5 must-have free apps for every road warrior

You are the underappreciated road warrior. Day after day after day, you get your motor running. You head out on the highway. You go looking for adventure and whatever comes your way.

Make it happen, road warrior! We salute you. And we’d also like to help. So here are some free apps that can make your job a little easier, rewarding, and even fun.

1. Set up your stops

Getting from point A to point B is one thing; getting efficiently from point A to point G and all points in between is another. If you’ve got multiple stops to make, take the powerful RoadWarrior Route Planner (Android, Apple, Web) for a spin. Drop your stops into the app, select some preferences (fastest time, shortest distance, avoid highways, and the like) and it’ll find the best route for you. From there, you can use your route in one of several popular GPS apps if you’re so inclined—Google Maps, Waze, and others. The free version lets you plot eight stops at a time, with a 50-stop-per-day limit.

2. Enjoy some road reading

For long hauls, nothing passes the time quite like a good audiobook. And while there are several options out there that charge you per book or a monthly fee, LibreVox (Android, Apple) sports thousands of free, classic tomes for you to enjoy while you’re behind the wheel. You can stream books for convenience or download them on your device so you don’t have to miss a moment should you hit a data dead zone.

3. Manage your mileage

If you’re driving for work, hopefully you’re getting reimbursed for all those miles you’re racking up. But tracking mileage can be a real pain in the bumper. Thankfully, TripLog Mileage Tracker (Android, Apple) makes it relatively painless with IRS-compliant reporting that leverages your phone’s GPS chip to keep track of your miles. The free version lets you manage up to five vehicles but makes you track manually. Paid plans offer automatic tracking, web dashboards, accounting software integration, and more.

4. See the sights

Just because you’re on the road nonstop doesn’t mean you can’t stop and smell the roses once in awhile. If you’re looking for interesting sights, spots, and landmarks, then you should have Roadtrippers (Android, Apple, Web) in your arsenal. Simply tell it where you’re headed, and it’ll relay to you all the cool stuff along the way, from places to eat to scenic views to weird wonders. The free version lets you plot up to seven waypoints, while the paid edition lets you collaborate with friends, download maps, and snag special deals along your route.

5. Make some memories

Look, driving all day can be a grind. But you might look back at these days and remember simpler times on the open road. Why not document your findings with Travel Blog and Journal (Android, Apple) from Journi? Fair warning: The company’s ultimate goal is to get you to buy a photo book. But the app itself is great at grabbing the photos you take and arranging them into cool time- and location-based stories that you can share automatically with friends and family. When you’re ready to reminisce, you can retrace your steps on a map, pulling up photos from each of the places you’ve visited. The free version is pretty full-featured, but there’s also a premium version that adds extra storage, higher-resolution photos, and backup and syncing options.

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