These 5 Apps Will Save You Money on Your Next Vacation
There are few modern pieces of technology that are considered as much of an everyday necessity as the smartphone. Indeed, most people are practically tethered to their mobile devices, so suggesting they leave them at home before embarking on a business trip or vacation is a laughable proposition at best. Also, smartphones often come in very handy in this department, whether it's planning the logistics of a trip or saving cash during the actual trip.
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These are some of the best tools and apps that can help those intrepid and frequent travelers pocket some much-needed extra dough.
Before leaving for that trip abroad, it's vital to download a quality currency converter. Having precise exchange rates at the ready can save a traveler quite a bit. Yes, there are plenty of private exchange houses in nearly every country. However, as a rule, they offer crummy rates. And those folks who change money on the street? Don't even think about it. It's best to simply download a solid option like Currency, which covers over 100 countries. Of course, you can't actually exchange currency with Currency, but at least you'll know what the going rates are (or should be) when you visit a bank to change your money. Currency is available for Android, iOS, and even webOS. (See also: 37 Hidden Travel Fees)
Kayak is quickly becoming the first name in travel savings. This has to do with its mass user approval (those why try it once seem to get hooked on all the deals). On the surface, the app offers prime savings across the three standard platforms: flights, hotels, and car savings. Users can even set their own price alerts and watch as the costs of tickets and reservations go up and down on a daily basis. But where the app really shines is in the smaller details. For example, Kayak provides contact info for all major air carriers as well as airport maps. It also breaks down the hidden fees many airlines like to charge for such incidentals as baggage check and snacks. Even better? It manages and tracks all of your itinerary details. It is available for iOS, Android, Windows, and Kindle. (See also: Things You Overpay When You Travel)
This iPhone app acts as a kind-of superpowered Yelp for frequent travelers. Desti touts its use of artificial intelligence to help folks narrow down their search results from thousands of places. That means users can enter just a few keywords to help them find ideal listings on amenities, rooms, and vehicle rentals. Looking for a hotel with free breakfast or discounted rooms for the night? This app can do that. (See also: 25 Secrets from Frugal Frequent Travelers)
Hotwire's business model is to fill hotel rooms before they go unsold for the night. All that's required of the app user is to input his or her city or town and a list of discounted hotel rooms will appear by price. The drawback is that it doesn't provide the names of said hotels in the list. Having said that, there is basic hotel info, like star ratings, next to the listed price per night. The app is available for iOS and Android. (See also: 4 Powerful Smartphones at a Reasonable Price)
While it isn't exactly difficult to access car rental services online, CarRentals excels at consolidating all agencies into one place. Users can search options by company, price, and type of car. Probably the best part about CarRentals is that users can make their reservation right from the app, which is available for iPhone.
By downloading one or all of these options, travelers should be able to save quite a bit of money on everything from flights and hotels to car rentals and Internet usage. And the best part is that all of the above app options are free.
What apps do you rely upon when you travel? Please share in comments!