This traveling in a van thing, it’s far easier than we imagined. Mostly due to the kindness of people, partly due to several apps we’ve come to use.
Here are our top apps, in no particular order:
Hootesuite: Allows you to schedule posts, so that your parents don’t freak out and think you’ve been kidnapped and are now lying in a bathtub full of ice with a scar by your kidney, just because you didn’t post in a few hours. Not that our parents are like that, or anything.
Instagram: I love instagram. Mostly because we follow people who’ve done this or are currently doing the same thing we are doing. They post pictures of cool places, and creative things they’ve done with their vans. It’s also easy to post to Facebook from there, which helps because this way your parents don’t assume you’re lying in a ditch somewhere…
Ioverlander: Geared towards people on long road trips and works better outside the USA, but we have found some cool places to stealth camp. Helps you find anything from campgrounds to mechanics to vehicle insurance. Very user friendly and people post reviews or areas or services pretty frequently.
GasBuddy: Pretty self explanatory. Helps us to find the cheapest gas in the area.
SitorSquat: For when you have to go! Rates public bathrooms near you. Super important when your home doesn’t have a bathroom.
Yonder: Connects you to amazing outdoor places in your area. It’s user friendly and it’s nice to be able to find the closest hiking trail/swimming hole when you really need to just get away from big cities and/or are tired of parking in a walmart parking lot.
Couchsurfing: Perhaps one of my favorites. You set up your profile, then either host people on your couch/spare bedroom/floor or you surf aforementioned couch/spare bedroom/floor. You can also just meet up with people as not everyone has extra space, but they’re willing to meet up and tell you all about their city/town. Sometimes, we’ve even been able to shower at their places, then go out for a beer. We’ve had an amazing time couch surfing and we’ve met great people from all over the world. Highly recommended!
Google Maps: Easy to use and you can download route when wi-fi is available and it will continue to work after there’s no wifi. So far in Mexico, this has worked better than our GPS.
Warmshowers– Geared primarily towards cyclists. People offer a warm shower and sometimes a place to camp on their property. We have not used this app as we did not find out about it until we left the country, but have met people who’ve used it and have positive reviews.
These are some of the apps that have made travel significantly easier, we’d love to hear of any additional ones.