Vanlife Apps You Need to Have

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Looking for the best campsites? Need to know where to park, fuel and use the restroom at 11.00 pm in the night? Well, there are vanlife apps that meet just about every travelling need. Tech firms are burning the midnight oil creating tons of travel apps and websites that cater to the needs of the #vanlife community. 

Download these road trip apps and find free wi-fi, read route recommendations or lower the costs of living while travelling. Below are ten of the best vanlife apps in the market right now.

Best app for everything vanlife and trips – IOverlander

Operating Systems: iOS, Android

Price: Free

IOverlander is a must-have travel app. Think of it as a Rolls Royce vanlife. It has everything you need if you’re planning on living and travelling in your van. The iOverlander app lists tourist destinations on maps, with information on nearby camping grounds, hotels, bars, restaurants, gas stations, free Wi-Fi spots, and other amenities.

You can toggle between map view and list view options, and its data has details including photos and user reviews to paint a full picture of the place you will be staying.

Dubbed “made by overlanders for overlanders”, the app has entirely user-generated data meaning you have access to real-time credible information to make your decisions on the go. Get it before your next road trip.

Download iOverlander for iOS or Android

Best vanlife app for free, public and private camping grounds – The Dyrt

Operating Systems: iOS, Android

Price: Free | Pro Version – $35.99/year

The Dyrt is a must-have vanlife app. Use it to locate both public and private camping grounds. You can book their stay on the fly on the Dyrt. This app boasts over 42,000 registered camping grounds and users are adding more each day.

Like iOverlander, you can view photos and videos of camping sites and read real user reviews to decide which ones suit your needs.

The Dyrt also features a sleek design with advanced sorting and filtering algorithms that ensure that you find nothing but the best camping sites. If you plan on travelling with your pets, be sure to confirm these details on every campground’s page to ensure they have pet-friendly policies.

Download Dytr for iOS or Android

Best vanlife app for finding park spots – Park4night

Operating Systems: iOS, Android

Price: Free | Pro version – £9.99/ year

Living in a van isn’t as easy as social media portrays it to be. One of the misconceptions is that you can park your van anywhere and sleep the night away. This is not true. Free camping isn’t always readily available. Park4night is an interactive app that will help you find legal parking spots for the night around you.

On the welcome screen, Park4night will display options that support map viewership as per your location. You can alternatively make a custom search. The map view allows for easy sorting and has icons showing free park spots, farms, campsites, alleys, paid parking spots and many more options where you can spend the night.

One little hiccup with the app is, all parking spot data is user-submitted. For this reason, what may be a palace for one camper might be an entirely different experience for you.

Download park4night for iOS or  Android

Best vanlife app for renting vans and RV’s – Outdoorsy

Operating Systems: iOS, Android

Price: Free

If you don’t have a van but still want to chance and experience life on the road, we recommend the Outdoorsy app. This exceptional platform has all the details and resources you need to successfully rent a van or an RV.

The communication portal is a great tool to keep in touch with van owners and plan for seamless pick-ups and drop-offs. The Outdoorsy app handles most of the paperwork and signatures required for rentals, leaving your hands free to plan for your vandwelling adventure.

Download Outdoorsy for iOS or Android

Best vanlife app to find free WiFi – Wifi Access

Operating Systems: iOS only

Price: Free

Who doesn’t love free WiFi? With the WiFi Access app, you can search and scan for free WiFi access spots near you. A great tool if you are working on the go and you have a limited data plan. Wifi Access has over 2 million verified WiFi hotspots in different cities across the world.

Most of these hotspots are in hotels, restaurants, bars, libraries and you can also add spots you have used before to keep its database growing. In most cases, available networks might be password protected but once in a while, you may find open networks.

That said, caveat emptor. While free WiFi may help you get your work done, you must be super cautious of threats like hacking and viruses.

Download WiFi Access for iOS

Best vanlife app for nearby gas stations – Gas Buddy

Operating Systems: iOS, Android

Price: Free | Pro version – $9.99/month

Vanlife means you live on the move and that needs gas – and plenty of it. Fuel costs will be one of your new lifestyle’s highest expenses, especially if you plan on doing extensive travel while living in your van (and not setting up shop for months on end at a single location).

Gas Buddy is a handy time and cost saver vanlife app. It will create a comprehensive list of gas stations around you and also compare their prices. Think of the time you would otherwise waste moving from one station to another hunting for decent prices. You will no longer need to make calls to buddies asking where there might be a fuel discount. Gas Buddy will be there for you on the road and it knows it all.

Download Gas Buddy for iOS or Android

Best vanlife app for trip planning – Roadtrippers

Operating Systems: iOS, Android

Price: Free | Pro version – $29.99/year

Why is Roadtrippers one of the best vanlife apps out there?  Well, one rule to live by when living on the road, is that you have to squeeze all the juice out of the route that you embark on. Roadtrippers effectively plans out your trip, set the routes to follow and also set stops at some of the tourist attractions along the way.

After you have set the route, Roadtrippers will have a breakdown of common amenities like hotels, restaurants, fuel stations along your route. Second, it will alert you of all the fun stuff and the best sightseeing attractions along the way.

