Top 3 Travel Apps for Successful Myrtle Beach Road Trips

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Technology has transformed the way we travel, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the wide world of travel apps for your smartphone. Gone are the days of fumbling around with a paper map as you try to navigate to the right exit off the freeway. But there's so much more than a great GPS mapping service available for your smartphone.

Here are the top three travel apps we've found to make your next road trip a hassle-free vacation.

Road Ninja
Great for: Seeing what's ahead as you drive, getting recommendations for restaurants and attractions on your way
Free, available on Android and iPhone
Road Ninja identifies where you are and lets you know where the next gas stations, restaurants, coffee shops, rest stops and other features are.  Exit by exit, it guides you to what you want and need during your road trip and with excellent sharing features, it can even spot popular local spots for specific things, like hot dogs or sushi, or even government services and medical aid.  This is a streamlined and easy to use app that also provides helpful info such as reviews, prices and more.

Gas Buddy
Great for: Saving money on fuel, finding convenient gas stations
Free, available on Android and iPhone
See prices for regular, premium and diesel gas at gas stations near you as you drive. Gas Buddy will find nearby stations based on your location, or you can search by state, city or ZIP code. Not only that, but Gas Buddy will tell you how far gas stations are from your highway or freeway exit, which can save a lot of time (no more driving around endlessly looking for the station when you could have chosen one right next to the off-ramp). Because fuel prices are reported to Gas Buddy by other users, updates are in real time and you can see how recent they are.

TripTik
Great for: Route planning, sharing travel directions and stops
Free, available on Android and iPhone (some features only available to AAA members)
Take the hassle out of group travel with this app, which allows you to set a route online, then download it to your mobile device, plus share it with friends and family members you are traveling with. Travelers needing to stop overnight before reaching their final destination can save time and money through the app's ratings for nearby hotels, which they can call straight from the app itself. Don't forget AAA's separate roadside assistance app, which can send GPS info for roadside assistance.

(posted 5/5/14)