As my kid-free trip to Cabo approaches (squeal!), I thought I’d share some of the apps I used to save some dineros and get the best deal.
Like all of us, I take vacations hoping to come out revived and restored. But sometimes, it feels like a whole getaway’s worth of R&R gets undone the moment I read my post-vacation credit card statement. Fortunately, the right apps can slash that travel bill and leave you with enough cash for some souvenirs. Here are five of my favorite apps for saving on summer travel.
The multi-site flight/hotel/car search engine isn’t new, but Kayak is so good that it has to be mentioned—plus it’s continually adding great, new functions. Its price tracker is one of the handiest: it’s a trend graph that can tell you whether the price of your ticket is likely to go up or down over the next few days. You can also set a “price alert” so you’ll know when a fare drops to the number you were hoping to pay, and you can automatically compare Kayak’s fares to those of major consolidators such as Expedia and Priceline.
Trivago’s enormous international search app lets you run hotel price comparisons across 278 booking sites (undoubtedly including many you’d never otherwise find). Search by rating, price or popularity to pull up potential bargains all over the world.
Like Kayak, Skyscanner searches flights, hotels and car rentals, but it’s been getting a lot of attention for its price update push notifications and its ability to get the word out faster than other apps. When the price of the ticket you’re looking for drops, this app might just let you know before others do.
Hopper’s strength is its ability to reveal a lot of information at a glance, and with intuitive style. Its fare tracker speaks plain English: for example, “You should wait for a better price, but book before July 20.” It also tells you in dollars how much it expects fares to go up or down within the next few weeks. Finally, it can suggest alternative travel dates that have cheaper fares (hey, that sounds eerily like a real travel agent).
Roadtriiip! GasBuddy locates the cheapest gas stations near you, crowdsourcing-style: report gas prices when you find them, and you can also competeagainst other road warriors in a gas price-finding contest.
Lots of hotels have unbooked rooms at the last minute. Hotel Tonight opens them up to you, at reduced prices. Whether you prefer to keep your travel plans open-ended (you never know when you’ll want to stay an extra night in a beautiful city) or just want to grab a staycation, this app offers flexibility.
Ready to save some money on a vacay? Let me know in the comments!