"I Can't Drive, 55!"
Whether its a midnight White Castle run a state over or a multi-state romp to a beach somewhere the sun is shining I've got exactly what you need right here. In this list I will outline some of the very best apps the app store has to offer to make the trip faster, cheaper, safer and more fun then it ever possibly could have been without our trusty friend, the iPhone. So kick back, take some notes, and have a mini burger in my honor when you get there and realize the drive was just as much fun as the destination.
NAVIGON North America
Ok, I know this is crazy pricey, and I promise nothing else here will be. But if your going to travel, do you really want to spend half the time figuring out where you are going? Of course not! With pretty much every possible feature, this is hands down the best navigation app in the app store. Turn by turn, a great interface, easy to read, easy to control... I can't say enough about this. BUT! All is not lost. There are multiple versions of this app, around 30 bucks a piece, by region. Don't need the whole US? They have one for the west, east central... Hell, even Europe and Australia! (I'll cave... if you need a freebie, and you have someone to help be your "voice," you can get away with Google Maps. It will get you there.)
If you're like me, then you are CONSTANTLY forgetting stuff. I can pack myself a lunch for work, and leave it on the counter. I'm that bad. But fear not! There is of course "an app for that." With Packing Pro you have a crazy amount (I mean crazy, just look at the screenshots) of power of your packing list. You can create, edit and even use sample lists to make your trip absolutely perfect. Never forget that *extra* pair of underwear again.
FlickTunes Music Player — Gesture Controls for Car & Gym
Keep your eyes on the road and control your music library using finger gestures with FlickTunes. Customize the controls (or use the presets which are pretty perfect as is) and give it a default playlist and your ready to go. Flick left to skip a song, flick right to go to the next song. Flicking up or down will pause or play and using multiple fingers does even more things! Keeping your eyes on the road will not only keep you and your friends safe, it might save you a ticket. Plus it will just plain make your friends jealous and isn't that always secretly a little fun? (Note: This works best with a dock in your car to play the music through the car speakers.)
Fuel Finder: Cheapest Gas in the US and Canada
Tired of paying top dollar for gas? Try Gas Buddy. It will save you the cost of the app the first or second time you use it by finding the best prices around you updated by your peers. On top of that, it helps out by telling you if the station will have an ATM or food of some sort. People who travel a lot will really save money with this app.
Ok so you've got a location, gas, music and all your stuff loaded in your car... What about food? Doh! You forgot to plan ahead where your going to eat on the way?! No worries, this is where Yelp! excels. Look nearby using the iPhone's location capabilities for a place to stop and grab a bite to eat. Make sure it will not only fill you up, but be a good experience with their user reviews and photos. Take the time to post your own review and make the app that much better.
Priceline.com: Hotels, Flights & Rental Cars
You've seen the commercials, now own the App. With Priceline you can save up to half off of hotels, even last minute. When your going to a place you've never been or even frequent all the time, you always need a place you can trust to rest your head. With thousands of user reviews and MY personal seal of approval, your hotel experience doesn't have to be another night of you throwing the sheets in a pile and considering sleeping in the bathtub... Or the car.
Where To? - Discover your next destination using GPS
Where To? takes the best parts of Google's search engine and Navigon's POI and merges them seamlessly together to give you one of the best apps in the app store to answer a simple question: "Where to?" With this app you can find restaraunts, clubs, bars or historical monuments. With over 700 categories and 2,200 brands of things to see and do you will never have that awkward moment again where everyone is stumped on your one weekend away. Oh, did I mention it works seamlessly with Navigon to get you right to the doorstep of whatever you find?
The Weather Channel®
A pretty simple yet very robust app for checking the weather. Live, local weather. The ability to use your current location or a preset favorite. Even a daily video of the weather outlook for the whole US. This is the obvious choice if your day on the beach depends on it.
iLoader for Facebook - Photo Video Batch Uploader with Camera Effects and Filters
So you took all these pictures and videos from your roadtrip... How do you get them off your phone and onto your Facebook? Well, I guess you could use the Facebook app and do it one by one... OR you could batch upload all of them at once with iLoader. iLoader is a great app for uploading, rotating, creating photo albums, tagging and more for tons of pictures and video at once. No internet? Save a batch for uploading when you get back to the civilized, internet-enabled world.
License Plate Game
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." That being said, I couldn't leave you guys without a game or two. First in line is a classic game formatted for the iDevices. "The License Plate Game." Who hasn't driven down a long stretch of highway and tried to see how many states you can get? This game makes it easy to browse, add and keep track of all the ones you see with a neat feature to add a badge on the actual app icon with either how many states are left, or how many you have done. How many can you get?
The second game I'm going to recommend is a little something called Road Trip Bingo. Its a game you can play on long roadtrips that combines bingo with an "I Spy" kind of game. Find things like dogs, sports cars, police car or even your own custom items and try to get bingo before the other person.
The classic game from The Discovery Channel is on the iPhone and it is a pretty smooth experience. Answer questions "on the way to your destination" and try to outscore the other people in your car. 3 wrong answers and you can pull over and let the person out on the side of the highway (just kidding!). Compete online for bragging rights and even use your own music to make this game a must have that will keep you and your friends busy for hours.