Travel made easy – Apps for the holidays
Every year at about this time, I get really restless. Maybe it’s because it gets dark before I’m done with lunch. Maybe it’s because the average temperature outside is the same as in my fridge. Or maybe it’s just because I have the same attention deficits that you have. Whatever the reason, I get itchy to travel, and whenever I get itchy – and this might sound weird – I pull out my phone. Here are a few of my go-to apps when I’m ready to go:
If you’ve ever used Priceline on your computer, you’ll love this app. You can use it for finding hotels, rental cars and flights – though I mostly use it for hotels. You can search for hotels all over the world for the dates you want, then filter them by the number of stars, by amenities (like free parking or free breakfast if you’re as cheap – ahem, frugal – as I am) and by neighborhood. I usually sort them by price or, if I’m already on the scene and don’t know where I’m staying that night, I’ll sort by proximity, using my phone’s GPS. I’ve even pulled over on the side of the road and booked a hotel on my way there.
If you’re up for something a little outside of the mainstream, Airbnb just might be your game. With this app, you can rent a room, a whole house, a yurt or even a treehouse from a real person – and sometimes it’s a total steal. You can use the app to search in the usual ways, then communicate directly with the owner of the place to seal the deal. I recently used this app to score a room in a gorgeous condo on the river in Portland for cheap! For something similar, HomeAway is another good option.
You can use this app like you’d use Priceline to search for hotels, cars and flights, but – thanks to its name – I tend to use this one for flights. The app allows you to search round trip, one way and even multi-city fares. If you get lost, confused or frustrated, you can click the little headset icon in the corner of the app to call an actual human for help.
What’s your favorite way to travel with your phone? I could use some new tips in the comments below.