The final school bells have rung, and the kids have carried their backpacks for the last time. It’s that point in the year where the excitement is running high as everybody fantasizes about the good times they plan to have this summer.

It never quite ends up that way though, does it? The carefully planned pit stops become hourly breaks in sanity. Your child leaves her “lovey” in the restaurant 20 miles behind you, and the level of your enthusiasm ebbs and flows based on the time stuck in the vehicle and the behavior of your offspring.

Here are four apps that won’t stop the bickering or the endless loop of Disney tunes, but they may help you when plans don’t go the way you expected. All are available for iPhone/iPad and Android.

GasBuddy: Long before everybody had smartphones in their hands, there was a website that helped drivers keep track of local gas prices. Now an app with more than 10 million downloads, it gives you up-to-date information on gas prices within your area. This is great when on a road trip, especially at night, as nobody wants to pull of the highway to find a closed gas station. The app also gives an overview of the business.

Roadtrippers: There are more than a few travel apps out there for people to use. Many of them are similar. The Roadtrippers app provides a little more, however. It prides itself on showcasing “off the beaten path” attractions. These places of interest will come up on a map and show you just how close some of these great locations are. For example, did you know there is a UFO Welcome Center in Bowman, just 15 minutes out of the way on your trip from Greenville to Charleston?

Out To Eat With Kids: This app has been a real money saver over the years for us. When living on a tight budget, every penny counts — and finding these offers can make things a lot easier while on the road. Using the app, you can find all restaurants in a 20-mile radius that offer a discount for children.

Life360: Perhaps you are past the stage of little ones? Your teens make vacation just as stressful as they go off and do their own thing and you are never quite sure where they are. Life360 gives you the ability to keep track of your family. There are chat and check-in features that allow you to communicate without using phone or text. This app has many features that can also be used in everyday life.

With these four free apps, you can make road-tripping a huge success this summer. Be safe out there and remember your sunscreen!

Talk to Victor

Victor Alfieri is an avid music fan who has three children with his wife, Stephanie. Connect at and @VictorWordkrpht.

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