Mike's NBC-TV stories

Road Trip apps

It’s the time of year when thoughts are turning to summer vacations — specifically, that great American road trip.

As PC Mike Wendland reports, adding the right app to your smartphone can make your trips that much better.

Roadside America  helps you explore the weird wonders of America’s highways — and pass along the information to you in app form. Fun reports, maps and photos guide you to the less traveled places just waiting off the next exit. The app is $2.99 for iOS, then you have to pay more to access to a specific area of the U.S. or Canada.

To avoid getting stuck in traffic, the Waze app relies on other users to learn about nearby collisions, police radar and traffic jams so that you can safely avoid those routes. What’s more, Waze will help you find the cheapest gas prices around, as gathered by the community. The app is free for iOS and Android.

Roadtrippers offers maps and guides and lets you maintain a blog, saving places you want to visit or have gone already. There’s also space for you to leave notes for future visitors, in case you find anything worth sharing. The app features millions of locations, including local diners and roadside attractions that other map apps are prone to miss. It’s free for iOS and Android.

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.