I love travel apps. I honestly do. I love how convenient, helpful and informative they are. I’ve picked out a few of my favorites that I use to keep my travel plans affordable and organized.
Why I Love it: TripIt is great because it keeps all of your travel information in one place. It’s like an itinerary that organizes your flight information, dinner reservations, activities, hotel reservations and everything in between in one place.
Why I Love it: I use restaurant.com all the time when I’m traveling. You can search for restaurants in your area that have deals. This may not be important to everyone, but I’m always trying to find a good deal when traveling. Plus, all the restaurants have ratings, which is always helpful. You can also search for a specific type of food, so you can usually find whatever you’re in the mood for.
Why I Love it: Oh Groupon, how I love you. I use groupon during vacations all the time. It’s a great way to find local restaurants and activities. I’ve purchased tickets to festivals on groupon, restaurant coupons, museums tickets, kayaking passes… it’s really a great resource.
Why I Love it: If you are going on a roadtrip, you simply have to use GasBuddy. The app searches for gas stations around you and shows you their current prices. There is also a feature on the website that estimates your total trip coat based on your car make and model. It will also show you the best places to stop for gas along the way.
Why I Love it: So you’re on vacation, but your hotel doesn’t offer free wifi. That’s alright, because you’ve got wifi finder. Wifi Finder is here to help. You can search for both free and paid public wifi spots. You can even filter it by venue (bar, cafe, hotel, restaurant, etc.) and provider.
Why I Love it: I am in love with this one. Late this sumer Ivan and I had to go to Chicago. We decided to drive instead of taking the train in because it would be cheaper. However, when I found out how much the hotel wanted to charge for parking ($30 a night!), I knew I had to find an alternative. Enter SpotHero. You can search SpotHero for all the parking options around a certain location. You enter the time frame you will be there and it shows you the cost. It’s generally cheaper than the normal price and your spot is guaranteed. Plus, you can usually find promo codes online to bring your price down even further.
Why I Love it: If you’re traveling overseas you’ve got to use Skype to make calls. Skype makes video calls over the wifi, not your phone like facetime does. Way cheaper guys.
Uber | Lyft
Why I Love it: So Uber has been under fire lately. I have to say though, I’ve used it countless times and I’ve never had a problem. I like uber for a number of reasons. Here is how it works. You open the app and you see a map and a bunch of tiny little black cars around your location. It gives you an estimation of wait time (I’ve never waited more than 10 minutes). Then you type in where you want to go and it gives a fare estmate. Then you can send for a driver. You can then track their movements on your phone. You are also given their license plate number, name, phone number and photo. Once you get in the car, the timer starts. You never exchange money and you don’t tip. It automatically comes out of your credit card/debit card after the ride. You can also split Uber rides between friends. Which is fantastic, because I never have the right amount of cash to split rides. I also love the fact that I can send my “route” to people. Call me paranoid, but if I’m in a place i don’t recognize, I send my route to someone (usually my overprotective sister or whoever I’m going to meet). That way if something goes wrong, they know where to find me, because they have an exact trail of where I went. You also rate the drivers.
Lyft is a competitor of Uber. I’ve only used Lyft once (it’s not available in my hometown), but I had a great experience with it. I don’t think you can split the cost with lyft and I don’t think you can send your route to people. I may be wrong, but I didn’t see these options. Everything else is exactly the same. I do know that Lyft won’t match you up again with someone you’ve given a rating of 3 or below.
I use Mint everyday, but I also think it’s an essential tool when traveling. Mint keeps track of all your credit cards and bank accounts. It’s a quick and easy way to monitor all of your accounts for unusual activity when traveling.
This post was created in collaboration with RelayRides.com. RelayRides is a peer-to-peer car rental site. This is a great way to get around on your vacation. You simply enter your travel dates and search the city where you’ll need a car. You can then select the car you want and begin the rental process. You can also make a some extra cash by loaning your car out on the site. Don’t worry – you’re car is fully insured during rental. You can also rent your car out while you’re on vacation. You park at the airport for free and they take care of loaning your car out while you’re gone. The free partking feature is currently available in Los Angeles and San Francisco. For a list of airports offering the standard service, click here.