Spring is around the corner for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere. And if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s already summer. Time for a road trip!
Break out the travel guidebooks and load up on sunscreen: The first day of spring is barely a month away, so it’s high time to plan your next driving getaway.
Whether you’re manning a sports car with just enough room for you and an overnight bag or an RV kitted out for a two-week trip through the national parks, here are some helpful Windows Phone apps to make your next road trip fun and memorable.
If your middle name is “Leadfoot,” you may want to download this app so you won’t have Smokey on your tail. This app for Windows Phone 7.5 and up shows your current speed in miles-per-hour or kilometers-per-hour. It also tracks your average speed, top speed, and trip time.
One helpful feature is that you can set a speed limit so that if you go too fast, you’ll hear an audio alert to slow down. GPS Speedometer works not just for driving, but also cycling, running and skateboarding.
This free app gives you crowdsourced, real-time information on gas prices at nearby filling stations. Gasoline (or petrol, to those of you living outside the United States) is not cheap. Why pay more than you have to?
Search by choosing your car’s fuel type: regular, midgrade, premium or diesel. You can also search gas stations by proximity or price. And if you help out the GasBuddy community by reporting prices, you may have a chance to win free fuel.
Join millions of drivers across the globe to power this free community-based mapping, navigation and traffic app. Alert other drivers to accidents, speed traps, road closures, or other events on the road. If you get notified of heavy traffic or an accident ahead of you, Waze will reroute you.
And if you’re running late, You can notify your friends or family with an estimated time of arrival and a link showing exactly where you are and your driving progress! In addition to these features, you can also search for the cheapest gas station on your route and get voice-guided navigation so you can keep your eyes on the road.
If you’re on a weeklong road trip, you’ll be staying at a different hotel every night.
This free app for Windows Phone 8 and up is your entry to a database of more than 850,000 hotels worldwide and will help you easily find a hotel room at a good price.
You can search for nearby hotels by tapping Look Around You on the main screen or by entering the name of a hotel. Hotels 4D will then show you the various rates of the hotel as listed by travel-reservation software Expedia, Booking.com or ebookers.com. Tap the rate you’re interested in and you’ll be taken to that website to complete the booking.
The free MSN Travel app is geared more to travel that requires airplanes rather than automobiles, but it also gives you a wealth of trip ideas and travel news. As such, the app is especially helpful when you’re in the planning stages of your next trip.
Here’s a tip: On the app, go to Destinations. There, you’ll see that Travel gives you several nearby places to visit (for me, it’s Napa and Point Reyes National Seashore) and shows photos as well as information on attractions, hotels and restaurants in those areas.
Before you head out, check out our other recent travel-related stories. This one is about automotive apps, here’s one on HotelTonight (great for last-minute reservations) and of course how can we forget the best tips and tricks on using Bing Maps on your Lumia?
So what are you waiting for? The road beckons.