Planning Tools and Apps – Must Use for Your Next Travel: Traveling is fun and a great way to explore nature and the great outdoors.
However, it can quickly become a mini-disaster or an eventless journey from point A to B if you don’t plan it well.
If you love to travel and enjoy the trip even before you get to your destination, you’ll need a detailed plan.
What better way to do that than with trip planning tools and apps?
You don’t need to always be checking a physical map while trying to figure out what one symbol or another means.
Your smartphone or GPS device can help you plot your route and know about attractions and stops of interest along the way.
We’ve done the work and selected road trip planning apps for your next travel.
Top 15 Trip Planning Tools and Apps: Must Use for Your Next Travel
1. Google Maps + My Maps
Google maps trip planner is one of your best choices.
It’s loaded with features to make it as detailed as you want.
You can plot out directions between different points and get live traffic updates.
Google maps will even update you if there’s a faster route than the one you’re currently on.
You can plot photography spots, hikes, restaurants, and other points of interest.
You’ll agree that having all these on your map makes it easier to plan your itinerary.
That’s not all; there are a few hacks that can help you squeeze more use out of Google maps:
Offline maps—My Maps works best online.
However, keep the app running even when you stop.
Doing so will let the GPS tracker still work even if you get to locations without cell service.
You’ll inevitably get out of service at some point on your trip.
So, it’s best to download an offline map ahead.
That’ll make everything work smooth when you’re out of reach.
Planning a road trip is one thing, having a vehicle to pull it off is another.
It’s unnecessary to buy an RV because you like the outdoors.
Why not rent? That’s where Outdoorsy comes in.
It’s your good, old-driving road trip planner online.
Simply let them know the trip dates and where you’d like to pick you up and you get access to many suitable RVs, campers, and vans you can rent.
If you own one of these and you don’t have a trip planned in the near future, you can rent out your vehicle with Outdoorsy as well.
This is one of the best road trip planners, as it’s specifically designed for the road.
It helps you plan a route from point A to point B.
Enter your starting and endpoint, then toggle the categories to choose camping & RV, food & drink, outdoor & recreation.
Roadtrippers will help you find points of interest along the route.
A nice feature of this app is that it’s collaborative.
You can create a route and share it with your friends.
They can also contribute to the same map.
That way, everyone’s interest is considered and highlighted on the map. Try these trip planning tools and apps
4. Travel Blogs
If you want to visit a place for the first time, asking someone who’s already been there is a reasonable move.
That’s why travel blogs made it to this list.
These travel planning websites offer routes, inspirational road trip photos, first-hand guides, and hacks.
Some even give travel itinerary planner templates.
The internet is full of these types of websites, and there are lots of good ones.
Simply search for your next destination and travel blogs with good information will pop up.
5. Randy McNally Trip Maker
If you want to plan a trip and customize your route with more than 5 stops, this is the trip planning tool for you.
It lets you create road trips and customize your route with a drag and drop function.
There are many categories to choose from and a filter of things to do on your trip.
You can also print out your driving directions.
It’s a good idea to have a physical copy of your customized route.
You don’t want to get stranded in a backcountry without cell service and a map.
6. The Dyrt
This is a highly rated trip planning tool, and more people are counting on it.
The road trip planner has a collection of the largest reviewed campsites in America.
It’s a desktop app that’s also mobile-friendly.
That way, you can find campsites on the go and download maps to use offline.
You get a 90-day free trial. Afterward, you have to pay for the pro version.
7. Free Campsite
If you’re looking to camp outside official camping grounds, this is your go-to for finding sites.
It’s called dispersed camping.
It’s a crow-sourced tool that gives access to camping spots and reviews from users.
So, you can choose which suits you.
Search the map for permitted, free, or paid camps on your route.
You can’t book one ahead yet, but you have the chance to research the conditions and offers before you start your trip.
3. Google Images
This might seem weird to be on the list, but we’ve seen people plan trips because of what they saw.
Seeing beautiful images of a place might inspire you to go there.
When searching for a place to visit, checking Google images can give you an idea of what to expect.
You might even get an idea of activities to do that you didn’t know of before.
Even though Yelp was not created as a trip planning tool, you can use it as such.
After you’re done creating and planning your route, you can find things such as restaurants, car repairs, etc. along your route via Yelp.
It might seem unnecessary at first, but when you need to find a service closest to your location during your trip, Yelp will come to the rescue.
This is a useful app to plan your next trip.
It wasn’t created specifically for this purpose, but you can use it as a trip planning tool.
From inspiration to guides, best routes, hacks, and almost anything else you need for a road trip, you can find it here.
It works as a visual search engine-Pinterest
Input a destination idea and you’ll see many boards created by people who’ve been there and the things they have to say about it; mainly with pictures.
This is a pretty neat trip planning tool.
It’s a live map updated by a community of road travelers.
One of the coolest things about the app is that people who have passed a road ahead of you can update the map with the current conditions.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be aware of traffic slowdowns, obstacles on parts of the road, etc. beforehand?
That’s what you get with this free road trip planner.
Users can share tolls, gas, and small talks as well.
It’s a subsidiary of Google by the way.
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You didn’t think we were going to skip this, did you?
It’s one of the biggest trip planners online.
It boasts of over a billion reviews and opinions! That’s a huge database of feedback.
It’s best used to get reviews on hotels and certain places on your road trip.
You can book hotels on it as well, as it offers competitive rates and a fair cancellation window.
13. All Trails
If you’ll be hiking on your next trip, this is the right trip planning tool for you.
You can find and save hikes all over the US.
You’ll also find trail guides, reviews, photos, and many more.
This is one of the Trip Planning Tools. Have you ever been in a situation where you overshot your road trip budget, and gas is the biggest culprit?
With this trip planning app, that’ll be a thing of the past.
Gasbuddy helps you estimate how much gas will cost for your trip.
Simply enter your waypoints, choose your fuel type, and there you go.
Know just how much it’ll cost to fuel your trip.
15. Rec Gov Camp
If you love visiting national parks and public lands, you’d love what this trip planning app offers.
It adds a lot of convenience to your trip planning, as you can book pretty much everything on offer on federal lands.
From road permits to entry reservations, campsites, road lottery tickets, and much more.
Your love for the outdoors does not need to be tamed because of traveling inconveniences.
The trip planning tools on our list will cater to all your needs for your next road trip.
Maps, routes, places of interest, campsites, and so on, will not be an issue anymore.
Simply choose some of these tools and use them when next you’re planning a trip.
Remember to take lots of photos and have fun.