Download These Essential Travel Apps
As mobile devices became more prominent in the travel research and booking process this year, so did the use of travel apps. The following apps are extremely useful for travelers to save money, time and headaches while on vacation.
This app is a fantastic way to save money on airline tickets, especially if you’re open to selecting your destination based on price. I personally used this religiously while traveling throughout Europe. The best ways to use the app are as follows. First, enter your departure city in the “from” field and the dates you would like to travel. For the “to” field, type in “Everywhere,” and the app will generate a list of possible destinations in order of cheapest to most expensive fares. This was how I chose which countries I would visit while abroad and in what order I would see them. My second favorite feature is the month view. This is great if your dates are flexible as it will show you which exact dates throughout that month are cheapest for your departing flight and for your return.
Hotel Tonight (Free)
As its name indicates, this is an awesome app to check out if you need a hotel tonight. This last-minute hotel booking app allows you to scan the best deals for rooms available tonight (and tomorrow and up to seven days from now). It prides itself on “10-second, 3-tap bookings.” I would suggest sticking to the tonight or tomorrow feature of the app as it typically has the best rates since those hotels are desperately trying to get rid of last-minute inventory. Hotel Tonight is great for spontaneous road trip pit stops or on nights like New Year’s Eve when you may want to stay out late without having to worry about driving home.
TripIt is my personal organizer for all things travel. This app is especially useful for trips with multiple facets. You can organize your own itineraries within the app or simply forward email confirmations of hotels, rental cars, train tickets, flights, etc. and the app will automatically create an itinerary for you. This is a great way to keep track of all the pieces of your trip and your confirmation numbers in one place.
If you’re one of those people (like myself) who gets to a destination and says “Damn (or worse four letter word) I forgot my ______!” then this app will change your life. PackPoint is a super convenient way to build packing lists. Just enter your destination, dates of travel, type of trip (business or leisure) and select the activities you will be participating in. The app will display the expected weather for your trip and offer suggested clothing/items per activity with a quantity next to it. Check off the items you’d like to bring, add new items not already there or easily remove any unnecessary items with a simple swipe. With its new update this month, you can now connect your TripIt itineraries (which you’ve already built since you downloaded that app as well), and PackPoint will automatically begin building a packing list whenever a new trip is booked. Neat, huh?
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GateGuru is a great app for those who are traveling in unfamiliar airports or have long layovers. The Journey Card portion of this app is my favorite as it displays important day-of-departure travel information such as security wait times, gate changes or time adjustments for your flight. You can also use this app to discover airport amenities and review maps of the airport and its terminals.
The Converted by Ideon ($3.99 on iTunes App Store)
Traveling to a foreign country can make transactions, directions and outfit planning confusing as almost everything will require a conversion. This easy-to-use app, doesn’t just spit out a precise number (like all the rest), rather you get a general understanding of how the conversion works. Find conversions for basic categories such as currency, weight and temperature as well as more complicated categories such as fuel consumption, speed, electrical voltage and more. It also uses location data (if turned on) to show common currencies in use where you are at that exact moment. The Converted is fully functional without internet connection. This app is slightly pricey however, so if you aren’t spending much time overseas or will only be converting currency a free currency converter app would be better.
This popular maps app is a favorite among commuters and road trippers. The app uses crowdsourced data to accurately display traffic slowdowns such as accidents, police activity, speed traps and bottlenecks. Real-time data from app users currently out on the roads is aggregated and used to display the fastest routes for drivers. If traffic patterns change, there is no need to worry. Waze will automatically reroute you to save you time and frustration.
If you haven’t already while reading this post, I highly recommend you download these seven travel apps immediately. Using these apps will help you plan, prepare and execute a smooth travel experience in 2015. Happy travels!
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