My Favorite Apps - Before Your Trip

One of the best things about traveling in the modern world is our ability to stay connected through our phones.  We have thousands of apps at our disposal, many of which are travel related.  Every traveler has their favorites and a quick Google search will bring up hundreds of “best apps for travel” lists.  I’ve decided to collect a few of my favorite “before you go” apps below.

  1. Skiplagged – Free
    • This app gives you the ability to search all flights including those where you get off at the layover instead of the final destination. For example, a flight from NYC to Washington D.C. may run you $300.  But a flight from NYC to Charlotte with a layover in Washington D.C. might cost $200.  This app shows you all the options, so you can score the best deal.  The downside is you can’t check a bag, as it will end up at the final destination.  But this is a great option for quick trips!
  2. Kayak - Free
    • You’ve heard of it, you’ve seen the commercials, and you’ve probably even used it a few times. This is my go-to flight search website.  I love the price predictor feature and am always confident I’m getting the best deal.
  3. Roadtrippers -Free
    • So you’re not flying, you’re driving! Roadtrippers is one of my favorite apps, even for short trips.  Just plug in your start and end destinations and this app will show you all kinds of awesome places you can stop along the way from restaurants to points of interest.
  4. Air BnB - Free
    • When I first heard of Air Bnb, I’ll admit, I was super skeptical. How could you really be sure you’re getting a clean, safe space?  But after a few wonderful experiences, I am a big proponent of Air BnB.  You can find great apartments and homes, often for less than the cost of a hotel room.  This also allows you to save some money on food by giving you the opportunity to cook a few meals.
  5. Groupon - Free
    • Groupon often offers a lot of great travel deals, so it’s definitely worth a look. It’s also great for local traveling and hometown exploration as well!
  6. Trip Advisor - Free
    • I love Trip Advisor. It’s the best place to read unfiltered reviews of all things travel related, from hotels to restaurants to fun things to do.  They offer top rated items in just about any category.  It’s a great way to do some basic research on what any location has to offer.  I also think it’s a great way to see how businesses handle guest complaints.  You can absolutely get a feel for their customer service practices; if they are quick to blame the guest for any issues, you may want to avoid this place altogether.
  7. Yelp - Free
    • Chances are, you’ve probably got this one already downloaded or have used it to read reviews on restaurants in your area. I find Yelp to be extremely helpful, even when traveling.  During my 17 day trip to Eastern Europe this winter, all I wanted was a decent plate of nachos (a girl can only eat so much meat and potatoes).  Where did I go to find said nachos? You guessed it.  Yelp!
  8. Packing Pro - $2.99
    • So you’ve booked you trip and now it’s time to pack. I find this to be one of the hardest things about traveling.  I have a tendency to over pack thinking I’ll need to change multiple times a day (of course I need that extra sweater!).  Of course I know better, but all logic goes out the window when I open up that empty suitcase full of space.  I’ll post some of my packing tips later on but in the meantime, this app is very helpful in breaking down what you’ll need.  You let the app know where you’re going, how many days you’ll be there, and what the weather is supposed to be like.  You can also add information such as whether you’ll be swimming or if you’ll have access to a washing machine.  Packing Pro then generates a tentative list of things you might need.  It’s absolutely worth the $2.99 to make sure you don’t forget anything important.
  9. Google Trips - Free
    • This app is relatively new and is still working through some technical kinks. But it has tons of potential.  It’s a one stop shop app for all things trips.  It holds all of your flight and hotel reservation information and creates a clean, neat itinerary for you.  You can even access it offline if you’re not turning on your data overseas.  Google Trips offers guides, personal recommendations based on how long you’re in town, and even has a “magic wand” tool that shows you a random highlight in the city you’re in.  Finally, if you are turning you’re data on, it provides real time business hours and activities based on the current weather.  Is it raining outside?  Google Trips will show you fun activities that are indoors.

What’s your favorite travel planning app?  And stay tuned for my favorite “during your trip” apps!