5 Free Mobile Apps for the 'Smart' Road Warrior

Many have claimed the title before, however, guest blogger Reggie Sizemore believes he is the true "King of the Road." A self-proclaimed road warrior, Reggie developed an affinity for the open road over the past decade, taking part in numerous long-distance drives both international and domestic. Mr. Sizemore works as a freelance writer in the automobile industry, specifically for companies dealing in auto shipping services.

There is something about the open road that truly humbles me. Maybe it is the long stretches of road with no end in sight. Or maybe it's the multitude of diverse experiences one has while road tripping. Most likely though, it is the fact that road trips can be a complete nightmare.

Whether you forgot the directions at home or those pint-sized noisemakers in the backseat can't control their bladder, it is undeniable that road trips can be bumpy. That is why I have compiled a list of the best (and free!) smartphone apps for surviving the open road. From maps to motels, these apps are designed to ensure a smooth ride for even the most amateur of road warriors.


1.) RoadNinja

What is a road warrior without a weapon? That weapon coming in the form of the RoadNinja application for Apple and Android devices. Named one of the "10 Best Apps for Traveling like a Local" by Forbes, the RoadNinja application enables users to discover new places, map out their trip, and save money with promotional deals, all the while sharing their experiences via social networks.

Personally, my favorite RoadNinja feature would have to be the breakdown of services organized by exits. While on the road I commonly find myself frustrated with a lack of service signs before exits, or signs with outdated information. With this feature, RoadNinja provides the driver with an up to date list of gas stations, restaurants, lodging, etc. for each upcoming exit.

2.) Roadtrippers

The Roadtrippers app for iPhone has set out on a mission with one goal in mind, to lead the road less traveled. As both a web and mobile platform, Roadtrippers aims to add a localized element to the common redundancies of road trips. In an effort to support small businesses, Roadtrippers' database of over 60,000 unique and independent destinations gives users the opportunity to go off the beaten bath and explore the countless hidden gems that local culture has to offer. In addition to having all of these locations at your fingertips, Roadtrippers also allows users to plan and sync itineraries from their computer to their mobile device at the click of a button.

3.) Field Trip

Available for Android and iPhone devices, the Field Trip application serves as your personal guide to all the wonders the world has to offer. With categories ranging from "Architecture" to "Obscure Places of Interest", Field Trip serves as a helpful and informative resource for explorers of all ages who are simply looking for something new to try. Whether it be a restaurant you've never tried before, or that old historic building you never noticed, this app is aims to provide users with a unique experience every time they hit the road.

The most fascinating part about the Field Trip app is the fact that it practically runs itself. Thanks to its extensive database of information from expert sources such as Zagat and Atlas Obscura, as well as your devices GPS, Field Trip is able to run almost completely behind the scenes. By operating in the background of your device, the application will notify you when you are approaching a place of interest as well as provide you with all the necessary information needed for your visit.

Those days of juggling your phone while driving in search of a restaurant are over thanks to Field Trip. Next time you're out on the road, put the phone down, focus on driving, and let Field Trip guide you on your latest adventure.

4.) Postagram

Let's be honest, one of the best parts about road trips is sharing all of your experiences with family and friends. I mean, there is nothing better than showing off how great of a time you had while everyone else was stuck at home right? Ok so maybe rubbing it in their faces isn't exactly the right thing to do, but that doesn't mean you can't share your adventures with loved ones. Thanks to the Postagram app for Android and iPhone, sending a personalized post card is merely a click away.

For only 99 cents Postagram enables users to send a personalized postcard to their friends anywhere in the United States ($1.99 for addresses outside of the country). Printed on thick, glossy postcards at 300dpi resolution, these cards serve as the perfect way to capture and share those special moments while you are off exploring.

5.) Stitcher

Featured on TIME Magazine's "Top 50 iPhone Apps 2013" list, as well as Ben Affleck's list of 10 favorite apps, Stitcher satisfies all of your listening needs while behind the wheel. With its database of over 15,000 radio shows, podcasts and live stations, it is time to ditch the monotonous drawling of obscure radio and the irritating static that comes along with trekking the open road.

In an effort to avoid the hassles of downloading and syncing content, Stitcher's entire library of shows is available completely on-demand. Imagine having stations such as NPR or Wall Street Journal, and everything in between, at your finger-tips, just waiting to be discovered. With the ability to customize stations and playlists, Stitcher gives iPhone and Android users the ability to be your own radio DJ as you brave the open road.

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