I love a good road trip, and I also love planning one – especially if it’s a 7 day California coast road trip.
I don’t think you need tons of different apps to plan a wonderful road trip. The more apps you use, the more time you spend sorting the info and actually planning.
My goal is to help you plan a road trip faster and more efficiently so that you can actually enjoy your Nothern California road trip.
You most likely know all the tools mentioned in this post. But I strongly believe it’s not only about the right apps. It’s about how you use them 🙂
Let’s dive into the best road trip planning apps and tools.
Inspirational Road Trip Planning Tools
Travel Blogs & Feedly
Chances are you already have some favorite travel bloggers that you follow. I believe it’s the best way to get insight from those who have been there. And since you are subscribed to certain blogs, there’s a high chance you have similar tastes to their owners.
Action tip: Add your favorite travel blogs to Feedly.
Feedly allows you to have all the information around the web in one place.
This way when you come across a useful post with road trip tips that you want to save for the future, just save them to the board. And revisit when you’re planning a trip.
I’m sure you heard of Pinterest before. It’s not social media as the majority of us used to think. It’s a visual search engine!
Try searching for keywords like: your destination + road trip / road trips
Pinterest allows you to create boards dedicated to different topics where you can save pins for later.
Action tip: Create a board for your dream road trip. Name it “destination + road trip”. “Big Sur Road Trip” for example.
Being addicted to Instagram I can assure you it’s a great app for planning a road trip. I create folders for specific destinations and when I come across some useful tips I save the posts to a destination folder and revisit them later.
And when I’m planning a road trip I search hashtags for inspiration and specific recommendations.
Google Maps and Google My Maps
As soon as I come across a place or a destination I want to visit I mark it with a star on Google Maps.
When I’m actually about to go on a road trip, I either connect the stars in one route or add them to Google My Maps to make it more visual.
Google My Maps allows you to sort points of interest into categories like restaurants, hikes, or photo spots. This way you can plan out the route and the whole itinerary.
At some point during your road trip, you won’t have cell service. Google Maps allows you to download maps. To do so go to your Google Maps and select Offline Maps from the menu. Select the area you’d like to download offline and click download.
Apps For Notes & Checklists
I use Google Docs for detailed checklists and to-do lists. You can access them later on any device. When I’m in planning mode I usually create those docs on my laptop to later access them on the phone. You can also share the access with your friends.
Note! Save the document offline before you leave so you can access them without the Internet.
Apps For Booking Your Stay
Airbnb & Booking.com
I usually compare the two because depending on the destination the prices for hotels and Airbnbs may vary.
If I’m looking for a stay for one or 2 nights I usually choose hotels. For longer stays I prefer Airbnbs because having a kitchen is the easiest way to cut down on costs.
Note! Always keep in mind that you can negotiate on price when reaching to the owner out directly.