You’ve got a destination (or two or three!) in mind. Your gas tank is full, your camper is hooked up and ready to roll. What could go wrong?
There are a few questions you should ask yourself before hitting the road. Did you review your route for any delays or detours? Did you check the weather forecast? If you’re looking for a way to make it easier, check out these apps that will not only make sure you get to where you want to go but avoid any weather-related issues that could slow the journey or stop it altogether.
With that in mind, we created a list of apps to make your travels go smoothly, along with some of the benefits based on reviews from the app stores. As a bonus, we’ve included the Tollsmart Toll Calculator to calculate the cost of toll roads, and the USA Rest Stops app so you know where to go when you have to, well, go!
AccuWeather: Weather Alerts
(AccuWeather International, Inc.) — Get the latest forecast updates, in-depth forecast news and severe weather alerts so you’re ready for any sudden changes in weather. You can also access hyper-localized mapping layers, including its temperature contour map, and live tropical storm radar.
Benefits: The app’s RealFeel & RealFeel Shade Temperature® technology lets you know the difference between how the weather looks and how it actually feels. The app also provides dew point, UV index, visibility, allergy, precipitation, air quality index reports and more.
Reviews: Apple 4.6 stars, 1.5M ratings | Google Play 4.0 stars, 2,528,665 ratings
Pricing: Free (Offers In-App Purchases)
Dark Sky Weather
(Dark Sky Weather) The app’s hyperlocal weather information tells you the weather right up to the minute, with minute-by-minute hourly predictions and hour-by-hour weekly forecasts. The smooth radar animations show you the path of the storm: how it’s moving and where it’s headed. You can also go back in time to see what the weather was!
Benefits: The advanced notification options lets you select up-to-the-minute weather alerts, severe weather alerts or even customized alerts for various weather conditions. Check the weather without unlocking your phone with the Dark Sky widget. Or install the app for your Apple Watch and have it as close as your wrist!
Reviews: Apple 4.7 stars, 241.6K ratings
MyRadar Weather Radar
(MyRadar Weather Radar – Aviation Data Systems, Inc.) The highest rated top 5 weather app, MyRadar Weather Radar sends weather and environmental alerts, including alerts from the National Weather Service such as Tornado and Severe Weather alerts as well as animated weather radar around your current location. The app also gives advanced rain alerts including details on intensity and duration, along with an ever-increasing list of weather and environmentally-related data layers.
Benefits: The app has a “wildfires” layer to allow users to stay abreast of the latest fire activity around the United States and an earthquakes layer to stay informed about the latest reports on seismic activity. In addition to the free features of the app, additional upgrades are available.
Reviews: Apple 4.8 stars, 763K ratings | Google Play 4.5 stars, 245,324 ratings
Pricing: Free (Offers In-App Purchases); * Aviation Charts subscription (not required in order to use MyRadar) ($24.99 USD per YEAR)
Clime: NOAA Weather Radar Live
(NOAA Weather Radar Live — Weather or Not Apps, LLC) Clime: NOAA Weather Radar Live is an all-in-one weather tracker that offers real-time radar images, severe weather alerts and accurate weather forecasts. The radar overlay on the interactive map uses high resolution and vivid colors to show areas of precipitation, while the snow depth map displays the detected snow cover and depth. Full list of radar images on the developer’s website.
Benefits: Push notifications tell you when there’s a weather alert for the bookmarked location. The app provides 24-hour and 7-day forecast along with other weather information: pressure, humidity, wind speed, visibility, dew point, and temperature: current, today’s minimum and maximum and “Feels Like” temperature.
Reviews: Apple 4.5 stars, 763.5K ratings | Google Play 4 stars, 341,818
Pricing: Free (Offers In-App Purchases; Premium version with extra features available for a fee)
(Google Maps) Google Maps has more than 220 countries and territories mapped, with hundreds of millions of businesses and places. The app offers real-time GPS navigation, traffic, and transit information, as well as automatic rerouting based on live traffic, incidents, and road closures.
Benefits: The app allows you to create lists of your important places, and use Live View to see the way you need to go. Offline maps allow searching and navigation without an internet connection, while the indoor maps helps you find your way inside big places like airports, malls and stadiums.
Reviews: Apple 4.7 stars, 3.9M ratings | Google Play 4 stars, 13,574,539 ratings
inRoute — Intelligent Routing
(inRoute – Intelligent Routing — Carob Apps, LLC) Featured as a Best New App on the US App Store for Navigation, inRoute lets you plan optimal routes or customize your course using weather, elevation, curves and more, with voice-guided turn-by-turn directions automatically check your route for severe weather. Search along your route for gas, hotels, campgrounds or dining options.
Benefits: Easily add places to the map using a Dropped pin, Search, or Contacts, then sync routes and pins between devices. Routes are stored on your device so you can access them even if you lose your connection.
Reviews: Apple 4.6 stars, 5K ratings
Pricing: Free (Offers In-App Purchases; inRoute Pro for iPhone, iPad, CarPlay & Mac at $4.99 monthly, or $39.99 annually with 1-week free trial)
Bonus App Info
Tallsmart Toll Calculator
(Tollsmart Toll Calculator — Tollsmart LLC) The first app to calculate toll costs for any routes across the US, Tollsmart is the most comprehensive and accurate free toll calculator app on the market. The expanded coverage includes all tolls in Canada and Mexico as well as specific European and South American locations, among others.
Benefits: Select transponder accounts to include associated discounts and know the price of tolls at the time when you’d drive through them (variable prices are integrated with calculations). Calculate (and navigate) with Google or Open Street Maps. See where your transponder is (and isn’t) accepted.
Reviews: Apple 2.2 stars, 22 ratings | Google Play 2.5 stars, 191 ratings
Pricing: Free for 2-axle passenger vehicles (Offers In-App Purchases; $2.99 monthly subscription fee for adding multiple vehicles or additional vehicle sizes including trailers, RVs, commercial vehicles and trucks up to 9-axles in size.)
USA Rest Stops
(USA Rest Stops — Innovative Software Technology, LLC) Find the nearest rest stop in the US, including on interstates, US highways, and state highways. Browse by state or route or use the map to locate traditional rest areas as well as welcome centers and service plazas on turnpikes.
Benefits: The map view lets you see how far the next rest stop is and send information to various navigation apps. You can also mark rest stops as a “favorite” and see the number of car and truck parking (if available).
Reviews: Apple 3.3 stars, 163 ratings | Google Play 3.5 stars, 1,124 ratings
Pricing: Free (Offers In-App Purchases)