Road Apps

It’s now strange to think that up until last summer’s Pacific Northwest trip, neither of us had a device for connecting to the internet while on the road. Now we travel armed with both an iPhone and an iPad. It has revolutionized the way we research and plan. In April, we booked the Hotel Angelino (thank you Hotwire) and looked up what those strange towers were just off I-15 in California (Ivanpah Solar Power Facility) from the freeway. Last summer a quick Google search told us why all those people were leaning over the bridge railing, turns out it was a lost whale and we should’ve stopped to see her. The iPad has also come in handy for pre-downloading national park newspapers and as a supplemental GPS device. There are thousands of apps out there for all your travel needs. Here are a few of our favorites and how they’ve helped us out. Give them a try:

National Geographic Park Maps – High resolution maps of the most popular parks. Has great detail of hiking trails, topography and points of interest.

Passport to the National Parks – Discussed by Nick in an earlier post here.

iExit – Shows you in real-time what services are coming up at the next Interstate highway interchanges. Came in handy when we needed to satisfy our In-N-Out burger craving.

Gas Buddy – Has a “Find Gas Near Me” feature that shows you gas stations near your current location and the current price/gallon.

BestParking – Displays parking rates for a selected time and duration. Saves a ton of money when you’re in unfamiliar territory with overpriced hotel parking. Also has a website. Using this, we spent $6 on two nights of parking in New Orleans when the hotel would have charged $50. – We more often use Hotwire to get the lowest possible rate, but if you prefer to know the name of your hotel ahead of booking, has a beautifully designed, and easy-to-use app.

OpenTable – Because we love to eat and we don’t love to wait for a table. Helped us find our favorite San Francisco restaurant last summer, L’ardoise.

Yelp and TripAdvisor – Both great apps for finding reviews of nearby food, activities and hotels.

Goby – Search engine for finding events, recreation, attractions, sports and food. You can search by area and time period.

Wi-Fi Finder – Shows you locations of free and paid wi-fi hotspots. Keeps you from having to use up your cellular data.

WordPress (of course) – For staying updated on the road.

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