10 Ways To Use Your Smartphone To Plan Road Trips

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, Walmart Family Mobile. All opinions are mine alone. #DataAndAMovie #CollectiveBias

Going on a road trip this summer? Plan your road trip with ease with these road trip ideas. 10 Ways To Use Your Smartphone To Plan Road Trips

In our continued partnership with Walmart and the Samsung Galaxy S5, I’m back to share with you how you can use your phone to plan road trips. I love taking road trips, but planning can be time consuming.  Over the last few years, I have found that there are some great ways I can save time by using my smartphone to plan road trips!  Yes, I can do it all on my cellphone, while I sit in doctors offices waiting, or even in the car pickup line at school.  It is so nice to be able to actually use my cellphone to handle so many of those must do tasks when planning any vacation, but especially road trips.

10 Ways To Use Your Smartphone To Plan Road Trips

Check out booking site apps.  When you are in the beginning stages of planning road trips, you are likely looking at various places to stay.  I love keeping booking apps like Priceline, Hotels.com, and even Booking.com on my cellphone to check and watch for lower prices on hotels in the areas we will be traveling.  Not only are these handing for planning, they come in handy for those times you decide to stop at the last minute and want to negotiate rates.

Calling hotels directly.  We’ve shared this little travel tip before, but one thing to know when using booking apps, is that they also charge the hotel a fee.  That often means if you call the hotel directly, you will be given a lower rate for your room so they don’t have to pay the booking site fee.  You can easily call the hotel directly while searching to book for a lower rate. And don’t forget about AirBnb. You can download the app right to your phone, open it up and plan your stay!

Find the best apps to use while traveling. These apps will not only save you time, but also money! Best Travel Apps- over 36 recommendations and counting! 36 Best Apps To Use When You Travel

Use Evernote to keep all of your information together.  When you make reservations, have places to pick item up at, what dates you will be traveling, and all of the other pertinent information that comes with planning road trips, you can easily put it together in Evernote so you can access anything on the road at the touch of your fingertips without digging through bags.

Going on a road trip this summer? Plan your road trip with ease with these road trip ideas. 10 Ways To Use Your Smartphone To Plan Road Trips

Use Foursquare and Yelp for reading local reviews.  I love trying out fun new local restaurants when on road trips, and Foursquare and Yelp are the best for reviews.  You’ll see the good and bad, and easily be able to track down what looks like the best choices to enjoy a meal with your family.

Use the Google Maps app as a GPS and to plan your route.  Not only is the Google Map app a great GPS, you can go in ahead of time and plan your route so there are no in car searches at the last minute.  This is great for directing you to your hotel, entertainment destination, or the next unique roadside attraction.

Use Pinterest for searching location and travel tips.  I love Pinterest for looking at travel tips.  Not only can I find great travel boards from fellow bloggers, I will often find unique posts and suggestions about local places to visit, eat, or experience.  I set up a private board for that particular road trip and pin anything of interest there to sort through before we hit the road.

Use attraction and entertainment apps.  If you have taken a road trip before, you know there are tons of roadside attractions as well as the destinations with amusement parks and similar to check out.  Many offer free apps for you to book, buy passes, or even simply check the location map from your phone in case you get disoriented in the park.  I always download the app available for any location or attraction we plan to visit for savings, tips, and maps. While you’re on the road, you can use your smartphone to watch movies. Part of the Walmart Family Mobile Plus Plan, allows you to stream movies (including a free one each month, VUDU ($7 value)). Usually on the weekends and during summer vacations, we have movie nights. With VIDU we are able to stream our favorite movies right in our hotel room, so we don’t miss movie night. Plus this is a cheaper option vs. paying the $$$ they charge to watch a movie in your hotel room.

Use coupon and rebate apps for savings.  There are so many great deal sites out there that give you excellent savings on travel packages, local restaurants, entertainment, and even supplies for your road trip.  I love being able to scan these regularly from my phone as I plan a road trip.

