11 Under-Utilized Travel Apps To Make Your Travels More Pleasant

by Jules on February 18, 2013

Imagine a smooth, surprise-free trip the next time you travel. No hotel hiccups. No currency catastrophes. And no duty dangers.

All thanks to your smartphone.

How much savvier would you be? Whether your a world-class traveller, constantly hopping aboard planes, or you’re simply on your way to see your sister Mable get married in Hong Kong, there are apps to help you get there and back.

Currently, there are precisely 9,487,365 smartphone apps out there to help you get from point A to point Z (okay, that may be stretching it), but only a handful of them are actually uber-useful.

Below you’ll find 11 of those apps that we, at Happier, found to be successful at making travel easier.

Our Top 11 Travel App Picks

  1. Fuel Monitor – Not your average fuel app, this one breaks down your usage and costs  per trip. So whether you’re hitting the books at the library just a mile up the street or traveling across country, you’ll know where your fuel dollars are going. This is a super tool if you’re splitting the cost of the trip with your roadmates, too. You can also use it to find out if your driving habits are costing you money.
  2. Airbnb – The one app you need to access homey room and board on your journey. Don’t want a hotel? Want to get to know people on your trip? Airbnb has search features to let you find a place to stay in homes of hosts in the country you’re staying in. It’s a great way to make friends and to get to know new cultures. Disclaimer: Research the host by checking reviews and what others have had to say about them. Be safe.
  3. Simply Declare – Remembering exactly what you bought and how much you paid for it on international travels is a little like trying to remember what dress you wore to the prom. You know it was gorgeous, but you’d have to look at your pictures to remember it. Well, you’ll never forget another purchase for your duty declarations when you re-enter your home country. Simply Declare keeps up with your goodies, lets you know how much is allowed, and calculates into USD.
  4. Flight View  – Now you can access real time flight, airport, and weather information on your smartphone, too. With this app, you’ll also receive alerts for gate changes and flight statuses change. This app makes airport navigation and getting to your flight a less stressful event. You’ll even be able to locate restaurants and see the layouts of the airports you visit to know if you’ll have time to grab a sandwich before boarding.
  5. Flash Valet – Get VIP treatment when you travel and let the Valet park your car without worrying about carrying cash to pay, or having to wait for him to bring your car around. This app lets you text when you’re ready for your car so it’s ready when you are (no more standing around in the rain waiting for it!). And when you’re ready to pay, Flash Valet accepts credit cards curbside.
  6. DISH Remote Access – With DISH Anywhere, you can watch your DVR’d or live shows through your smartphone. No more missing Grey’s Anatomy while you’re stuck  out on the road. The best part is there’s no additional cost for DISH Anywhere and you don’t have to wait to see your favorite programs.
  7. Gate Guru – More than just a flight scanner, this app gets you reduced car rental rates through Avis. And it lets you keep up with your travel stats, so you know how many miles you’ve traveled, how much time you’ve spent in security and more. You’ll also get an Amenity list that’s personalized to your needs.
  8. Hotel Tonight – Need a hotel, tonight?? No problem with this handy little app. You’ll be able to find a hotel and get the best last minute deals offered. Up to 70% on unsold rooms, to be exact.
  9. Room77 – While we love the deep discounts of up to 70% with HotelTonight, Room 77 offers something amazing – digital room layouts and window views of the rooms we want to book. Special occasions, like honeymoons, anniversaries, or even celebrating a new promotion need a special touch. And we can get that with Room 77’s awesome search features.
  10. Oanda Currency Converter – Overseas travelers need a currency converter that’s reliable, but one that calculates fees for ATMs and credit cards is a must-have. And Oanda does it. With over 190 currencies, their daily rates, and four metals, you’ll likely be able to find the one you need for your journey so you never overpay on your trip again.
  11. Google Translate - Traveling to foreign countries means you’ll need to be able to navigate your environment as best you can on your own. And if you don’t have a good grasp of the local language, you could end up in Timbuktu instead of Mumbai. Reduce the likelihood of that happening with Google Translate’s written and spoken features to help you understand the natives’ tongue.

Great! Now you can navigate the airport, keep up with how much you’ve spent, listen and take part in foreign conversations, and stay on the cheap! What apps do you use that aren’t listed here?

 

Tania Dakka, writes for www.happier.co.uk, the friendliest money saving social site online.

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