

One question that always seems to slide into my DMs is, "What tools do you use to plan your adventures?" Such a great question!! With so much information cramming our inboxes and new apps created on the daily, it can give the browser quite the migraine exploring the endless tools that are available to us these days. So, I decided to write a post solely on this subject because the second step to any adventure is knowing how to get there, am I right? What's the first? Inspo, but that happens all on its own. So with that, let me segue into the apps and websites I regularly use to plan the majority of my trips! All are available for both IOS and Android and maybe the most notable: ALL ARE FREE.

 

  • Roadtrippers

    • If you read my Tofino post, you know how sweet this app is. You can literally plan your ENTIRE road trip on this thing, from restaurants and tourist attractions to hikes and sweet scenic views! Pin the place on your map and arrange them the way you want. The app also calculates the drive time between each stop. Freaking genius.

    • Roadtrippers also makes it easy to browse destinations to add to your trip! Say, for example, you want a sweet spot to eat; you narrow your search results to food and drink (kind of like Yelp) and the map portrays nearby establishments. You can get as specific as burgers and/or wineries. How cool is that?

    • AND you can share your trip with a friend. This way, you're both creating and adding to the same itinerary so no one is confused. Ever.

    • Here's the best part: Once your trip is planned, it tracks you through your entire journey with or without cell service. Yup. It's sick.

    • I could rave about this app till the stars don't shine. It's what I use for allll of my road trips and I recommend it to anyone looking to hit the road!

  • GasBuddy

    • GasBuddy pulls up gas stations near you AND includes the price per gallon for each location. Pretty solid money-saver right there. 

    • It also features amenities at every location. You know all those times you were craving an icee only to get to the gas station to find out that it doesn't have an on-site store? Well, kiss those tragic let downs goodbye, this app tells you exactly what to expect at each location.

    • If you enter your car information, you can also browse old and new recalls as well as track your fuel expenses and mileage. 

 

 
  • REI Co-op National Parks Guide

    • This app gives you direct access to some of the best US National Park secrets and epic attractions in one cohesive app. Open it to a screen of gorgeous images linked to an overview of each park. From there, you can discover its "Trail Map," "Best Hikes," "Gems," "Photos," "Family Friendly," and "My To-Do List," which is a virtual backpack of sorts. The To-Do List is where you save all of your hikes, trails, and/or gems that interest you!

    • Below, discover local info, visiting tips, camping and lodging, food and drink, outfitters, tours, and shuttles, as well as other activities. A link to maps and guidbooks and webcams are located in this section too. 

    • Scroll down even further to find average temperatures and precipitation (in map form) for each month of the year. IDEAL.

    • So, download it. You won't regret it.

 

  • WTA Trailblazer

    • Similar to the National Parks app, the Trailblazer app by Washington Trails Association (WTA) offers quick access to nearly every trailhead in the state without the limitations of being within a national park. From long 10+ hikes in the Enchantments to the paved trail encompassing Green Lake, you'll find every trail you were ever curious about plus those you never knew you wanted to hike!

    • Open the app to search trails near you, discover the latest trip reports on the quick access toolbar or on the trail profile itself, search trails based on restrictions such as kid- and/or dog-friendly, and when you find one of interest, save it to your backpack for when you're gifted a free weekend.

    • Tap on the location pin for the trail you're interested in to discover its round-trip length, elevation gain, highest point, and a trail description. Here you'll also discover a place to view and submit trip reports, get the scoop on what passes are required (if any), as well as the drive time from your current location, an option to view a weather forecast, and a section for features (like coast, lakes, wildlife, etc.). Pretty freaking sweet!

 

  • Airbnb

    • Alrighty, then we have Airbnb. I know, you're like "duh," but seriously guys, if I could be an Airbnb rep, I totally would. I always find the cutest places on here, from old grain bins turned into an adorable town and country bed and breakfast to Airstream trailers for rent and more; it's just so freaking cool, and I use it whenever I'm not camping! Always cheaper rates than average hotels and a way better experience if you ask me. AND if it's a room in someone else's home, maybe you can chat them up for insider deets!

 

 

 

 

  • Skyscanner

    • Another pretty obvious one, but if you're not familiar with it, it's probably one of the best travel apps out there. This app lets me browse for the cheapest flights any day, anytime, and to anywhere throughout the entire year!

    • Last minute weekend trip? This app finds you the best deal. Want to go to Iceland sometime in the future but you have no hard plans and can kind of go whenever? This app is your best friend. Have a specific date in mind and want the best price? Plug in those dates and see where it takes you! Or plug in your destination and let it choose the dates for the best deal! There are so many options when it comes to finding the best bang for your buck when it comes to flying. 

    • You can even rent a hotel room or a car through this app now too! Same flexible search features apply.