In today’s technology-driven world, there is an app for everything. Many travel apps boast promises of finding the best deals, but which apps actually add value to your adventure? We’ve compiled our best apps for saving money, eliminating headaches, and planning your trip.
Hopper is a price watching app that helps you find the lowest hotel and airline prices. You can set up multiple alerts for different times and destinations throughout the year, so you can start tracking prices and planning your trips as soon as they come to mind. Then, the app will send you an alert when a price drops or when a price is predicted to increase. Hopper is a great app to have, especially if your travel dates are flexible in the future.
There’s a good chance you may have access to an airport lounge and not even know it! The LoungeBuddy app takes the guessing out of the game. When you open the app, it will prompt you to enter your airline frequent flier numbers in addition to your credit cards. Then, the app does the work for you by checking all possible options for access into airport lounges. Many people don’t know that credit cards often offer airport lounge access as one of their perks. If you don’t qualify for complimentary access, you can also purchase a day pass through the app. Additionally, the app claims that they offer better all-inclusive pricing than purchasing the amenities individually at the terminal. Lounges have come a long way since inception with a wide array of amenities from inclusive premium food and beverage options to shower access to freshen up.
Maybe you want to stay at a cool boutique hotel, or maybe you’re just a sucker for a good deal. Depending on what you are looking for in terms of accommodations, Hotwire will typically give you a “your booking will be 1 of the 3 hotels listed below” or a “the last person to book got The Hilton!” notification after you submit your trip information. Through these special price deals, hotels are sold for up to 60% off the company-set rates. I previously worked for a major hotel chain and can confirm that the best deals always came in from Hotwire or other similar websites. Personally, I like Hotwire because you can pay an additional fee to select your room type. The Hotwire app is very helpful for those traveling with families as other websites do not offer this service.
Kurrency is an app for converting currency. Kurrency can help you track your spending while converting currencies. You select your home currency and then add the currencies you will be exchanging to. Kurrency is helpful in any money exchanging situation from bartering to shopping. Kurrency can help you avoid overspending because you didn’t understand how much a product or service would cost you back home. Instead, take a breath, use the app, and proceed to shop wisely.
MAPS.ME is an app that allows you to download maps to use offline. The app works without using data or WiFi. If you are traveling and don’t want to purchase a pricey international phone data plan, this is a great alternative to getting around without a paper map. Bonus tip: If you are a hiker, MAPS.ME offers a topographic view so that you have a better chance of not getting lost in the mountains.
Google Translate offers language packs that you can download to your phone and use offline. Locals always appreciate when you attempt to speak the language, but sometimes you need some help from technology. In the app’s conversation mode, you can speak into the microphone along with the person you are trying to converse with and the conversation is conveniently translated for you to break through the language barrier. Extra tip: this app is also very helpful when you need to translate a menu.
Different countries have different rating websites, but Trip Advisor is one of the best. Yelp is huge in the United States for restaurant and business ratings, and Open Rice is a excellent resource if you’re traveling in Asia. Trip Advisor, though, is worldwide and easy to use. It provides reviews on hotels, businesses, tour operators, restaurants and more.
This app is truly a blessing, especially for the ultimate planner in your travel group. Tripit combines all of your reservations from accommodations to dining, flights, and conferences. Once you’ve set up an account, all you have to do is forward over your email confirmations to a tripit.com email address that syncs with your account. It automatically creates a schedule for your entire trip with the important information you need, all in one place. Share your itinerary with your group to keep everyone on the same page.
Mobile Passport continues to fly under the radar in terms of popularity, but if you are a United States citizen returning to the United States – download this app immediately. The app helps you save time and pass the line for customs. To use the app, all you have to do is fill out the customs declaration form, take a photo, and enter your passport number. Major international airports (like Chicago’s O’Hare and Miami’s International Airport) often have separate lines for Mobile Passport users. Once you get off your airplane or cruise ship, you won’t need to stop at the mobile stands to fill out another form.
Have a group trip coming up? Get everyone on board with Splitwise. Splitwise is a user-friendly app that automatically splits the bill for you. Take a photo of the bill and add the people responsible for paying. You can select what each person ordered and add it to their tab. It takes the hassle out of splitting a bill five ways at a restaurant and can be linked to contactless money apps like Venmo. It’s also an easy way to keep track of your group’s spending throughout the trip.
Apps can make a trip go even more smoothly, and so can travel medical insurance. Make sure to purchase an IMG travel medical insurance or travel protection plan before you depart for your trip. Depending on which plan you select, our plans can protect your trip investment for any delays, cancellations, lost luggage, as well as your medical costs from unexpected accidents or illnesses. Get a quote and compare plans here.
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