The 10 Best Travel Apps for Van Life Today

1. Allstays Travel & RV

This is my number one go-to app while traveling in the US or Canada. I could go to several other apps to find the same information, or use google, but why do either when most everything I need is found on one map, in one app? For example, unless I filter, I will see all of the campgrounds, truck stops/gas stations, dump stations, low bridge clearances, rest areas, road grades, Cabelas, REI's, Camping Worlds,  Bass Pro Shops, RV dealers, Propane suppliers, etc. on the map. And as I move the map around, new places will automatically populate. Should I wish to know more about any one of the items, all I have to do is click on it to bring up a page that will give basic information, such as it's address, phone number, website if available, user reviews, etc. And if need be I can hit the Update button to give the developer new information about the spot. Even though there is a small fee to purchase this app, buy it! You won't regret it.


2. Gas Buddy

OK, so yes, I can find the big truck stop gas stations in my AllStays app, and even then click on their websites to get their current prices, but if I want to know the prices of any of the smaller stations around, I use Gas Buddy. Not only do I use it when I am getting low on fuel, but also when I am about to leave one state and enter another. Remember that gas taxes are state-imposed, so the amount that you pay just across the border can be significantly different than what you will pay where you are. This is a crowdsourced app that depends on users for updated prices, so do check when the local prices were last posted. And if you do find that the price has changed, please remember to update the prices for the next traveler. You will be rewarded with points for doing so, and the points can be used to enter the daily drawing for $100 of free gas.


3. Weather Bug

Everybody has their own favorite weather app, and this one is mine. Find out the local weather info automatically, as it will track your location if you let it. Find out what the radar looks like around you, and most important, yes you do appear on the radar map, as when traveling you may not know exactly where you are in relation to a storm otherwise.


4. Waze

Since this is a crowdsourced app, it won't be of much use unless other Wazer's are around, but when they are, it is extremely helpful. You can find out what the road ahead looks like. If the road color turns red, that is an indication that the speed has decreased dramatically. And other Wazer's will let you know whether it is because of construction, or an accident. If you see this in advance, and it looks as if it is going to be a lengthy delay, you can make the decision to find an alternate route. And another alert that you will find valuable is that others will let you know when they have seen police along the way, and whether or not they are hiding using radar. So if you like this app, don't forget to alert others on the road as well, whenever you see any of these things yourself. We are all on this journey together.


5. Trip Advisor

On a relatively recent road trip, my son and I were in New Orleans. Now of course, everyone knows about the French Quarter, and the spooky cemetery tours, which we, of course, found ourselves taking advantage of, however without Trip Advisor, we never would have known that the #1 attraction in New Orleans and #1 museum in the world is The National World War II Museum. If you are a history buff, and we are, it would have been a shame had we not found out about this while we were visiting. I was skeptical, but of course being a crowd-sourced app, the museum lived up to its reputation. Now whenever I am in a new place, I will pull this app up for ideas of things to do, or places to eat. And of course, I will leave my own reviews for the next intrepid traveler.


6. Wi-Fi Map

Low on data or your cell coverage isn't good where you are? Well if you find WiFi nearby you may be able to access it even if it is protected. This app is another crowdsourced service to help us all stay connected, by supplying info on passwords.


7. Roadside America

Tired of going to the same old touristy places. want something, unique, kooky, or just plain strange? Well with this app delivers it all. You can find the world’s largest ball of twine, a statue of Paul Bunyan, mystery spots, and even the Spam Museum. Until you start using this app, you won't believe what oddities are out there waiting for you to visit. In fact, there are over 12,000 of them. You can search by clicking the Near Me icon, or you can click on themes, to find just your interests. They range from zombies, & pet cemeteries, to dinosaurs and monsters. If you see something that piques your interest, you can click on the heart icon to save it to a list for future visits. And don't forget to click the green "Been There" button to have a green checkmark appear over the item on the map, so that you will have a history list to remind you of all your strange outings.  And if you know of an oddity that has not yet been added to this site, be sure to submit it for consideration. The app costs $2.99 and that price allows you to unlock one of seven US/Canadian regions on the map. Each additional region will cost another $1.99 to unlock, or for $5.99 you can unlock all six of the remaining regions. If you do a lot of traveling, then get all seven regions. 



8. RoadAhead

This app will automatically locate you on a limited access highway, and then list each exit by number, crossroad, and town, the distance to that exit, and which traveler's needs are available. The results can be overwhelming, especially if you are driving through, or on the outskirts of a city, so you will want to display just the categories that you are currently interested in, such as fast food, groceries, pharmacies, etc. and whether or not they are currently open. You can also decide how far from the exit you are willing to travel, anywhere from 1 mile to 10 miles max. And choose which maps that Road Ahead uses, Apple, Google or Waze.


9. AroundMe

But what if you want to know what is around you when you aren't on an interstate? Well, this versatile app is good even at your destination, as it finds services and stores that are nearby. When you open this app, you will select what it is that you are looking for, and a list or map will appear, whichever you set it for. Some of the various categories that you can select from are, banks, restaurants, supermarkets, theaters, and parking, Once you select a place on the map, you will be taken to a map with directions, a link to the website, phone number, menu, etc.


10. Star Walk

Travelers want to know what is around them of course, and all of the previous apps do just that. But don't forget to look up to the heavens to see what is around you as well. Especially if you are in a place such as southern Utah, where the light pollution is so low that you can still see the Milky Way without squinting.Using the night mode setting of the Star Walk app, point your phone in the direction that you are looking to get an interactive experience of the night sky. Find out instantly which stars, constellations, planets, or other heavenly bodies you are viewing. And if you desire, get notifications about meteor showers, eclipses, and more.

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