August 18, 2017 4:18:02 PM EDT


Road Apps

by Robert Nason


Professional truck driver with tablet and appsWhen you’re living on the go, maintaining the comforts of home is essential. Anything that can make life on the road easier is worth giving a try. Apps have become a staple for our smart devices, and if you find the right app, it can make a world of difference in your life. For every weird, useless app, like those that make you look 50 years older or 100 pounds heavier, there are apps that can save you money, keep you healthy and entertain you while away from home. We’ve put together a list of apps we think are essential for any journey down the open highway.

If you’re not restricted to a specific fuel provider, then GasBuddy is a must-have app for your road journeys. GasBuddy helps you search for the cheapest fuel nearest to your location or by city, state or ZIP code. It also offers a map so you can easily find the station with the cheapest fuel. The genius behind GasBuddy is that the prices are updated by fellow GasBuddy users and posted with the date of the last update, so users are able to avoid misleading or outdated prices. Free on Apple and Android

Trucker Tools
If you’re looking for more than just the cheapest gas, Trucker Tools should fill your needs. Drivers can search for the nearest truck stop, and get specifics on the number of showers, food, parking spaces and other amenities that are available. Users can also plan their route, and carriers and shippers can even track loads. Free on Apple and Android

Road Trip Scavenger Hunt
Similar to the classic game of I Spy, but instead of driving companions asking what they “spy,” this app will tell you what to keep your eyes peeled for. A great way to kill some travel time and put some miles behind you, this app will keep track of “found” items and point totals of all players. Sure beats the unending license plate game. Free on Android and 99 cents on Apple

Fooducate is an app to help you make better food choices when you shop. Skip trying to decode confusing nutrition labels; with Fooducate, users simply scan the product’s barcode with the phone’s camera. The app grades each product based on scientific research, not trendy diets. For example, skim milk receives an A-minus while a diet soda gets a C-minus. Created by dietitians, not food manufacturers, the app gives unbiased product reviews so you can make informed food decisions. Free on Apple and Android

We’re not encouraging you to break the law – we wouldn’t do that. Trapster, despite its name, is more than a speed-trap locator. This worldwide app offers real-time traffic conditions, road-hazard warnings, as well as locations of red-light cameras and speed-zone changes that tend to sneak up on drivers. Like GasBuddy, it relies on fellow users to update road conditions and post warnings. The app is used by more than 20 million people around the globe, and while it may reduce the amount of speeding tickets law enforcement can dish out, it’s more importantly helping slow drivers down, which can only improve safety on the road. Free on Apple and Android

Road AppsPostagram
Want to memorialize that amazing sunset in Florida or that snow-covered road in Utah? Postagram allows you to send a personalized postcard to anyone in the U.S. for just 99 cents or internationally for just $1.99, and that includes the postage. Snap a photo with your smartphone, write a short message (140 characters) and click send. Make sure to send one to grandma; she hasn’t heard from you in ages. Free on Apple and Android

Lose It!
Drivers looking to lose weight should check out Lose It!. Users can track their weight loss, activity level and calorie intake in an easy-to-use interface. For those who want accountability, the app features the option to share your weight-loss journey with friends on Facebook and Twitter. Can’t remember what you ate last week? Lose It! will email you reports every day or every week so you’ll never miss a step on your journey to wellness. Free on Apple and Android

Workout Trainer
Skimble’s Workout Trainer gives you a personal trainer in your smartphone. Choose from thousands of workouts, ranging from casual to intense, without the use of equipment. Simply plug in your earphones and follow the audio instructions of the workout, even while listening to your favorite music. Don’t know how to do a certain exercise? Watch the video. Sign up for a workout program to be followed over several weeks to help with motivation and track your progress online. Free on Apple and Android

The easy and cheap way to stay connected with family and friends while on the road. The app allows you to make free calls to any user in the world as well as calls to cell phones and landlines for less than most calling-card rates. Skype also allows users to get an online telephone number with voicemail notification by email or text. Free on Apple and Android