Generation X and those even older remember a time when a traveller had to rely on an agent, their own research, or blind luck to find the route best travelled, book a hotel or flight, or find the best food and other amenities.
Now, no one has to spend hours researching or trust that the road map will guide you the right way. The best travel information rests at your fingertips, no further than your mobile phone. An explosion of road trip apps have emerged to try to take the guesswork out of planning your adventure.
Here are our picks for the best road trip apps…
Best Cheap Flight App: Hopper
Many are after the best deals on flights or lodging on their own timetable. Others prefer to find the best deal possible at any given time and plan their trip around it. For those in the latter category, Hopper can provide outstanding savings opportunities through its travel app.
Hopper, can tell you how to find the best deals, it “predicts prices and helps you book your flights and hotels at the right time, saving you up to 40%”. The travel app will also tell you when the best deals will take place within the next year. On top of the potential savings, the service comes at absolutely no cost.
Best Trip Planning App: Australian Tourism 360
Are you planning a trip around Australia? This is more than a simple trip planner app. The official tourism office of Australia teamed up with Google Cardboard to provide the ultimate virtual travel app experience.
Using Google Cardboard, along with a wide variety of free 360 degree videos, you can preview your trip, gauge the potential experience, and gain a better idea of which grand adventure you wish to experience. You can “see for yourself what Australia feels like in a series of immersive 360° videos”.
Of course, nothing from Google Cardboard or an app can replace the actual sensations of the sun on your face and the real-life experience of Australia’s amazing sights. This app, however, can help you prioritise and plan your next vacation almost anywhere in the country. This app provides both a unique and advanced way to start planning the perfect road trip.
Best Travel Safety App: Beachsafe
Well if you’re travelling to Australia you are going to need to know where the best beaches are, right? Beachsafe was developed by Surf Life Saving Australia, the app helps you “find your nearest beaches in seconds”. You can also access the latest updates about every Aussie beach, as it serves real-time information. From facilities, weather warnings, swell and tide, surf conditions and more.
Available to download on Apple and Android, is an all-encompassing beach and water safety app. This app gives you everything you need to know about our Aussie beaches.
Best Tourist App: The Outbound
The Outbound allows you to final local adventures, and who wouldn’t want to know them? This app does support wherever you are in the world, but it has recently added many adventures in Australia, including hiking to Wentworth Falls, hiking the Bondi to Coogee Beach coastal walk, and a Climb Mt. Gower On Lord Howe Island adventure.
The app really does spread the excitement of travel, “whether just down the street or across the globe, by inspiring people to discover, explore, and share their favorite activities and local playgrounds”.
Best Happy Hour App: The Happiest Hour
Do you enjoy a tipple while on holiday? This app will help you grab a drink wherever you may be in Australia! Experience the Australian bar scene and local wines, there are also many small-scale Aussie beer & cider produces listed on the app. Now let’s not forget the happy hour specials listed as well.
Best Wifi App: Free Wifi Finder
Free WiFi Finder is exactly what it says it is…a Wi-Fi finder! Connect wherever you are, at any time or any day, and avoid those overseas roaming fees. This app will also guide you to the free Wi-Fi and map out the route for you.
Although this isn’t a trip app as such, it will still enable your adventure, and allow you to access all of those other apps that will keep you on the road. A simple app with a massive benefit for anyone travelling and who needs internet.
Best Hiking App: Nature Near Me
A great Australian app for hiking and bushwalking. From mountains to bush and beach, Nature Near Me will give you the trek most travelled, updates on weather and preparation on hiking trails around New South Wales. All other states also have their own dedicated apps, so make sure you check all of them out.
Best Translation App: Google Translate
At a point in the not so distant past, quick electronic translations were the stuff of science fiction. While an automatic voice translator still lies beyond the reach of most people, Google Translate can instantly take the text of almost any major language and provide the English translation.
This app can prove invaluable when running into street signs, instructions, or even foreign language restaurant menus. It certainly cannot serve as a substitute for a solid knowledge of the language, nor can it pick up on subtleties of slang or sarcasm, but it can be useful when you need simple, literal translations of important information.
Best Fuel App: The Fuel Map Australia
The Fuel Map Australia app will help you find a fuel station nearby, which everyone needs of course! The app will give you current fuel prices, which enables you to find the cheapest too. This travel fuel app will help you budget on where and when to fill up.
Best Campervan Travel App: CamperMate
Taking to the road and setting out on an adventure is all about exploring what’s on offer both at and on the way to your destination, and CamperMate is the ideal app for this. With a bank of thousands of exciting activities to discover, including top tourist attractions, rainy day recommendations, and tours, this clever little app will really help you make the most of your road trip.
You’re even able to search by region and book whatever activities you want to do directly through the app, often at a discounted rate. It also features reviews from its 150,000 users, including photographs, so you’ll know the best-rated places to go and where you should avoid.
At each point of your journey, CamperMate has your back with directions, too. Offline maps and travel information will ensure you’re able to reach your accommodation with no issues, and it will also recommend nearby campsites when you’re ready to settle down for the night
That’s it, our best road trip app picks! We hope these apps help you along your adventure and make your journey a lot easier and safer.
For more road trips, adventures, happy customer stories and more, come and explore our YouTube Channel!
Bastian is the Sales & Marketing Manager here at Travellers Autobarn. He holds a Master of Commerce in Marketing and International Business Management, and 20+ years experience in campervan hire, road trips and travel.