Whether you’re asking about the where, the when, or the how, technology has blessed us with a suite of travel apps that have more answers than an over prepared drug smuggler.
From cheap flights and convenient hotels, to serious organizational skills and perspective from fellow travellers, there’s something out there for everyone and their fancy little phones.
But if we’re being honest, some travel apps are more functional – and just plain sexier – than others.
So here’s our list of the best apps you need to have on your phone before your next adventure…
TripIt – Organization
Start by getting this now. RIGHT NOW. Here’s how simple it is: you get a confirmation email from the people with whom you booked your flight or hotel, you forward that email to firstname.lastname@example.org, you open up the app and – courtesy of magicians – you have the world’s most effective travel itinerary waiting for you. From flight times, confirmation codes, and layovers all the way to check-in times, phone numbers, and directions from the airport. We actually feel bad that it’s free.
Hipmunk – Flight & Hotel Search
This app has a few incredible features. First, when they’ve returned your flight search results the brilliantly designed grid interface shows you all the following things in one simple view: the flight times in all time zones (where applicable), the stopovers in relative length to the flights, whether or not the flights offer WiFi and with integration to your calendar, what appointments you have already booked that may interfere with the available flights. Second, for accommodations, they integrate with AirBnB as well as Homeaway to give you a ton of cool alternatives to expensive hotels.
TripAdvisor – Hotel Booking & Reviews
They do have great deals on hotels, but the real value here is the integration of the reviews; their platform contains more than 200 million reviews covering more than 4.4 million accommodations, restaurants, and attractions across 45 countries. Also, an underutilized tool is the traveler photo galleries – it’s always good to know what a hotel looks like through a normal set of eyes before you book.
Agoda – Hotel Booking (Especially Asia)
Really, really, really good deals, great location information and probably the best overall booking platform we’ve seen for travel to Asia.
Skyscanner – Flight & Hotel Booking
Just a really intuitive, effective search & book app that offers a few helpful features like an interactive graph to pinpoint the cheapest surrounding dates to travel and an “Inspiration” board in case you didn’t realize that there were $380 flights to Costa Rica available today.
Gogogbot – Stuff to Do
You can book hotels and vacation rentals through Gogobot, but the real feather in the cap is their “Attractions” integration. From touristy and trendy to the consciously conspicuous, this app will do a great job helping you fill the time between cruising and snoozing.
Hotels.com (also on Android) – Hotel Booking
Sorry for playing Captain Obvious, but they generally end up having the best deals as well as an excellent customer service experience, if it ever comes down to it.
Kayak – All Bookings & Organization
They’ve always had the slickest interface, they let you book flights, hotels and even car rentals and now after integrating with several other low-cost search platforms, they generally do find the best flight deals.
Expedia – Flight, Hotel & Package Booking
The three things Expedia just knocks out of the park are broad price comparison, selection and package deals. While it doesn’t feel as cool as a seat-of-your-cargo-pants backpacking fiasco across Europe, you can save some decent cash by using Expedia to bundle up your flights and hotels. Their most recent commercial is also really, really great.
Cover image from: istock.com/pawel_p