With the United States experiencing an improved economy, increased job growth and more consumer confidence comes an increase in the number of Americans who travel 50 miles or more away from home during their time off.
According to the Current Travel Index (CTI), travel to or within the U.S. grew 1.6 percent in Sept. 2018 compared to Sept. 2017.
To help alleviate the stress of traveling, Chamber Business News has gathered all of the best travel apps, so you don’t have to.
KAYAK searches hundreds of travel sites so you don’t have to. It helps travelers book flights, hotels, and rental cars. One advantage is it allows people to organize all travel plans in one place. It also offers price change alerts, flight status updates, terminal maps, and security wait times.
“Our When to Book recommendations will help you plot out your Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve travel. We’ll let you know the best times to book a flight, as well as the best dates to fly for each holiday, based on median airfares. So, you can reassure your family that you won’t miss out on the famous turducken (and save money while doing so),” KAYAK said.
Hopper promises the consumer they will “save on your next flight or hotel trip.” The app uses advanced data science that predicts the future prices of airplane tickets and hotel rooms. “Hopper predicts prices with 95% accuracy up to 1 year in advance.”
According to the company, “users save on average $50 per flight by following the bunny’s advice [and] know if you should book now or wait for a better price using the price prediction feature.”
So far, their customers have saved roughly $1,886,450,000.
HotelTonight does exactly what the name says, it finds you hotels tonight. The app gets discounts from hotels on their empty rooms, which allows customers to get the best rates and deals both last minute and in advance. “Three taps, one swipe, you’re booked!”
“The app made its name with last minute deals, but you can plan as far as 100 days out and even score baller rooms for way less,” Condé Nast Traveler said.
Culture Trip can be used to discover the “coolest experiences wherever you are, from museums to clubs, beaches to hikes and everything in between.”
“Culture Trip is like a crib sheet to the zeitgeist – a whip-smart hybrid of magazine and travel site. You’ll never feel out of the loop again,” Apple said in its App of the Day Feature.
The app hires local writers, photographers and filmmakers to produce articles and videos that the consumer can navigate to find interesting places around them.
According to the app, “We create stories that reveal what is unique and special about a place, its people and its culture… Everyone working at Culture Trip is driven by a shared vision: to inspire people to go beyond their cultural boundaries and connect with the world around them. We want to bring the world to everyone and in doing so bring everyone closer together.”
Marketed as a “nightlife advertising” app, Konnect lets consumers view real-time specials that a business is offering.
Using a map style similar to Google and Apple Maps, Konnect shows individuals the bars, clubs, restaurants, pubs, taverns, and more nearby. When you click on a location the app shows pictures and drink/food specials from that business.
“[You] pull up the map and it’ll [show] every bar or club around you,” Matt Hamilton, Konnect’s CEO, said. “Then you can click on the bar and see what they have going on there tonight.”
According to Hamilton, “nothing is ever outdated” on his app and this is what differentiates his app from others. Operating in real time, the app “refreshes” every 24 hours so the business’s specials are correct.
Google Trips is an all-purpose travel app. While it shows the user nearby things to do and create their own itinerary it also creates personalized day trips formed from syncing to other Google accounts and giving the user things to do throughout the day.
According to the app, it “makes it easier than ever to plan and organize your trips. It automatically maps out half a day or a full day with suggestions for things to see and do. Don’t like what you see? Tap the “magic wand” to see more nearby sights. Each tap of the wand gives you a fresh set of nearby attractions.”
The app is also available offline, so you’ll always be able to access all of your info all day.
“Never forget your ___ again!” That’s the slogan for Packpoint.
This app will help you build a packing list for the “serious traveler.” It bases their list on the length of the trip, weather at the destination, and all the activities planned for the trip and you can share the list with other travelers.
We’ve all been in the situation of wanting to post a pic to the gram but not wanting to waste cell data or our data just is not working. Wifi Map gives users access to more than 100,500,000 free wifi networks worldwide.
“WiFis are added by members of our community with a single intent of helping others with free internet connectivity. You can also add new WiFis and share the app with friends. When we are together, we are unstoppable. This is the power of the sharing economy!”
The app is accessible in the U.S., Europe, Australia, Middle East, Russia, Africa, Asia and more.
App in the Air is “your personal flying assistant” and it pretty much does it all. It helps frequent travelers keep track of all their boarding passes, their frequent-flyer miles, boarding and landing times, and check-in/security and customs wait times, even when you’re offline.
Partly social, App in the Air also lets travelers give tips to others nearby, so you can see “which airport coffee shop is open at 5 am and little-known places to charge your phone.” It also “turns travel into a game” and allows users to visualize their flights through augmented reality while also keeping track of your travel score and showing where you are on the worldwide leaderboard.
Created by Charmin, SitOrSquat helps travelers, or locals, find public restrooms near them. It allows users to view, rate, and add public restrooms telling others if it is safe to sit or if they should squat.
“A clean nearby public bathroom can be hard to find. But not all restrooms are created equal. With SitOrSquat we put clean public toilets on the map. Literally. Clean locations have a green ‘Sit’ rating. Less desirables ones have a red ‘Squat,’” Charmin said in its app announcement.
This app allows you to fly through customs, authorized by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection the app allows “U.S. and Canadian passport holders to submit their passport control and customs declaration information via their iPhone or iPad and bypass the regular line to enter the United States.”
However, the app is only available at 26 U.S. airports and 3 cruise ports.
The CTI predicts that travel growth will moderate through the first three months of 2019.