roadribbonMy family is about to embark on a marathon road trip to visit both sets of relatives in two different countries.  Generally, I use Google for maps, navigation and even locating restaurants but it is not always the most accurate or informative so I decided to check out what there is in new (and not so new) road-related apps for smartphones. 

7 useful and free apps for the road:

AAA TripTik – iphone -Android – Blackberry – If your husband it is the type to drive five miles to save a penny on gas, this app is for you.  Using your location it provides locations for the nearest gas stations and the latest prices, maps, directions and AAA approved businesses including hotels and mechanics.

Aroundme – iphone –  similar to AAA TripTik.  Tells you what businesses are literally around you.  I downloaded this because it is always good to have multiple resources for restaurant listings.

Yelp  – iphone – Android – Blackberry – In my opinion the most useful for restaurants because they cover a lot of small towns and are for the most part authentic customer reviews but it’s always good to cross reference reviews with other apps.

SitOrSquat – iphone – Blackberry –  Public restroom finder customers enter cleanliness ratings.  Also notes changing tables.  Drawback – covers mostly just cities.

Rest Area Finder  – iphone –  It’s all in the name, but also includes scenic vistas and welcome centers.

MomMaps – iphone – Android –  This nifty little app tells you where the nearest playgrounds, parks, and indoor play areas for your stir-crazy kids to get the lead out.  Downside, only seems to cover larger cities.  

Trapster –  iphone – Android – Blackberry – This app warns you about potential speed traps, red light cameras and check points.  Even though I have no intention of speeding, running a red light or having the necessity to avoid a check point—I downloaded this anyway!

Of course all apps should be used by the passenger while on the road not the driver!    

See other great tips on how to be prepared on the road this season:

The Coolest Family Road Trip Gadgets   

Tech Travel Tips to Keep Kids Entertained