Something you all should know about me is that I’m one of those super Type A people that lives at Inbox Zero, wakes up with just one alarm and makes dinner reservations months in advance. I have a psycho organized iPhone, meaning all music-related apps are in the “music” folder, all food and wine delivery apps are in the “food & drink” folder … and so on. I’m annoying.
I was glancing through my “travel” folder recently and realized that it’s kind of killer. Like, three pages of wonderful apps. So, I thought I would pull some of the best in the hopes that they will be useful to you all as well!
Let’s start with learning how to…
Manage flights with airline apps!
Before you download anything else, make sure you have individual airline’s apps! They are a great way to keep track of flights, miles and other account information in one place without having to spend extra time in a browser. You can also easily check in, change seats, track flights and explore inflight amenities prior to boarding.
Find the perfect flight with … Skyscanner …
While Skyscanner is a great tool to find cheap flights, it’s also a good app to have in your arsenal for those “I don’t care where I go, I just need to go somewhere” moments. The site gives you the option to put “everywhere” as your destination, and will then show you potential trips based on price.
I LOVE Skiplagged. There is nobody doing what Skiplagged does, so you need to have this one. It finds you the cheapest flights possible by digging up hidden fares and booking you on “hidden city flights.”
“Hidden city flights” are essentially when you get off at the layover rather than the flights’ final destination. For example, say you want a round trip from New York City to San Francisco. Skiplagged will put you on a direct flight THERE, but say on the way back, the flight from SF to NYC is $600, while a flight from SF to NYC to Montreal is $400. Skiplagged will put you on the $400 flight and you’ll get off in NYC.
The only thing to note about these “hidden city flights” is that you have to bring a carry-on bag, not checked.
… and Hitlist.
I really love Hitlist for the more far-off trips I’m planning. As I’m sure you know, finding cheap fares & booking at the precise right time can be really tricky. Sometimes, flight prices drop dramatically for a short period of time, and nobody has time to check fares every day.
Hitlist will monitor for you and let you know when the price drops! All you have to do is enter the destination you’re lusting after and the exact (or approximate) dates you want to go. From there, Hitlist will notify you when a good deal shows up.
Here you can see the destinations I’m keeping tabs on:
Book a unique accommodation with … Airbnb.
Not too much else to be said here except that, for those moments you’re lusting after a more authentic cultural experience, steer away from local hotels and think about using Airbnb. I’ve used Airbnb in a few places and haven’t had a bad experience yet.
My recommendations? Read the reviews and double-triple-check that the location is where you want to be (or close to).
Get from point A to point B with … Rome2Rio.
This app will show you the best way (by train, car, boat, plane … whatever) to get from where you are to where you want to be. Rome2Rio utilizes over 364 train operators, 3,328 bus operators, 531 ferry operators and 670 airlines. Honestly, I was unaware 670 airlines even existed, so…. trust.
Here’s an example of a route I recently created from Tulum to Isla Holbox, Mexico:
Get your travel customer service issues resolved with … Service.
Travel delays & cancellations, lost baggage and dirty hotel rooms … These are among the myriad of annoying issues that travelers are bound to face at some point. Instead of waiting on hold and wasting energy yelling at a customer service representative, let Service do it for you for free!
All you have to do is spend a minute typing your complaint in their app. Then, go about your day and let them fix it for you. Service knows the best way to resolve most issues, so you’ll save a lot of time, effort and negative energy. They may even get you back miles or vouchers as compensation for your *~hardship~*.
Avoid tourist traps with … Great Little Place.
When you hear the phrase, “I know a great little place where…,” you know whatever recommendation follows is likely to be wonderfully authentic and free from tourists. Maybe even a GLP some of the locals don’t know about!
Take the in-person aspect out of that scenario and aggregate thousands & thousands of international recommendations together … and you have Great Little Place!
Master the local language with … Duolingo …
Duolingo is the perfect app to use prior to a trip. It will first measure your skill level and then take you through endless courses that improve your listening, speaking, writing and reading skills. It’s perfect for both beginners and advanced speakers, completely free and offers over 20 languages.
Personally, I’ve been using it to brush up on my Spanish before my October trip to Mexico!
… and Google Translate.
Google Translate is a complete necessity on international trips where you don’t speak the native language! Typing in a phrase to be translated (without Internet!) is just the beginning…
You can use your camera to instantly translate any text (signs, menus, etc.) and use “conversation mode” for instant two-way speech translation.
Enjoy your airport experience with … Lounge Buddy.
Lounge Buddy makes it possible for travelers to browse, book and access airport lounges around the world in just a couple minutes. Enter your airport and your credentials, and Lounge Buddy will show you which lounges in your airport are available.
And if you don’t have any credentials, don’t worry! While most lounges do require a certain level of status, it turns out you don’t necessarily have to be MVP or Elite to gain access to some. You just have to pay a one-time fee, usually starting around $50.
Be a smart solo traveler with … Tourlina.
For all of you female solo travelers out there, Tourlina is an app that connects you with travelers like yourself. Say, for example, that you’ll be in Argentina for a couple of weeks and want to meet for coffee with someone to conquer that inevitable feeling of loneliness.
Enter your destination and date of travel, and Tourlina will find you another traveler to chat with. This is also a great way to make friends and foster valuable connections!
Keep track of your travels with … Been.
For avid travelers dedicated to seeing as much of the world as they can, Been provides a wonderful visual bucket list!
Here’s my map so you can see how it works:
What has been your experience with these apps? What are your favorite travel apps?
I welcome any additions to my Type A “travel” folder. 🙂
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