Whether you’re planning a day trip to your neighbouring town, a weekend escape or an epic cross-country escapade, be sure to download these essential apps before you hit the open road.
1. Google Maps
Transforming how we get from A to B, it’s hard to imagine there was a time when embarking on a road trip involved paper maps, patience, and a few roll downs of the window to ask friendly strangers if you’d missed the turning (yes, was always the consistent answer). Today, a GPS, such as Google Maps, is a must for drivers, offering real-time traffic and transit updates and alternative routes, an option to filter directions by the fastest or toll-free routes. And, for those worried about burning through their data, you can also save points of interest on Google Maps and use it offline.
2. my nrma app
Take the stress out of route-planning and discover new places to see, eat and play, with point-to-point road trip and local’s guide itineraries. The handy ‘Maps’ feature also allows you to search your nearest and cheapest fuel and parking, as well accommodation, attractions, food and drink, experiences, national parks and more. Better yet, NRMA Blue Members receive discounts on favourite brands including Caltex (up to 5cpl off on fuel from participating stations), Spotify, TFE Hotels and Travelodge, NRMA Holiday Parks and Resorts, Thrifty Car Hire and more. The my nrma app is also a lifeline should your car breakdown, with one touch roadside assistance, resolving flat batteries, towing, tyre and fuel change, or lockout assistance.
Whether you’re embarking on an epic double-digit cross-country drive or a short 45 minutes to the neighbouring town, no road trip is complete without a soundtrack. Keeping those long stretches of road entertaining and evoking precious memories in years to come, music-streaming services such as Spotify allow you to access to millions of tracks by thousands of artists on any device. Search as you go, create your own playlists, or listen to curated playlists based on your listening behaviour or your fellow users. There’s also an option to download playlists to listen to offline. Ideal if you want to avoid using your data or lose internet connectivity. Did we mention you’ll also have access to a library of podcasts too?
Cost: Free or choose from Premium subscription options. NRMA Blue Members receive a free 60 day premium trial | Download for Android or Apple
You’re covering the cost for fuel and parking, your mate’s James is covering accommodation and Jenn has the first day’s breakfast shop sorted, you’re all splitting the restaurant bills equally, but then Lucy also supplied the snacks and a bought you and Jenn a couple of rounds of coffee over the weekend. Travelling with friends and tracking expenses and IOUs can quickly become complicated. Take the guess work and awkwardness out of who owes who what with Splitwise. Simply, create a ‘Group’, add your travel buddies, and as group members add different expenses in differing amounts, it’ll add or subtract for a running tally of what each individual person owes and to whom.
Stretches of road and endless landscapes can make for great viewing, but they can also elicit cries of, “Are we there yet?” from the young passengers in the back seat. With its large archive of kid-friendly content available to downloaded offline, online streaming service Netflix can be a handy app for parents needing something more than scenery and games to distract the kids and get some quiet time, without having to worry about their data.