Prepare for safe travel with kids.  When planning a road trip, one thing I always do is to stop right before we leave and take pictures of the family together, and one of each of us individually and store in my phone.  While nobody wants to get lost or imagines it could happen, it is always a good idea to have a recent photo of your children on hand.  This is a simple safety practice I use as a “just in case” for emergency situations.

Download games.  One of the best things about a cellphone on a road trip is that it offers you a great way to occupy yourself or kids on long days in the car.  There are tons of great free apps that offer games, puzzles, and other activities that are family friendly and ideal for a busy road trip vacation.

Of course, you need a good smartphone to be able to download these great ideas and apps, including my 36+ BEST apps to have while you travel.

Find the best apps to use while traveling. These apps will not only save you time, but also money! Best Travel Apps- over 36 recommendations and counting! 36 Best Apps To Use When You Travel

You will also need to have a really good data plan to search the internet, download the apps, and use your phone while on the road. Thankfully, Walmart has us covered for both! Not only can you pick up the latest smartphones from your local Walmart store, like the Samsung Galaxy S5. They also have cell phone plans, such as the Walmart Family Mobile Plus Plan.

And with the extra data included in this plan, you will be able to plan your road trip with ease. The Walmart Family Mobile Plus Plan is just $49.88 per month!

Big News! For the first time, you can grab the Starter Kit (which is a requirement to activate your phone), at a rollback price for $19.88 (regularly $25 bucks, so cheaper than before).  This offer is valid till 7/7/2016. Walmart is here to help you save, so you will have more money to spend on your road trip!

Disclaimer: All prices for phones and plans included in this post are accurate as of the date of posting; however, these prices are subject to change. Please refer to http://cbi.as/3edbq or your local Walmart for current pricing.

Are you planning a road trip this summer? Hopefully my tips on how to plan a road trip using your smaratphone will take a lot of the planning weight off your shoulders! What are some of the challenges you face when planning a road trip?

Leave me a comment below, I would love to hear from you!


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  1. May 17, 2016

    This is a great list of ways to use my phone on trips. I will definitely keep this for future reference, especially with summer approaching!

  2. I use my smart phone to plan so many aspects of my trips. I’m a HUGE believe in the power of Yelp. 😉

  3. May 17, 2016

    We use our phones to find cheap gas, stay in touch with our families and to find places to eat. There are apps for everything!

  4. I have been using my smart phone to plan my trips for years. Yelp is one of my favorite apps and maybe I use it too much because I have been Yelp Elite for the last few years. LOL

  5. Very informative article. Thanks for sharing. We love to travel as a family and these apps would definitely make life a little easier when we are far from home.

  6. We always use our smart phones to plan road trips and travel. These are great ways to this! Bookmarking it, some I didn’t know!

  7. Rebecca
    May 18, 2016

    These are all great ways to use your smartphone to plan a road trip. Using the rebate and coupon apps are indeed a great idea. Thanks for sharing these great travel tips.

  8. Kathy
    May 18, 2016

    These are all some great ideas . We use the gps on our smart phones all the time. I think it’s a great tool to have on your phone.

  9. May 18, 2016

    Great ideas! This is perfect for anyone since most people have these phones and use them for just about everything!

  10. May 18, 2016

    I can not imagine traveling with out my smart phone!! These are great ideas for smartphone useage while traveling!

  11. May 18, 2016

    I take my phone every where with me. I usually play games or use social media if i am the passenger. 🙂

  12. May 18, 2016

    I love Yelp. I use it EVERYWHERE I go. I’m even a Yelp Elite members for posting reviews. It’s great when in the city and traveling.

  13. May 21, 2016

    That is a great tip on theme park apps. We utilized the Universal app on our last trip and it saved us so much time. We rarely waited for more than 10 minutes for a ride.

  14. June 14, 2016

    I absolutely love all of these ideas and found this road trip guide very helpful! Having a smartphone at hand while you’re traveling definitely makes everything so much easier and less time consuming! Very cool post! Thanks so much for sharing your neat ideas!

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