Comparing options for your next adventure

Comparing options for your next adventure

Travel planning is simultaneously exciting and daunting. 

On the one hand, the thrill of a new adventure sends adrenaline flowing as you dream about new discoveries and memories. 

On the other hand, there are all the stops and stays to plan, info and reservations to keep track of, and the overarching fear of missing out (FOMO) on a must-see place along your trip itinerary.

If you’ve been conducting your travel planning by frantically searching multiple sites, digging for reservation info in your email, creating spreadsheets, or other time-sucking planning strategies, there is a better way. 

Travel planning apps take the guesswork and stress out of planning vacations by inspiring, organizing, and guiding your travel itinerary. But not all travel planning apps are created equal. 

In this post, we’ll compare features of existing tools to help you choose the best trip planning app. 

Comparing options for your next adventureComparing options for your next adventure

How we built this list

We’ve been building travel-planning apps since 2012. Over that time, we’ve gotten to know our competition really well. We’ve also deeply connected with what our road-tripping crew wants and doesn’t want in a travel planning app that knocks it out of the park.

To build this list, we tried out our competition and dug deep into other apps’ features. What follows is a detailed review of what other travel planning apps feature compared to Roadtrippers.

What to ask of your travel planning app

We’ve framed this article with a series of questions to ask of your app as you search for the right trip itinerary planner. 

We hunt for things ourselves this way, so we figured it’d be a good way to organize our information. 

Will your travel app inspire you? 

Most of our competitors only offer tools to help you pick and organize the pieces of your trip. Then, it’s up to you to find travel inspiration elsewhere. 

That’s why it’s important to ask your travel planning app if it’ll offer travel inspiration for you. If not, it might be time to look elsewhere. 

From day one, Roadtrippers has been unique in this regard.

Our thesis is, “We help people discover interesting things along the way and avoid the fast food and big box nation suggestions.”

Roadtrippers

We were built by travelers who live and breathe the places and spaces that happen on trips. 

The stories from these travelers then live in our app so you can harness the collective energy of the road-traveling community.  

Source: Anja via Unsplash

Take our Extraordinary Places series as an example. This is in-depth content created by our community for off-the-beaten-path stops in every state. Our content then flows into the Roadtrippers travel planning app so you can be inspired by these stories as you plan your trip. 

And then there are our trip guides. These are user-generated trip itineraries, with stories and reviews from fellow travelers, that you can use to customize your own trip. 

Best of all, we’ve woven all of the data and stories from 38 million real-life trips taken on our platform to create Roadtrippers Autopilot™. Autopilot uses the power of human trips plus supercomputing skill to suggest an entire trip itinerary for you based on just a few questions. From there, you can customize the trip as you like. 

Our handwritten content combined with the power of Autopilot™ makes us the best travel planning app for travel inspiration. 

How will your trip-planning app plot your route?

Only one of our competitors’ apps asks if you’re driving an RV or a car. This is a critical question because trip routes for RVers can be significantly different from those for car trippers.

For example, a scenic trip off the beaten path might be great for a convertible road trip but a disaster for an RV due to low-clearance bridges and small gas stations. 

Additionally, it’s important that your app tell you how one route over the other may impact fuel economy by vehicle type. Folks traveling in large SUVs may want a more direct, fuel-efficient route whereas people in smaller cars might be more inclined to the scenic route. 

That’s why your travel planning app should ask you about the vehicle you’re driving before it starts helping you plan your route.

Roadtrippers is one of the few apps that does this. We’ll even estimate the fuel cost of your planned trip based on your vehicle type so you can decide your route accordingly. 

How long will it take to plan my trip?

The goal of a travel planning app is to simplify the process of trip creating. Not all apps are created equal in this regard. Some even require you to use outside tools to build a complete trip. Most take large chunks of time that could be spent dreaming about your vacation. 

Roadtrippers Autopilot™ is the only trip-planning tool that significantly speeds up the planning process by autogenerating a trip that anyone can use as a baseline to easily add/drop places.

Just answer a few simple questions, and then Autopilot™ does all the heavy lifting for you. It uses data from over 38 million real-life trips to build the foundation of your itinerary. From there, you can fine-tune your vacation by adding extra stops, stays, and detours right within the app. 

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Roadtrippers Autopilot Roadtrippers Autopilot

Questions your RV route planning app should ask you

RVers need a travel planning app that plots a safe and sensible route. We say sensible because many of our competitors offer one-size-fits-all trip planning that doesn’t adjust for RVers.

RVers need campgrounds, gas stations that accommodate big rigs, and fun, camper-focused stops along the way.

That’s why the app you choose should ask you questions to build RV-safe routes for you.

Here’s how the Roadtrippers app does this for RVers:

  • An RV-safe route is plotted for you based on the specific dimensions of your camper 
  • Campgrounds (and free overnight parking) are shown along your route, many spots are bookable in-app
  • Roadtrippers Magazine is stacked with RV-focused travel-inspiration content to help you find the perfect activities as you roll

What about waypoints?

