TOP 5 FAVORITE TRAVEL APPS
When I'm traveling I try my hardest to immerse myself in the moment and avoid using my phone, but sometimes technology can be a huge aid. Here's a roundup of my top 5 favorite travel apps for both planning and time on the road.
My favorite! I use it for every flight. Seat Guru allows you to search for your seat map using your airline, flight number, and travel date. Most planes have multiple configurations, so be sure to match your flight correctly by comparing to your airline's seat map. Real travelers leave seat notes (and even photos)- you can check if there’s a misaligned window, limited recline, proximity to something annoying, and numerous other helpful information.
Admittedly, I’m a Delta loyalist and I very rarely book a non-Sky Team flight, BUT Kayak is a great app that allows you to search flight data and costs across multiple platforms (individual airline websites, cheaptickets.com priceline.com, etc.). I use Kayak not only for researching flight costs, but also for booking rental cars, and occasionally hotels. Google Flights works well too.
AirBnB is an app/website that allows users to book accommodations at apartments, flats, homes, or other unique housing options. If want a more personal experience than a hotel or hostel, and want to feel like a local, AirBnB is your answer. Spaces are usually in real people’s homes, and often include not only a bed(s) and bath, but living areas, and a kitchen. AirBnB can be more cost effective than hotels (but of course, prices vary greatly). I’ve been using AirBnB for my travels (and work in NYC) since 2012 and have stayed at dozens and dozens of amazing spots.
BUT, the caveat, sometimes I find a hotel to be a preferable option when I need more flexible travel plans. For example, when you arrange to stay in someone’s home, often you have to meet your host at a specific time, and this can be problematic if you aren’t sure exactly what time you’ll arrive (and possibly don't have cell or data available). That being said, many hosts these days don't even meet guests, and instead have a lock-box or similar way to retrieve the keys.
If you do decide to try out AirBnB, read the reviews, make sure you have easy access to the space, and have fun!
A great app for tracking your budget and spending. You can organize expenses by category, such as accommodations, flights, car rental, fuel, gifts, etc. I've downloaded and tried too many budgeting apps to count, but this one is far and away my personal fav. It’s well designed, allows you to manage multiple trips, and provides a snapshot of spending, which is helpful for planning future trips.
5. Trip Advisor
When I’m in a new city, looking for the top restaurants, bars, or attractions, my first stop is almost always Trip Advisor. The reviews and rankings are helpful and I have TA to credit for many amazing spots I would’ve otherswise never found on my own.
This fun, novelty app allows you keep a checklist of countries you’ve visited, and US States as well.