Traveling is very exciting for everyone, but it can also be expensive, stressful, and time-consuming. Did you know that apps can help make your travels smoother? No, not apps like Instagram or Facebook. Apps that are specifically created to come to the aid of travelers everywhere.
Whether you’re traveling locally and just need a place to stay on short-notice, or you’re traveling abroad and the airline screwed you over and you don’t speak the language, having these 5 smartphone apps can help make your life easier when traveling. Here’s why it’s a good idea to keep them handy on your phone.
- Flight compensation: AirHelp
Have you ever experienced this? You arrive at the airport, go through all the motions, you’re excited to board your flight, but you’re denied. Why? Because they overbooked the flight, and now they need to bump someone.
Or there was a flight delay or even a cancellation. Now you’re left behind in the airport, holding your bags, with nowhere to go and a huge problem on your hands. In both these cases, you are entitled to compensation, but pursuing it is complicated, annoying, and time-consuming.
That’s where AirHelp comes in. All you have to do is send in your issue and your flight details and someone will take on your case and pursue it with the airline. That takes all the stress out of the process for you.
Now you can move along with your travel plans, and the situation is resolved for you. If the company manages to obtain the much-desired compensation for your flight, they will take a 25% commission, and you get the remaining 75%.
It seems like a significant cut, but consider the fact that less than 1% of those entitled to this type of compensation actually receive it. All of a sudden, 75% sounds pretty good, compared to a net loss.
- Hotel discounts: HotelTonight
Usually, the most expensive part of a trip, aside from transportation, is accommodation. Hotels are extremely expensive, especially if you’re traveling for an event, during a busy time of year, or you want to stay somewhere close to the action.
To that, add the fact that you need to book months in advance, because rooms get snapped up quickly, especially if the price is right or there’s a discount involved. Or attractive price offers turn out to be scams. If you’re traveling last-minute, there’s no winning.
But an app like HotelTonight can help with this particular problem. You see, what HotelTonight does is give you the opportunity to search for great last-minute hotel rooms. You don’t have to trawl through a million different websites or check every hotel one by one.
Just search by your location or a specific spot on the map, and you’ll get all the latest offers for empty rooms in your area. That’ll save you hundreds of dollars on last-minute bookings and it helps hotels reach capacity, so it’s a win-win.
- Cost tracking: TrailWallet
The worst part of traveling, by far, is how expensive it is, and how hard it is to keep track of all the money you’re spending. How much money did you exchange? What about what you paid for on your card? Did you remember to write down the 2 euros you left that bartender? How much was that drink again? It’s a nightmare.
You can’t whip out a notebook to jot down all your expenses every single time you take money out of your pocket, so there’s got to be a better way to do this. And there is, if you get a cost tracking app like Trail Wallet.
The concept is really simple: every time you make a payment, you input it in the app. You can divide them by category and even keep an overall budget or separate smaller ones for each expense category. You never have to struggle to remember how much you spent, because punching in the numbers is so easy and convenient. You never have to be the weird guy with the notebook ever again.
- Travel itinerary: TripIt
The other annoying part of traveling is the level of organization it requires. Between remembering so many dates and times to paying for everything at the right time to jotting down transportation times, addresses, and so many names of places, it’s really easy to get confused or forget crucial information.
The last thing you want is to forget about a flight, write down a wrong date, or fail to find the right building for your AirBnb. It would be really helpful if you had some way to collate all this super important info in a neat, organized package that you could reference.
Allow us to introduce TripIt. This app is all you need to streamline your travel information and make sure you’ve got everything in one place and will never forget everything again. Put it all in here – your travel dates, bookings, emails, car rentals, restaurants and the app organizes it for you.
You just check the app, and it tells you when you’ve got your reservation, reminds about that early flight, and lets you know if things get canceled or delayed. It’s like your own little travel assistant and you can’t live without it.
- Language help: Duolingo
Traveling to a different country where you don’t speak the language? No matter how educated and worldly you are, you can’t know every language, and if you don’t speak a foreign language often enough, you start forgetting it or getting rusty.
That proves to be a problem when you’re face to face with a bartender in Spain and you can’t even remember how to ask for a “cerveza”. Boy, you really wish you would have spent more time brushing up on your Spanish. Too bad you can’t do it on the go.
Except, yes you can! An app like Duolingo is extremely convenient, because you don’t need to lug around language books or tapes. Everything you need is right there on your phone and you can practice any category you need, whether it’s basic vocabulary, tenses, or specific phrases.
That way, you can learn while you travel. Not only will you have something to do on long flights, airport waits and overnight bus rides, but you’ll also acquire an extremely useful skill that will help you better navigate in a foreign country. And it’s 100% free.
As fun as it is to travel, it usually comes with a lot of associated headaches. Airline disputes and last-minute hotel bookings, travel expenses, and a general lack of organization – it can almost put you off ever going anywhere.
That’s where apps can help you out. Anything you’re struggling with – there’s an app for that! Keep track of your travel costs, brush up on your language skills, stay organized, and even find last-minute hotel rooms, all on your phone.