Tuesday’s Tech of the Week: Travel Apps Edition
Summer is sneaking up on us, and it’s time to plan your travel for the next few months. Whether you’re looking for a last minute Memorial Day getaway, are planning a three week tour of the Mediterranean, or simply want a beach house for 20 for the 4th of July, these 10 travel apps are sure to make your vacation dreams come true. Stay tuned for more travel tech in the weeks to come.
Apps for Planning the Perfect Flight:
TripIt: Tired of saving all your electronic tickets in your priority inbox? Lost that confirmation number and need to change your flight, yet again? Forward all itineraries to TripIt and keep track of all of those pesky details. Info is pushed to your mobile device via the app, and it will even let you know if you've got friends traveling to the same places at the same times! TripIt also allows you to seamlessly integrate your calendar and provides directions (driving, walking, public transportation) to any place you’d like to go.
Kayak: Kayak.com seems to have trumped it's predecessors and competitors (Travelocity, Orbitz, Expedia) in terms of being the go-to flight search site, but Kayak’s iPhone app is what sets them apart. The app makes it ridiculously easy to search for flights as well as looking for hotels by location on a map that reflects your location. In some ways, the app is almost better than the website in that the info is more simply delivered. Oh, and we love that Kayak serves up “Hacker Fares” involving more than one airline if the price is right. :)
SeatGuru: If you care about legroom, proximity to the bathroom (or lack thereof), and anything else that pertains to your seat, you're gonna wanna fire SeatGuru up whenever you book air travel. And if you’re already booked and heading to the airport, check your seats on the app and make last minute changes if you’re not in a spot that pleases you.
HipMunk: We like to think of HipMunk as the best looking travel spreadsheet we've ever seen. Once you search it allows you to search by price, duration, departure time, arrival time, and agony (a combination of price, duration, and number of stops). You can open several tabs at once if you're looking at a few different routes, and it illustrates the flights based on leg length, including layovers. And if a train will help your travel go more smoothly, they'll throw that info in as well.
FlightBoard: Ideal for the travel junkie, FlightBoard turns your iPhone or Android into a Departures Board for any airport in the world. This is super handy if you're looking to catch an earlier flight en route to the airport, or if you're looking for a last minute weekend away. Admittedly, we like this app for it's design aesthetic and vintage travel feel. Warning: Strong feelings of Wanderlust are inevitable.
Apps for Finding Your Ideal Home Away from Home:
Airbnb: We LOVE Airbnb. It has made traveling anywhere and everywhere more convenient, more affordable, and more personal. Gone are the days when we crave late night room service (ok, those days aren't quite gone…) and here are the days when we want to be able to cook and feel like we're right at home, even on vacation. The app makes those 30 minutes spent commuting perfect for planning your dream vacation.
HotelTonight: Last minute planner much? HotelTonight is your new best friend. As you can probably guess from the name, HotelTonight is an app that finds you a room tonight! It’s only good for same day bookings, typically after noon. Though last minute planning can be stressful, the great part about this app is that hotel rates are often deeply discounted. Score!
Trip Advisor: TripAdvisor is an old favorite, and with good reason. This is the ideal website or app to turn to for pretty reliable customer reviews as well as really great insights from fellow travelers. It has just about every hotel around, allows you to search by address as well as proximity to current location, and the app has access to all the photos and reviews available on the site.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith: Looking for a hideaway off the beaten track? A designy boutique hotel in any given city’s boho district? Then you best check out Mr. and Mrs. Smith. You can search for hotels, villas, apartments and more. From budget boutique hotels to honeymoon hotspots to secluded private island accommodations, this site’s got you covered.
Inspirato: Ready to take it to the next level? Inspirato is Airbnb times about a million. It’s a private club that offers its members heavily discounted access to an exclusive portfolio of multi-million dollar residences, fully controlled by the club. Not only do properties boast luxurious furnishings but personalized service, and access to incredible sites no matter what the location.
What apps do you use for planning business trips, summer vacations, and weekend getaways? Let us know in the comments below or find us on Twitter.