If you’ve never taken a road trip, you’re truly missing out. Train travel in the U.S. isn’t as prolific as it is overseas, so road trips are one of the best ways to see the country and how diverse its cultures and landscapes really are. Technology has surely changed the way we road trip today; long gone are the days when you had to spend hours highlighting your route on a map ahead of time. Or wondering where the next gas station will pop up. Or what to do when construction forces you off your course. Today, those mobile devices we carry around in our pockets do all the work for us. Here are the quintessential apps that will make your next road trip go as smoothly as possible.


There are plenty of navigation apps out there, but Waze is hands down our favorite. Not only does it deliver accurate GPS directions, but it also has a social component that lets users keep each other as informed as possible when traffic, accidents and road hazards hit unexpectedly. You can even connect with your friends through Facebook, which helps you keep on top of everyone’s arrival time or, if you’re the one driving and you’re running late, they can see exactly where you are without you needing to give them a call while on the road. Free; Android, Blackberry, iOS, Windows


If you’re driving a major highway, there are plenty of signs that let you know how long it is until you reach the next rest stop. But if you opt for the more scenic, off-the-beaten-path route, it’s all up to chance. Until SitOrSquat. This app, from Charmin, maps out all the nearby public bathrooms. Users are able to rate the bathrooms—“sit” if it’s a decent bathroom; “squat” if you should wait until the next available stop—and include their opinions and photos…for better or for worse. Free; Android, iOS


We all know how outrageous gas prices can be. When you’re home, you likely know which station to visit for the best possible price. But when you’re driving in unfamiliar territory, you’re at a loss. GasBuddy is the perfect travel companion for finding the lowest gas prices in your area. Just pull up the app and it lists out the nearest stations, from lowest to highest price. It also tells you how far each station is, since a lower price may not be worth it if it’s significantly farther out of your way. Once you pick your station, another tap opens up a map to help you get there. Free; Android, Blackberry, iOS, Windows


Coasting along the highway and suddenly you find your stomach rumbling? Or your eyes starting to get heavy? Not sure which exit you should take to solve your problem? iExit quickly tells you which amenities are offered at the next 100 exits ahead of you. You can sort by lodging, food, gas and rest area. If, say, you’re hungry and craving something specific, you can even search for your favorite restaurant. No more need to rely on those highway signs that seem to zip by before you get a chance to read them. Free; Android, iOS

Note: We are strong advocates against distracted driving, so we ask that you either rely on the passenger in your car to use these apps or else wait until you have the opportunity to pull over and do it for yourself. Please drive safely.