Waypoints are planned stops along your trip. Hotels, campgrounds, restaurants, and attractions are a few waypoint types.

Ask your travel planning app questions like these:

  • Can I edit, rearrange, and remove waypoints? You should be in the driver’s seat of your trip planning. Roadtrippers let’s you customize waypoints to your heart’s content — many of our competitors do not.
  • Can I add custom notes to each stop? Having reservations and other info saved where it makes the most sense is handy. When you use a travel planning app like Roadtrippers, you can put custom notes for any stop, so this information lives where it belongs. Many of our competitors don’t offer this feature, meaning you may scramble to find reservation info in your email or spreadsheet instead of having it where you need it.
  • Can I change my route? Believe it or not, there are a few travel planning apps out there that make it difficult to change your route after initial planning. The Roadtrippers app has a drag-and-drop feature that allows you to move, modify, and add to your route on an interactive map.
  • Suggested stops? Sometimes you want to leave the trip inspiration to your travel planning app. Autopilot™ is our tool that plans a whole trip for you based on your answers to a few questions. None of our competitors offer this sort of trip planning.  

Off the beaten path or on it? 

Your app should allow you to customize your route, whether it’s on main roads or not.

While some of our competitors support this, none of them have the library of content we do, including our Trip Guides and blog content. This content is right at your fingertips in our travel planning app, helping you with travel inspiration as you roll.

Insider knowledge

The best travel planning apps feature local information about destinations. Roadtrippers combines rich content with real-life reviews to help you live like a local when you travel. 

Will your travel planning app help you create an affordable trip?

What help is a travel planning app if it plans a trip well outside your budget? 

The Roadtrippers app shows you the approximate fuel cost for the trip in your specific vehicle. Locations in our app also feature pricing information and reviews so you know what to expect. 

Autopilot™ will even plan an entire trip for you based on the budget range you select — something not offered by any other travel planning app. 

Trip planning app based on your budgetTrip planning app based on your budget

Who’s navigating? 

Hard to believe, but many travel planning apps out there don’t have navigation built in. 

You could create an entire trip using one of our competitor apps only to have to manually recreate that trip in another navigation app like Google Maps. 

Roadtrippers is one of the few travel planning apps with navigation built in, meaning you can plan and navigate your trip from the same app. And our navigation is RV-safe too so you can rest easy as you roll. 

Will you play nice with Apple CarPlay?

We want easy access to our trips just like you do. That’s why we built the Roadtrippers app to sync with Apple CarPlay. We’re one of the only travel planning apps that’ll show up on your car’s in-dash screen this way. 

What about reviews?

Ask your travel planning app if it’ll show you peer reviews of the places you want to stop.

Roadtrippers shines here. You can read about real-life human experiences for just about any waypoint we have.

There are competitors out there that do this too, but they just focus on showing you the reviews. It’s then up to you to find a different system to add in your stops and build out your trip plan.

Do all that in one place with the Roadtrippers travel planning app. 

Offline maps?

RVers especially tend toward areas where cell coverage is limited. When this happens, it’s important to have a travel app that let’s you download maps for offline use. 

Roadtrippers Premium offers this so you can navigate the radio-free zones, many of our competitors do not. 

Source: Denys Nevozhai via Unsplash

Travel information or travel inspiration?

Travel planning apps from many of our competitors serve mainly as storage tools for gathering and organizing trip information.

That’s cool, but we think a travel planning app should inspire and guide you while providing a great tool for planning, navigating, and enjoying your ideal trip.

That’s why we built Roadtrippers, an app that captures the heart of travel while offering all the practical tools needed for your trip. 

Can you trip plan with friends? 

Trip planning is better when it’s a team effort. Roadtrippers lets you add collaborators to your trip so you can build it with friends and family. 

Who is the Roadtrippers app for?

Roadtrippers is for RVers seeking a one-stop shop for campgrounds, RV parks, overnight parking, RV-safe routes, fuel stops, and more.

Roadtrippers is for car trippers seeking the best hotels, restaurants, attractions, and quirky stops along the way. 

Roadtrippers is for groups of friends and family planning travel together. 

And the Roadtrippers app is for travel inspiration, trip planning, and navigation that happens all in one place. 

Who is the Roadtrippers app not for?

If you’re planning on flying or doing a lot of international travel on your trip, there are other apps we’d recommend to complement Roadtrippers because we can’t do it all (yet).


When comparing the pros and cons of travel planning apps, it’s important to find the tool that packs in all the features you need so you won’t bounce from that app to your email, a spreadsheet, and an outside navigation app.

Many travel apps accomplish pieces of this, but Roadtrippers is the only one that brings it all together in the right trip for you — whether you travel by car, RV, or anything in between.

Travel planning is simultaneously exciting and daunting.  On the one hand, the thrill of a new adventure sends adrenaline flowing as you dream about new discoveries and memories.  On the other hand, there are all the stops and stays to plan, info and reservations to keep track of, and the overarching fear of missing out…

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