WILL MAKE YOUR LIVE SO MUCH EASIER 🙂
Think of Skyscanner (free) as Kayak/Expedia/Orbitz/etc. on steroids. The easy-to-use interface lets you search for discount prices for flights, car rentals, and hotels with quick-glance rate comparison. There are no hidden fees, you can set up price alerts, and record your frequent flier numbers. The clincher: you don’t even need to have a specific destination in mind. By simply selecting “Everywhere” as your destination, you can browse cheap flights to places all around the world as well as the best deals from your home airport via the Top Deals feature.
For many, Kayak has been the go-to trip planning destination for quite a while — and for good reason. Like Skyscanner, Kayak searches across various travel sites for rental cars, hotels, and flights. Kayak often has exclusive deals you won’t find on other sites, and you can set price alerts and use Price Forecast to see whether you should buy now or wait. Kayak also acts as a trip planner, offering up important details at a glance like your hotel confirmation number or gate number. You can also access these details in real time, and on other devices such as the Apple Watch.
If you’re really looking to get the cheapest possible price for a plane ticket, you need to download Hopper. Like Kayak and Skyscanner, you can look at the cheapest dates to fly, but Hopper prides itself on telling you when to buy your tickets via push notifications. The company claims it can save you up to 40 percent on your next flight by analyzing and tracking billions of flights. The user interface is simple, and Hopper says you can book a flight in 60 seconds or less. Apple added it to the App Store’s Best of 2015 list, and Google made it a 2016 Google Play Award winner.
Using public transportation opens an easy window into the real personality of the place you’re visiting, and Citymapper (free) is arguably the premiere app to help you navigate that sometimes-confusing world. Along with transit maps for buses, trams, and subway systems, Citymapper provides real-time departure times and disruption alerts as well as bike routing and bike share info. (It can even integrate with Uber, if you want to toss in the towel and get a car.) Coverage is massive, including the top cities in the U.S. and Canada as well as cities in Europe, Asia, Australia, and Latin America. Even if you’re not abroad, the app is also clutch for people who live in those cities and want to keep track of real-time transportation options.
Loads of apps let you build custom travel itinerates, but where Roadtrippers (free) excels is helping you find things you didn’t know existed but now have to see while on a road trip. Here’s how it works: you plot your route via their website or directly in the app, and the tool then crawls an extensive inventory of quirky attractions, scenic points, local diners, and other roadside oddities to offer side-trip suggestions based on your interests. It even lets you share your route with friends, who can then offer more suggested stops
Whether it’s legal in the city you’re visiting or not, Airbnb is a household name. The app undercuts hotels by offering far cheaper prices, and a more authentic experience by allowing you to stay with a local, or in their home. The app also offers a feature called Trips, which offers Experiences to choose from during your stay — these are curated events you can partake in with local guides. Eventually, the app will become an all-in-one travel app that lets you plan your day, book a car, and more.
Did your Airbnb plans fall through? Did your flights get delayed at your layover? You never know what will happen with your booking, and Hotel Tonight is a reliable service that thrives on last-minute deals. The company partners with hotels to offer discounts on empty rooms, and you’ll be able to book one in under 10 seconds. You also get 24/7 customer service from the Hotel Tonight team, in case something goes awry.
If you’re looking to lower your accommodation costs and meet locals while you travel, this is the app for you. COUCHSURFING lets you connect with locals who have space in their home for travelers to stay for free. The accommodation is usually nothing fancy (which is why it’s called “couch” surfing) but it’s free, which will help you keep your budget intact. By staying with a local, you’ll get a unique opportunity to learn more about the destination from someone who actually lives there.
If you don’t want to stay with a local you can use the Hangouts feature to meet other travelers or locals for coffee, drinks, or to do something like visit a museum. It’s a great way for solo travelers to connect and be social. This app is a must for every budget traveler.
Preparation and finding places
There’s always something we forget to do before a trip, whether it’s failing to pack a pair of slippers or change some currency. Take a look at these apps to keep you on track. Looking for a spot for lunch? Have some extra time and want to check out another museum? Scroll down for apps that offer up things to do and the best-rated places to eat during your stay.
Making a checklist of everything you need to pack can be useful, but what if one’s already made for you? PackPoint looks at the weather forecast for the dates and location of your trip. It will also ask you to select activities you may participate in during your trip, like a meeting for business, a swim at a pool, or a fancy dinner. It will then offer up a list of items you should pack based on these activities, along with general items you’d need on any trip. You can remove items you don’t think are necessary, as well as share lists with others, in case your friends need some help, too.
While it’s not the prettiest app, XE Currency is one of the more robust currency converter apps available for both iOS and Android. It’s constantly being updated and offers live exchange rates for “every world currency and precious metals.” What’s neat is that it can store the most recent rates so you can access them if your device is offline. You can also use the app on your Android Wear or Apple Watch device.
Traveling to the U.S.? Mobile Passport lets you skip the regular line to enter the country and is officially authorized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. All you need to do skip long lines is download this app and add your passport information — you can do this quickly by scanning it with your phone’s camera. Mobile Passport is accepted at 24 airports in the U.S., so we’d recommend checking ahead of time to see if your airport supports the app.
This app does what a lot of other apps do—organizes your disparate reservations and travel plans into one central place—but for Gmail users, Google Trips (free) automatically imports and organizes your info, saving you time and frustration. It also provides day planning tools to organize all your specs on a map (think hotel bookings, dinner reservations, coffee shop meetings) and includes a robust library of cool things to do and places to eat and drink based on your interests and availability, so you can easily build out a focused itinerary. Better still, it’s accessible even when you’re offline.
TripIt helps organize your upcoming travel itinerary. All you have to do is forward your hotel, restaurant, flight, and car rental confirmation emails to email@example.com and it automatically transfers all the information to your master itinerary, so that you can easily view all your upcoming plans at once. If you upgrade to the pro version, the company will find you alternative routes for when your flights get canceled, as well as send you automatic notifications from airlines about flight delays, cancellations, and more. If you travel a lot and have a lot of bookings you need to organize, this is the best app to have. TripIt helps organize your upcoming travel itinerary. All you have to do is forward your hotel, restaurant, flight, and car rental confirmation emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and it automatically transfers all the information to your master itinerary, so that you can easily view all your upcoming plans at once. If you upgrade to the pro version, the company will find you alternative routes for when your flights get canceled, as well as send you automatic notifications from airlines about flight delays, cancellations, and more. If you travel a lot and have a lot of bookings you need to organize, this is the best app to have.