Our Favorite Apps for Vanlife
Life on the road can get complicated. There are tons of logistics from where to camp to where to get gas, never mind the fact that you might not have service in the places you travel to! That’s why we’ve compiled this list of apps we swear by to make your life on the road a little easier.
This app is definitely our favorite for mapping when we have limited service. It is a completely offline mapping system. To use it, download the area you are traveling to before you leave. This allows you to use the app offline. It includes gas stations, restaurants, coffee shops, etc. It even has hiking trails which we have found to be the most accurate of any app as we GPS track on trails. You can route offline on this app but it does have it’s limitations. It does not take traffic into account due to it being offline. It also does not consider the state of the roads it routes you on. We ran into some issues in Costa Rica when we were routed down a 4 wheeler trail (luckily we had a 4×4 rig but it could have been dicey otherwise)! For general way finding however, this app is awesome.
This is basically the ultimate app for all things boon-docking. It can be used completely offline and utilizes crowd sourcing to provide campsites, water and propane fills, restaurants, laundromats, etc. You can filter established campgrounds and wild campgrounds. We used this app religiously throughout our trips to find safe and free places to stay. We were able to go 2 weeks in Costa Rica and 3 weeks in the United States without paying for a campsite!
We love this app to scope out hiking trails. AllTrails will provide you with trail lengths, maps, detailed guides, and reviews. While we currently use the basic version, there are awesome benefits to the pro version. You are ad free and can download maps offline and GPS track. You can also use Lifeline which sends updates to your loved ones and sends out an alert if you don’t finish your hike by your planned finish time.
This app saved us tons of money in gas. You can set the screen to map to search for the cheapest gas in your area. Fair warning it will tell you certain gas stations are 10 cents cheaper than they really are but only if you use Gas Buddy Pay, just look out for this when you are choosing a gas station.
This is a great app similar to iOverlander that is geared more towards RV. It has KOA, Jellystone, Walmart, Cracker Barrel, Casinos etc. Did you know you can stay for free at most Walmarts, Cracker Barrels, and Casinos? It also includes National Parks, State Parks, Sports stores, and more. We utilized it heavily to locate Costco and Sams Club gas stations. If you are members at either of these stores, you can get gas that is often 10 cents or more cheaper than other gas stations.
We primarily used this app to GPS track our entire trip. It was really fun to get home and be able to see exactly where we had been and how many miles we had traveled. With Gaia premium, you have access to Topographic, National Geographic Maps (this includes official national parks maps) and satellite. It also has US Hunting maps with property lines. There is a subscription fee for Gaia GPS Premium, you can use this link to receive a free 6 month trial.
we take a ton of pictures on the road. We utilize Google Photos as one means of backing up our pictures. We also use the app to share albums with each other and our families so they can stay up to date on our travels.
Do you have any apps that have helped you on the road? Let us know in the comments below. As always, get out there and Create Your Own Roadshow!