Most travelers already know how to search Kayak for flights or Hotels.com for rooms. But holiday travel season is a monster that calls for reinforcements.
1. For cheap flights at the last minute: Hopper
For comprehensive ticket info, it really doesn’t get any better than Google Flights. The Hopper app, meanwhile, has special focus on price comparison over time, which lends extra confidence that you’re choosing the cheapest flight.
2. For finding a hotel room fast: HotelTonight
Scroll the easy-to-read maps on HotelTonight for cheap hotel deals at the last minute and up to a week in advance. Keep in mind, though, that hotels sometimes overbook and therefore don’t honor reservations made on third-party sites: It may be worth calling the hotel directly after using the app to see if they’ll give you the deal themselves.
3. To foresee flight delays: FlightAware
You can usually check your airline’s website or run a standard Google search for your flight number to see if it’s been cancelled or delayed. For those of us who prefer to be served, however, FlightAware sends push notifications with this information.
4. For all things airport security: My TSA
My TSA was developed by the Transportation Security Administration itself, with a handy search feature that tells you whether certain items are accepted in carry-on luggage. You can also view real-time wait estimates for most airport security lines, to prepare for the slog before you arrive.
5. To make sure you get the best seat: SeatGuru
Use SeatGuru when buying flights to see which seats have the most legroom, best carry-on storage, power outlets and more.
6. For cheap gas on a road trip: GasBuddy
Tell GasBuddy your location, and get a list of gas stations in your proximity, with current prices per gallon so you can fill up at the cheapest one.
7. For free audiobooks: Audio Books
The robust “Free Books” section of the Audio Books app by audiobooks.com works for road-trippers who don’t have a fancy audiobooks subscription but would like a title to pass the time.
8. For workouts on the road: RunGo
You won’t get lost trotting around Grandma’s neighborhood with RunGo. Plan a route beforehand, and let the app guide you with turn-by-turn audio instructions as you run. Or try one of their pre-planned routes submitted by users in cities and towns nationwide.
9. For top-notch airport food: GateGuru
Sure, GateGuru promises to deliver real-time flight updates when you’re stuck in the airport. But its real selling point is a list of bars and restaurants in each terminal, complete with Yelp-like customer reviews.
10: For storing boarding passes in one place: Apple Wallet
Perhaps the best app for this is already on your phone: For Apple users, the Wallet app stores mobile boarding passes in, well, a virtual wallet, so you aren’t fumbling for your confirmation email in the security line. On an Android, PassWallet does the trick.