As a penny-pincher, planning trips is always an ordeal. I spend lots of time researching the most time-saving and/or cost-effective options for transportation, accommodations, and attractions. I’m laying low this holiday season, but when I do trek out into the world I have several apps I rely on to make the most of my travels.
1. Booking it: Airfarewatchdog is great for those who have a regular destination they visit. I always keep an eye out for deals on flights home, so I registered to receive notifications when the price drops from LA to Nashville. It makes going home so much more affordable, especially when going cross-country.
2. Getting there: No matter how many times I fly out of LAX, I still have no idea where the bathrooms are or what dining options are in which terminal. The GateGuru app helps you navigate the airport and manage your trip from your phone.
3. Along the way: I found Roadtrippers before I went to Palm Springs for my birthday last year. Even though it is a short drive from LA, I wanted to make it an experience. Using Roadtrippers, I planned a number of pit-stops to obscure attractions, museums, restaurants, and shops to give the journey a little more flavor.
4. Staying there: A friend recently told me about Jetsetter. Before now, I visited the usual suspects for hotel deals: Groupon, LivingSocial, and Gilt City. Now, I’m notified of discounts at top hotels in destinations around the world. I haven’t made a reservation yet (I’m keeping an eye out for a certain hotel), but the friend who referred me had only good things to say.
5. Sharing the memories: During a girls weekend in Vegas we used the PhotoCircle app to share all of our phone pictures from the trip. Rather than texting or emailing, create an event and add members so everyone can share and download photos. It’s super easy to use and a fun way to merge all the pictures in one place.