I love apps. My life on the road is made so much easier by using apps. There are apps for finding campsites, vegan eateries, translating languages, or locating the nearest cheapest gas station or free wifi. And then there’s the apps for entertainment – playing games, finding a meet-up, locating a park or some city art. Here’s a list of the top five apps I use for making life a little easier while driving along, and for enjoying the journey a little bit more. Just click on the name of the app or the photo to go to their website – if you use iTunes, they are available there as well.
Since I’m mobile and travel most of the year, GasBuddy has been the Number One app that I use on the road. I can map out cheap gas ahead of time during the trip-planning stages (if there’s a planning stage) by searching the locations where I want to stop. Or I can find gas along the way by clicking on ”Find Gas Near Me” which searches the nearest stations to wherever I am on the road. It’s been a money-saver and I can’t ask for anything more than that! Free
Recently, I spent a couple of weeks in an area where I had no cell or data signal. That meant that I had no online maps either! I didn’t anticipate this happening, after all, I was within a couple hours’ drive of Seattle, WA, so I was kind of lost on the road without a map. CityMaps2Go is an off-line map app that allows downloading of maps for the area one is traveling to – if I had downloaded the maps around Seattle, I would have had useable maps that didn’t require a signal of any kind to be able to use. The available maps include international locations as well. $1.99
Knowing what the weather is going to be when towing a tiny trailer is critical to a having a successful experience on the road. The weather app that comes standard on my iPhone is good for general information but sometimes having just a bit more info is a better thing and the weather.com mobile app provides exactly what I need to know: the weather right now, the 36-hour forecast, as well as the 10-day outlook. It’s been a very beneficial app for me as I travel the roads, not knowing where I’ll be tomorrow or next week. Free
I really enjoy watching the International Space Station as it zooms across the darkened night or early morning sky. When the United States had a space shuttle up there in space, I stood and watched, totally mesmerized by the dot of light flying by, knowing there were men and women up there, waving back at me as I waved at them. Ok, so they probably weren’t waving but I still waved, in the off-chance that a satellite image might show me waving at them. Ok, so that was kinda far-fetched, too, but I could still pretend! Anyway, this app from NASA gives information for viewing satellites and I have it set up so it emails me daily when the next viewing of the ISS will take place. Since it uses the location services on my phone to tell where I am, I can use my phone to find the coordinates for any place, not just where my home base is. Free
Since changing my eating style to vegan a couple of years ago to try and do a work-around for some of my health-related issues, finding vegan food while out there on the road can be a challenge. I love to cook, and there are lots of resources available for making food to eat, but I really like to eat out sometimes. Even though VeganSteven is not very comprehensive yet, mainly providing locations in or near urban areas, I’m confident that they’ll only grow bigger in their offerings, especially since the availability of vegany food seems to be on the rise. Besides, I like their carrot man logo. Free
So there you have it, my top five favorite apps that make my life a bit easier on the road. Of course, the list wouldn’t be complete without my favorite game app, too. So here’s a bonus: I’m completely addicted to mahjong, and Shanghai Lite is my all-time favorite mahjong app (and I’ve tried a bunch of them!) for playing the game. Free