My Top Travel Apps & Resources for Road Trips.

by Gavin Seim: My family and I have been on the road for about three weeks now as I teach workshops and hunt pictorials. Last fall we spent a month and a half. We love to travel and aside from all my gear, I have a plethora of resources that we rely on to make our travels safer, cheaper and a more enjoyable.

I’ve decided to stat a list of my favorites. Besides the essential Google Maps, I find these to be great tools and use most of them even when I’m not out for a long trip. You’re welcome to add your favs in the comments. I’ll also come back and update this or re-post in in the future as I find new stuff.

If you want to follow my photography travels and see where I’ve been, you can do so on my journal, or get frequent updates on my Facebook page. Lets get started…

Our Shamrock 21ss camped near Bryce Canyon Utah. Spring 2011.

All Stays Camp & RV. For Apple and Android.

This $6 app is worth every penny and more. It’s paid for itself countless times in saving money camping, time traveling, and preventing headaches. It’s a must have for campers.

It lists  pretty much anything a camper or RV’er might want. From truck stops to campgrounds, to wall mar parking lots. It’s not perfect and something it misses things but it’s data base is huge and no matter where you are it will usually give you options.

This is my favorite, but All Stays has various other apps that you may find useful. iExit for example shows what’s coming up and the next exit. Check out their website for their offerings.

 

GeoTag Photos Pro. For Apple and Android.

This is a cheap way to get location info into your photos. Make sure you camera and phone time is the same. Turn on this app and start recording. When you get home upload the data and login to there website to A. Use their web app to merge dates into your RAW or JPEG files. or B. Download a GPX file and use it with a LR plugin like JF Geoencoding Support.

Yes you have to keep your phone in your pocket and yes if it shuts down or reboots you need to start the app again. But for just a few bucks you can be tagging your travel images and that rocks.

Gas Book. For Apple.

Here’s a $2 app that’s paid for itself so many times. For a few bucks you get an app that shows you the nearest gas station and their prices. It’s community updated and you can submit and updated price right from the app. That means it actually gets done and prices are usually pretty current.

The database is huge, so even in tiny remote towns stations are usually listed. Sometimes a station will be missing, but you can help out my adding it in yourself. The only complain I have is that since it pulls the latest info from there server, I’ve had the app not work do to a crash on their end more than once.

This is another must have. It’s the best gas app I know of and I can attest that it has saved me over $20 in a single fill up by showing me a station  a few miles away that was almost a dollar a gallon cheaper.

Android Users. This does not seem to be available for, but Android has what seems to be a similar app called Gas Buddy.

 

Right Here. For Apple.

Building your own map of your travels and favorite locations is smart and it makes you feel good every time it grows bigger. I use a google map that I share on my f164 journal.

I love this app. It’s free and it’s so simple. Open the app and all it tells you is your longitude, latitude and a few other location details. Then there’s a button to view it on a map or my favorite email a location.

If find a great spot I quickly email it to myself it a note. Even if I have no service it will save that email till alter. I’ve found no better way to quickly mark a spot and it works without s data connection.

There’s also two apps called I’m Right here that are a bit more feature rich and can also send a text of location. I just need real coordinates linked to a google map however and I still like Right Here the best.

Android users. There an app called Here I Am that look similar.

 

Yelp. For Apple, Android, Blackberry.

This is no secret and it lacks many location because it relies on people adding them. Still it’s pretty mainstream and it can be a great asset to finding a coffee house, a place to eat or a Laundromat. The beauty is the reviews. You can avoid some really cruddy places by just checking out Yelp before you stop for lunch.

Motion X GPS. Apple.

I use this regularly yet, but I though it worth mentioning because it looks really good. There’s  iPhone and iPad version of maps. You can use it like a GPS, but what has caught my attention is a high degree up unreadability and the ability to download details maps for online use.

This is something I’ll update later as I learn more about all the features. I also don’t know one similar for Android, but if you do please shout out.

Days End Camping Directory. Web Download.

This will be for the more dedicated camper, but I’m finding it’s a great resource. It only costs $10, but you have to be a member of the Escapees RV club to get it and that’ around $70 a year.

This is not an app and not even that high tech. It’s a huge PDF files sorted by state and city with user submitted camping places. Most of them are cheap campground or free places where one can park for a nigh, or more.

There’s thousands of listing in here and we often find we can just search the PDF file for a city or area and get a good place to stop. A very valuable resource is you travel much at all.

Freecampgrounds.com Web database.

This is a handy site for free or almost free camping location. There no member charge. It’s a list of user submitted location based on nearest town or city. The website is a bit dated and they don’t always have a spot listed in the area you need, but it yet another took in the arsenal of not getting ripped off for camping.

That’s all for today. Check back and I’ll keep this updated… Gav