Road Trip Planner: The 31 Road trip planning apps for creating a perfect cross-country road trip!

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Everyone knows that road trips can be some of the most rewarding and stunning trips you take, from the lowkey sceneries no one talks about to the hidden spots in smaller towns that you come across when driving. However, besides the obvious perks of taking a cross-country road trip, it can be insanely hard to plan a road trip!

What are the best routes? What happens if a highway gets closed down and plans change because of that, you should have a flexible system in place to be able to adapt to the unexpected surprised that are bound to pop up for most road trips. That’s why instead of sticking to old-school maps, google maps, notebooks, and trip planning in your head. You should instead use travel apps, specifically road trip planner apps. These apps are going to make your long days of traveling go by so much faster and smoother!

We’ve gone on our own fair share of road trips, so we know exactly what to use when traveling and what apps are just total garbage. Thus, we made a list of extremely useful road trip planner apps for various categories: Route management, entertainment, unique helpful apps such as flush,

This post is all about the best road trip planning apps! We made a comprehensive list of the tried and tested favorite apps that travelers love t house when ongoing on cross-country road trips, day trips, and weekend trips because it doesnt matter how small or how big a.trip is. you should always be prepared when going on a road trip.

Best Road Trip Planner

girl on a road trip with her road trip planning map
© Swissmediavision via

Commonly Asked Questions For Road Trip Planning

What are the best road trip planning apps?

The best road trip planning apps are going to include free road trip planning apps, entertainment apps, comprehensive apps, inspiration apps, and other useful apps. Well, list the best road trip planning tools for each category below ?

Free road trip planning app: google maps

Entertainment app: Netflix and Kindle

Comprehensive road trip planner app:

Useful app: Flush

Inspiration travel app: Pinterest

How long should you plan for a cross-country road trip in advance?

Yikes, planning for a cross-country trip, especially your first road trip that size can be overwhelming, to say the least. To make sure you have a good grasp and are not rushing to create the perfect road trip itinerary, we recommend starting to plan for a road trip about 2 months in advance. This allowance allows you to properly have enough time to generate ideas for things to do for the pit stops you’ll be making along the way. It also isn’t far away so you’ll have a general idea of travel times, events happening, and any route delays such as forest fires, flooding, and other things.

planning road trip tools: camera, map, phone, coffee, and pencil.
© Mediaphotos Via

How much does a cross-country road trip cost?

If you plan to stick to remote areas and keep the eating out at fancy restaurants to a minimum, then a coast-to-coast drive should cost roughly $120-$180 including gas costs but not lodging. If including lodging you’ll want to factor in an additional $80-$140 a night.

Is there a website to plan a road trip?

There a various road trip planning sites, it all really depends on what you need to form the website. Do you need guides, things to do, route management, food tips, and stays? Then you’ll want to find a comprehensive website or app such as Wanderlog or Roadtrippers.

How many hours should I drive a day on a road trip?

Generally, the safest driving is eight hours per day, anything longer than that can be unsafe because you need rest, and driving for that long can make anyone tired. Even after downing multiple cups of coffee. Trust us, take breaks often, get out for the car stretch and walk around at pit stops and enjoy the scenery. It’s a trip not a race to the finish line.

Is there a free app or free tools for planning a road trip?

We always like to start with Google maps. It’s the best free road travel map app, whether you are looking to find a quick, easy or inexpensive destination, google maps has got you covered. After that, we would suggest using the free version of popular apps such as Roadtrippers or Wandlerlog which both offer multiple useful options such as route planning, things to do, lodging, and restaurant recommendations.

How To Plan a Road Trip

girls relaxing on their road trip
© NickyLloyd Via

The Best Road Trip Planning Apps

Entertainment road trip planner Apps

Apple Music: Okay if you’re, not an Apple user that just ignores this recommendation (Some Android users got a vendetta against Apple, it does work on android devices though, just download the app in the google play store ?. We love apple music and with the family plan, it’s pretty cheap! Having a dedicated music streaming app is important because you can download offline playlists and play them when you are in the dead zones. Which you will, because hello, have any of you been to Montana? Ya, the whole state is a dead zone for service ? jk.

Spotify: The next music platform recommendation we have is Spotify, This music platform is just like apple music but you have bigger music and it works perfectly on Android and Apple!

Pandora: Pandora like the two above is a popular music platform, however, this app utilizes more of a radio vibe-like playing style. which is perfect if you never want to be bored and like listening to new music.

Netflix: You know no matter how much you like your road trip buddies, at some point, everyone is going to want to do their own thing because everyone needs a break. This is when having your favorite movies and tv shows on hand is super important! Netflix is our go-to because you can download offline episodes and movies to watch when you have bad reception.

HBO: Great movies and up-and-coming series, plus they have. god mix of cartoons, anime, kids’ shows, action, drama, romance, and other genres.

