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. Not only that, but smartphones often come in very handy when it comes to things like travel planning or finding directions and maps. But aside from the logistics of traveling, smartphones can be useful in saving cash on the actual act traveling.
Yes, there are many travel-based mobile apps on the market. But these are some of the best that can help those intrepid and frequent travelers pocket some much-needed extra dough.
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 the savings). 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 a currency converter and airport maps. Not only that, but it also breaks down hidden fees many airlines like to charge for things such as baggage check and snacks.
This is the app based on the popular hotel-savings website. Many people likely know Hotwire.com for its business model that involves filling 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 to this app 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.
This app is based on the CarRentals.com website. And while it isn’t exactly difficult to access car rental services online, this app excels at consolidating all options into one place. Users can search options by company, price and type of car (convertible, mini-van, etc.).
Probably the best part about CarRentals is that users can make their car reservation right from the app.
Free Wi-Fi Finder
Those who have traveled abroad and used their smartphone’s 3G or 4G Internet with impunity have likely returned home to be greeted by a huge roaming bill. Data roaming charges are indeed murder for traveling smartphone users, and this app aims to take care of that. The app uses the smartphone’s location to find all Wi-Fi hotspots in the area.
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.
Aaron Mills is a travel writer who blogs on behalf of travel insurance brand Protect Your Bubble