We love the app not only because it’s free but it also helps you find fun stops and things you can do while on your trip.

Download Roadtrippers for iOS or Android

Best vanlife app for translation – Google Translate

Operating Systems: iOS, Android

Price: Free

Google Translate can translate text into over 90 different languages. The Google Translate app is a handy tool when you are visiting countries or regions where english is not the primary language and notices are in a foreign language.

With Google Translate you do not have to type text to get translations. It has a camera feature that allows you to take photos containing text for quick translation. Directions, parking lot notices, container labels… you name it. It will translate all these important features at the simple click of a button.

Its microphone tool allows you to speak directly to the app and access translations in your desired language in real-time. While the translations won’t be necessarily accurate due to variations in grammar, Google Translate will help you get your feet on the ground.

Download Google Translate for iOS or Android

Best vanlife app for hikers – All Trails

Operating Systems: iOS, Android

Price: Free | Pro version – $29.99/year

Not all van lifers are hikers, but if you are both, then All Trails is a must-have vanlife app. As an illustration, if after miles of driving, you need a minute’s walk to stretch and rejuvenate, switch on All Trails and view over 100,000 marked trails rated from easy, moderate to hard.

You’ll also see the estimates of trail completion time, photos and videos, and what other hikers say about the trail routes. You will find all sorts of data on walks, bike rides, or trail runs, on the All-Trails app. The beauty of it all is that All Trails is free so, there is no good reason not to give it a try.

Download All Trails for iOS or Android

Best vanlife app for navigation maps – Waze

Operating Systems: iOS, Android

Price: Free

Google Maps hardly misses road trip apps mentions, but we are giving its spot to Waze. Waze is an alternative maps app that supports easy navigation to different destinations. Additionally, Waze will suggest routes that will help you avoid traffic jams, blockages, broken bridges, and other road hazards.

The Waze app will also help you save fuel by recommending shorter routes, and also keeps a track of fuel stations and their prices, making it a handy tool for those on journeys to the unknown.

Waze also has cool navigation features such as real-time data which gives almost accurate arrival times. You will also have a choice of receiving navigation commands by voice and also a speed notifier for when you are going too fast, for safety.

Download Waze for iOS or Android

Best vanlife app for public toilets – Flush

Operating Systems: iOS only

Price: Free

Relieving yourself on the go may become tricky. While some vanlifers have installed a portable potty in their camper, many people save that space for storage and need to use public amenities.  Use the Flush app instead and access publicly available restrooms. The Flush app is pretty straightforward and features a minimalistic design.

Flush’s ever-growing database has over 200,000 public toilet locations in every corner of the world. It has top-notch filtering options so you’ll know which toilets are paid for and free options before you even get there.

Say goodbye to camper dwelling days when the easiest option was a quick dash to the nearest bush to answer nature calls. If you are dissatisfied with the toilet, the app has a rating and reviews system which captures that to help other users.

Download Flush for iOS

The best app to find kids’ spots – GoWithKid

Operating Systems: iOS, Android

Price: Free

As the name suggests, this vanlife app is a support system for parents that are van living with kids. Finding kids’ playgrounds, parks, child-friendly cinemas and other amenities for kids is relatively easy with GoWithKid.

After deciding your spot, click the “Open in Google Maps” button and get a plotted-out direction from your current position. On GoWithKid’s endless list, are amenities that might have pictures too,  to give you an idea of what is available before driving there.

Download GoWithKid for iOS or Android

Best vanlife social community app – Vanlife App

Operating Systems: iOS, Android

Price: Free

Bored on your van trip? Well, you no longer need to stay lonely while travelling.  Hop into the Vanlife app and chat with fellow campers. This feature makes the Vanlife App super special. Unlike other vanlife apps that list campsites and amenities only, the Vanlife App also doubles as a community app where you can interact and communicate with other van life enthusiasts.

Search and filter for members camping near you for meetups and sharing general vanlife experiences. Vanlife App is more community-centric so most of the data might be based on user preferences and opinions. You can also rate and review campgrounds you have visited to make the community bigger and better.

Download Vanlife for iOS or Android

Best vanlife app for federal campsites –

Operating Systems: iOS

Price: Free

This iOS-only app features options for federal camping grounds from national parks, forests, ranges, and more. Campers can search for available camping grounds and also see a range of amenities and activities around the sites.

Most of the data on the app isn’t user submitted but rather sourced from government sources so most of the time the information provided might not be all you need to make up your mind. But if you are in a last-minute hurry for a campsite then the app will save you a great deal of hassle.

Download for iOS

Best vanlife app for trip ideas: Outbound

Operating Systems: iOS, Android

Price: Free

Dubbed the “social network for adventurers”, Outbound boasts a vast community of travel enthusiasts who are constantly sharing their experiences and recommendations. The app works on a global scope so it will not limit you to your neighbourhood.

If you often find yourself without answers to the big question – “Where should I visit next”, then your search ends here. Get the app and see the ideas for your next trip start flowing in. You can also share your experiences and connect with other like-minded van life enthusiasts.

Download Outbound for iOS or Android

These Vanlife apps will make living on the road much more manageable. This is not a conclusive travel apps list, so we would love to hear of other road trip apps you need to have.

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