Disney +: Everyone loves a good Disney classic, download it and enjoy ☺️.

Hulu: They have a good range of shows and movies, although we still think Netflix and HBO have better selections.

Kindle: A good book keeps the mind wandering and dreaming. Download the kindle app or any other ebook reading app and read to your heart’s content. Plus, if you’re driving solo or everyone in the car is down to read a book, download the Audiobook app to have it read to you on your drives.

woman looking out car window during road trip pit stop
© Milosbataveljic Via

General Maps, GPS, and Direction Tools for Road trips planning

Google maps: The OG and most popular GPS app is google maps, unlike its apple maps competitor. is incredibly reliable and offers route management with turn by turn navigation is awesome and it updates to let you know the best routes available. Plus it pops up things to do when you zoom in on the map! Has offline maps, best route recommendations, gas prices nearby, and nearby grocery stores.

Apple Maps: Alright, besides the diss from above, apple maps is til regularly used in our household lol. It wasn’t until we traveled internationally that we realized how limited apple maps are when compared to google maps. it also doesnt have as good route recommendations and google maps.

iExit: Never miss a necessary gas station exit again! This is one of our favorite road trip apps on this list, as it tells you the details of every exit, like what does it connect to, does it have gas stations, Starbucks, places to eat, groceries store,s lodging? Great app! Get it!

Waze: Some travelers swear by this app because its route recommendations, turn-by-turn navigation, constantly monitoring along your route and best route tips are in a league of their own.

Road Trip Comprehensive planning apps

Road trippers: Voted as one of the best road trip apps, road trippers are just like wanderlog in that it replaces most travel app people use and bundle them all together into a comprehensive app. It gives you tips on the best roadside attractions, custom map styles, scenic points, low key off the beaten path viewpoints, and plenty more road trip essentials.

Wanderlog: We first found out about Wanderlog when we went on our west coast road trip along the pacific northwest to California beaches. This app was perfect because it’s comprehensive and created things to do road trip routes, and pre-made trip guides and works perfectly for the free version. But if you want the extra perks of automatic importing of your latest flight details, stays, car rentals, and route management, and offline use. Then you’ll want to splurge and spend the est $50 annual fee to use this app.

map that says road trip
© AnthonyRosenberg Via

Road Trip planner apps: Useful & Unusual Apps


Pack point:


The dyrt:

flush: Looking for a rest area that has a restroom? Then make sure to download this app because at some point you’ll be making questionable decisions on where to go restroom lol. To avoid that, this app tells you where to find a restroom and the dirty details for it. literally, tells you if the restroom is clean or nasty ?.

Rv on a Road trip with lake in the background
© StockStudioX Via

Road Trip Food and activities suggestion apps

Roadside America: looking for cool things to make pit stops for? If national parks, lakes, beaches, low key cities are your thing then get this app because it has great recommendations


All trails: The best comprehensive hiking, cycling, and trekking app for any outdoor adventure! it includes recommendations through off-beaten paths, national parks, beaches, remote hiking spots, and scenic viewpoints. Plus, it gives you all the details you need to know about a hike such as closure, elevation gain, recommended routes, safety information, and more.


Yelp: For all your food recommendations, Yelp has a large plethora of restaurants, cafes, dessert shops, things to do, and other touristy things. So go ahead and search through the neverending list of foodie places, and make sure to read reviews because some of the “great places” are not really that great.

Apps for Places To Stay while on a Road Trip

Hotel Tonight:

Airbnb: Perfect for finding that las minute lodging, hostels, motels, hotels, and other lowkey stays.

Inspiration Travel Apps: Perfect for Road Trip Planning

Pinterest: The perfect road trip inspiration app is most definitely Pinterest. It’s full of ideas, travel inspiration, helpful tips, recommendations, and generally just a beautiful app. We always start our travel planning by checking out Pinterest and seeing what other people recommend for routes, destinations, things to do, places to eat, and places to stay.

tik tok: Full of the most random things, and be careful you could get caught in a black hole of tik tok videos, however, it does have entertaining and useful tips when it comes to travel. Overall this app is definitely a great app for travel plans.

Instagram: Despite the less than pleasant algorithm changes that keep happening to Instagram and making the social platform less enjoyable. We still recommend using it for travel inspiration, look up your favorite hashtags for road trips, and youre bound to find some interesting places.

Facebook: Join a Facebook group focused on travel, and if you want to go a step further choose road trip groups.

Road Trip Planner: The Wrap Up

That wraps up our post for the best road trip planning apps! We hope you found this post to be useful and if you did please share it with your friends and family via social media ☺️ If you’re looking for other cool road trip posts focused on the best road trip routes, road trip food, and road trip games to keep you busy, then check out the ones below!

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