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The Short Version: iExit can make American roadtrips easier to navigate by recommending fun, cheap, and popular places to stop along the way. The app (which is available on Google Play and iTunes) lists gas stations, restaurants, fast food locations, hotels, and other destinations at upcoming exits on the highway. If you’re planning a romantic road trip, iExit can be your guide.
Whenever I go on a road trip with friends, family, or a significant other, I always volunteer to be the navigator. I think it’s fun to figure out the directions and make sure we get where we’re going on time. I also enjoy looking ahead on the map and finding the best places to stop for ice cream, dinner, or entertainment.
Sometimes that can be quite a challenge, though, because it’s not always easy to tell at a glance what’s close by. Maybe a fast food joint looks like it’s near the exit, but then it ends up being too far or inconvenient in reality. Such a lengthy detour can derail a trip or get tempers flaring with every U-turn.
When you’re navigating unfamiliar surroundings, you need a trustworthy guide to tell you where to go. Since its launch in 2010, iExit has aimed to be that guide and help people find the best pit stops along U.S. interstates and major highways.
The app offers an organized and clear depiction of every exit on the highway, so users know where to find gas stations, restaurants, fast food, hotels, and other amenities. You can search for particular brands (Burger King, Shell, Marriott, etc.), or you can browse by category (food, gas, hotels, hospitals, etc.) to find the most popular pit stops coming up on your route.
Whether you’re taking a quick trip or going across the country, you can count on iExit to keep you entertained and with plenty of fuel along the way. The app has partnered with OPIS, Yelp, and Travel Coupons to offer up-to-date information and same-day deals for its users.
iExit has been incredibly popular among travelers young and old. To date, it has been downloaded over 2.5 million times, and it has over 400,000 monthly active users during its summertime peak season.
“Like any smartphone app, iExit shouldn’t be used by the driver of a vehicle, so it’s perfect for the significant other to use from the passenger seat,” said Evan Metrock, the creator of iExit. “For anyone that’s been on a long road trip with a significant other, or anyone for that matter, finding a place to eat that appeals to everyone can be a challenge. We have countless reviews from roadtrippers traveling with multiple people who used iExit to find food that everyone could agree on.”
A software developer named Evan Metrock came up with the idea for iExit after going on roadtrips with his wife and running into problems when mealtimes came around. Sometimes he and his wife were craving Mexican food or Chick-fil-A, and it wasn’t easy to find something to satisfy them on the fly. Evan decided to create an all-purpose Chick-fil-A finder that could help him find his favorite fried chicken sandwiches no matter where he went.
The first version of iExit had over 200 fast-food chains, including Chick-fil-A, in its database. The app used the phone’s GPS to direct the user to nearby exits with the delicious food people know and love. Over time, Evan added other fast-food joints to the database. Then he added gas stations. Then he added mom-and-pop restaurants. And now iExit is a comprehensive resource for roadtrippers in every state in the U.S.
Today, iExit actively pulls information from over 38,000 ZIP codes and compiles easy-to-read lists of food, gas, and attractions based on the location of exits up ahead. Evan said he is considering growing the app’s reach on an international scale by expanding into Canada.
When a user opens iExit, the app automatically detects where they are and the direction they’re going, and it displays a list of the attractions at exits up ahead. The app can make suggestions up to 100 miles up the road. Couples can use iExit to compare gas prices and get the best deal, or they can use it to find a dateworthy destination to kill time. You can find everything from coffee houses to zoos on iExit.
Evan said the app automatically updates its information every day to ensure it gives accurate directions to folks on the road. In addition to pulling information and reviews from third-party sites, like Yelp, iExit also incorporates feedback from customers on the ground. When the team hears that a place is closed or has different prices or hours than those listed on the app, they go in and it fixes the error.
“It’s an ongoing battle to keep our information up to date,” Evan said. “We use about 500 web crawlers to gather that data and put it into the correct order.”
Every road trip is unique, and there’s no one right way to go about it. Some vacationers like to take their time and keep plans loose, while others like to have color-coded itineraries with a set schedule. Fortunately, iExit’s versatile features can help all types of roadtrippers have a great time between travel destinations.
Couples can use iExit to find efficient pit stops with fast food and cheap gas, or they can use it to wander through upcoming attractions and choose places where they can slow down and stretch their legs. The app can help couples plan fun date activities, including visiting a museum, without getting too far off course.
Whether you’re looking for a quick cup of coffee or a five-star hotel, you can find noteworthy and convenient options on iExit’s listings. The app ranks choice locations at the top and empowers travelers to find exactly what they want.
“The app can be helpful for families figuring out a compromise for where they want to eat,” Evan pointed out. “You can find high-quality food at certain exits and have something to look forward to.”
Evan said he has heard stories from truck drivers, couples, and families who used the iExit app to make their journeys more convenient or fun, and he also received a testimonial saying that the app helped a family find a nearby hospital during a medical emergency.
The iExit app is powered by developers in Alabama, Tennessee, Ohio, and Poland. This small international team is constantly working on ways to update and improve the app’s interface.
Evan said he has two main projects on the docket for 2019. First, he wants to update the iOS app to be compatible with Apple Carplay and then to update the Android app to be compatible with Android Auto. That way, drivers can access this useful information from their car’s online interface.
“It’s only natural that iExit finds its way onto the big screen into modern cars instead of being on one’s smartphone, which will be a huge plus for safety,” Evan said.
Secondly, Evan said he wants to update iExit to be voice-compatible so that drivers don’t have to take their hands off the wheel to find a decent pit stop. Instead of scrolling and searching, the iExit user can simply ask, “Where’s the cheapest gas?” or “Where’s the nearest McDonald’s?” and get prompt directions read aloud from the phone.
By continually making iExit easier and safer for people on the road, Evan and his team are improving the quality of road trips throughout the U.S.
“We just finished driving 1,900 miles through the Northwest United States,” said JJKoine in an iTunes review. “This app was an amazing help on our trip. It let us know what exits were coming up and what restaurants, stores, and gas stations (including the accurate prices of gas at that exit) were coming up.”
Taking a road trip isn’t just about getting from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible. It’s about enjoying all the sights and attractions along the way. You can discover new places, landmarks, and foods by exploring exits along the highway.
Couples can get into disagreements about where and when to stop on a road trip, but iExit can help ease the tension by offering reliable information about what’s coming up ahead. Its database of gas stations, eateries, and attractions can empower people to customize their trip to fit any budget or schedule.
Whether it’s helping travelers fuel up or grab a bite, iExit streamlines the travel experience so people can make the most of their time on the road.
“The iExit app appeals to everybody, and it can be a real lifesaver and make the trip less stressful,” Evan said. “Once you know where you’re going, everyone can be on board, and that just makes everything more fun.”