The fun in traveling is in planning your vacation… said no one ever. But, by planning and staying organized, you’re likely to reap the benefits of a less stressful travel experience.
Check out the following problem-solving mobile apps and websites that will simplify your travels.
Launched in 2012, this website allows you to personalize travel previews by seeing what your friends recommend (rather than sifting through larger websites’ generic reviews). Let’s be honest, you probably trust your friends’ judgment more than strangers' anyway!
TripIt And TripCase
Goodbye color-coded binder tabs. Both TripIt and TripCase combine your travel itineraries, tickets, reservations and bookings on one mobile platform. Check them both out and see which one is best for you.
ThePoints.Com And AwardWallet.com
The infamous travel bug will bite you and before you know it, you’ll be a travel pro — but if you’re not organized, you may not get airline points and rewards. Manage your points for free online and reap rewards like an expert.
Gate Guru And iFlight Airport Guide
Both apps update you on flight departure information, gates, maps and terminal reviews.
Yes, you should be using Kayak.com and Skyscanner.net — both also have mobile apps, but the following are other travel tools that you should bookmark.
This allows you to look up flights by region rather than by specific cities and airports so you can compare rates for a series of destinations. If you’re indifferent about whether you start your Eurotrip in Barcelona or Rome, use this tool to your advantage.
This mobile app allows you to send your travel itinerary to in-vehicle navigation. It also identifies nearby points of interest using Foursquare.
Whether you want to meet up with a local or you need to check in with your family at home, it’s the 21st century and you can’t actually shut out the whole world.
Wifi Finder And J Wire
No one wants to waste his or her minimal data plan abroad, so when wifi is available, it’s important to make use. Use either of these apps to locate wifi hotspots.
This is a great app that allows you to keep your phone number without facing roaming fees.
Skype And FaceTime
Beware: since both of these commonly used apps work with wifi, they’ll devour your data if your plan isn’t unlimited.
WhatsApp And Viber
These are great apps for using the Internet for SMS messaging.
Google Translate has released an app that works on the spot. Charades are fun, but sometimes you need voice-optimized technology to say want you want, correctly and in the right language.
If you’re a newbie in planning your own travels, browse through AirBnB, HostelWorld, HostelHero, booking.com and CouchSurfing (all have mobile apps), to get a feel for accommodation options.
Using this app, you’ll automatically receive a refund if the price of your hotel room drops.
This is the lodging equivalent of Kayak and Skyscanner. It compares rates from different booking platforms.
A win-win for travelers, this site allows you to book hotel reservations from people who have canceled their trips or to sell your hotel reservation if you can no longer use it.
Generally, travelers take care of each other without pinching pennies. But, if you’re traveling long enough, things can get messy, so tools like Venmo are great. Linking to your bank account through your mobile device, it's a paper-free way to settle tabs and send your friends money that you owe.
This site allows you to adhere to a budget you set for yourself and to categorize your expenses using your various online bank accounts.
You’re on vacation — there’s no need for unnecessary math! Keep this app on hand to protect yourself from conversion rate mistakes and local scam artists.
A must use for business travelers, this app allows you to submit and track your travel expenses. Reimbursements go directly to your bank account. It costs $8 per month after a 30-day free subscription period.
Take it upon yourself to browse a bit and select several blogs that resonate with you. If you can relate to a blogger, trust his or her judgment and embrace a few experience-based tips, you’ll help yourself a lot. I wish someone told me to take a charter bus rather than the train in Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and South America.
I wish I’d known that you can’t always rent a car day-of without additional costs. There’s no need to start a fire when a stove is readily available — a little research will only make your travel treat sweeter.