Swap stressful journeys for serenity. Gone are the days of the simplicity when Buslife was just you and the open road. Of course, it’s easy enough to throw the phone out of the window and live like this, but blending the beauty of modern technology with the Buslife truly enhances the experience. The app store on your mobile is full of great apps to help you find parking, stop you from getting lost, help you feel less isolated, and having a whole host of road-worthy struggles. In this article, we share our top 5 must-have mobile apps for Buslife.
Finding your way
No more potholes, ending up in Romanian fields, being stranded on the side of mountains, and disagreements with your co-pilot. There is really only one app you need to this – Google maps. It’s a must for anyone hitting the road and is more than a replacement for your average paper map. Along with taking you from A to B, the app also has a ton of features to help avoid toll roads and take the scenic route. The built-in navigation system also updates you on the best route and traffic situation in real-time.
More than a handy driving tool, it’s great for city wandering, bike trails, and lets you ‘street view’ roads in up to 50 countries. Perfect for checking if your VW Bus will make it up that rural route. Finally, Google Maps can be used offline in its simple format, as long as you have downloaded the area you need while connected.
Another great way to use this app is to save points of interest along your way. You can add notes and images to store memories and if you are a Buslife vlogger or blogger, you can even use it to create digital maps for your followers to use!
There are other apps to rival Google Maps though. Maps.me is a firm favorite as the interface is somehow. It is fully functional offline and you can even get travel guides in the app.
Roadtrippers is also a seriously cool app for navigation, which not only plots your route but finds points of interest along the route for you. If you aren’t really sure what is around, this app is really worth checking out.
Searching for parking spots
Wild campers rejoice. Park 4 Night is a great app, mostly used in the UK and across Europe for those who don’t want to spend hours after dark searching for a decent spot. The app invites you to search specific areas for great parking spots. It covers everything from campsites to carparks to farms and off the beaten track stashed away spaces.
IOverlander is a good American alternative that not only covers camping spots but also helps you to find WIFI, showers, toilets, and whatever facilities will turn the hard stresses of Buslife into a dream. The shared knowledge that both these sites rely on is a testament to the beauty of the community when it comes to Buslife.
Apps for essentials
This is another great app for Buslife across the USA. Gas Buddy helps ensure that you don’t find yourself stuttering to a stop on the highway. This simple app gives you a fully comprehensive list of the nearest gas stations in your area. It offers even offers up to date pricing so you can pick the most economical solution for your own guzzler. Unfortunately, there isn’t such an app for other parts of the world yet, but Gas Buddy is expanding.
Wifi is another essential for most Buslifers. The app WiFiMap offers a worldwide map of free wifi spots! With over 100 million free hotspot points, this can really save you a lot of time when you are on the hunt for the internet. For other internet solutions, you can check out the article, How to Have Access to Wifi on the Road at All Times.
Another essential for Buslife is takeaway food. Cooking in the small kitchen is great when you can have all the doors open on a summery evening, but the reality is that sometimes cooking can be a pain. Luckily, there is an app that makes getting take out cheaper and makes you feel good about it too! Too Good To Go, is an app for restaurants, bakeries, and supermarkets to sell their leftover food rather than throwing it out. This genius app not only helps stop food waste but means you can grab cheap takeout without feeling bad about it!
Apps for weather
Weather matters more to those who live close to the outdoors. Buslifers need to know when to pop down their roof before the hurricane hits, they need to know how to find shade beneath trees from boiling sunshine, and they need to know how to seek shelter from the storm. A well-involved weather app can make planning and preparation so much easier.
While a generic weather app is a must for chasing the sun, MyRadar goes above and beyond in the world of weather. You can follow tide changes, watch what’s coming, and generally avoid those black spots. This is an especially important app for those taking their VW Bus up in the mountains where weather changes happen in a flash.
Other great weather apps include Weather Underground, Dark Sky, and The Weather Channel. In a similar vein, you might want to check out Skyview, which shows the exact location of stars across the sky. This is really great when you are looking up at the night sky and want to figure out what planets and constellations you can see!
Connecting with people online
Having your own VW Bus means that you always have a bed to sleep in because after all – home is where you park it. So what good is an app dedicated to sofa surfing? Couchsurfing has come a long way since its humble beginnings, and it’s a great app for meeting people in new places thanks to its relatively new feature called Hangouts.
Traveling in a bus can sometimes be lonely. Hangouts allows you to find other travelers and to meet locals who share similar interests. You can pick your own style of hangout. Whether that’s going for a walk in the woods or hitting up the bars. Simply peruse the hangouts in the area. If you don’t see anything that grabs your fancy, create your own and be notified when someone wants to join. It’s also a great way to meet local people who will be able to share inside knowledge. For example, where to dine, what to see, and maybe where to park.
There are so many more apps we could add here! Are there any apps that you use daily as a Buslifer? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add it into this comprehensive guide!