Best Mobile Apps For Discount Travel

October 2, 2014 8:00 AM

The use of smartphones and apps have become a regular part of our day-to-day lives. If something needs to be done, chances are there is an app for that. Apps are increasingly becoming popular among those planning all types of vacations. There is an app for just about every stage of vacation planning, including researching destinations, booking vacations and keeping up-to-date with what is going on while on vacation.

Apps are also helping save travelers money on their upcoming vacations. Apps are available to help vacation planners find inexpensive airfare, book five-star hotels at affordable prices and receive discounts while dining at some of the best restaurants in the area.

Here are some of the best mobile apps to help find travel deals and discounts.

CarRentals.com

The CarRentals.com app is one of the easiest ways to rent a car using a smartphone. With this app, there is no need to check the different car rental companies separately because all of the best prices available will show up with a tap here and a tap there. Once your destination is selected, you are able to filter your results based on price, car size and/or vendor. In some cases, the prices you are given through CarRentals.com are lower than the same rental company will quote on their own website.

Related: Angie’s List: How to Save Money on Your Car Rental

Free Wi-Fi Finder

Save data while on vacation by quickly locating the nearest free wireless hotspot using the Free Wi-Fi Finder app. You can either allow the app to use your location or you can manually enter a location when searching for a wireless hotspot. Manually entering your vacation route will help you map out stops along the way that offer free wireless access, helping you save even more on your data usage while traveling.

gasbuddy Best Mobile Apps For Discount Travel

Photo Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

GasBuddy

GasBuddy will especially come in handy during your next road trip. Not only will GasBuddy help you find the nearest gas station, but it will also help you find the cheapest gas prices near you. Users are able to share local gas prices with others using the app, helping each other save money. Plus, you will be entered in a daily drawing for a $100 gas card by regularly sharing the gas prices you see in your area.

Hotwire Hotels

The app from Hotwire Hotels is perfect for the person who is having to unexpectedly travel and for travelers who need to stop and get some rest. This app will tell you which hotels have vacancies available and which hotels have seriously low prices. You will have thousands of rooms at your fingertips, all listed with discounted prices up to 60-percent-off rack room rates. The only downfall is you do not see the hotel name when booking the room. However, you are given plenty of information to help make the best selection for you, including star ratings for each hotel.

Related: Find Great Hotel Deals: 7 Strategies

Kayak

Kayak is considered the smart travel search engine app that allows users to search for hotels, flights and car rental prices. Having all of these prices at your fingertips will make it possible to find the best deals available for your upcoming vacation. The app also has a feature that allows users to set up price alerts for great deals and discounts that have been recently released.

Unforeseen and hidden charges added to airfare can turn what looks to be a great deal into something more expensive. The Kayak app also shows hidden fees that some airlines might charge, helping users avoid booking these flights.

OnTheFly

Though you cannot actually book your flight through the OnTheFly app, you will have confidence knowing you have all of the information you need to find the cheapest flight possible. OnTheFly will help you track the best prices for all major airlines and travel dates. The interactive calendar helps you determine the best days to travel by showing you price changes as you change travel dates. The app will also help find alternative airports which may offer a less expensive airfare rate.

packing Best Mobile Apps For Discount Travel

Photo Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Packing Pro

Though the Packing Pro app will not save you money while planning a vacation, it could save you a lot of money while you are on vacation. By using this app, you will be reminded what to pack for vacation, reducing the need to pay expensive drug store prices for everyday items such as shampoo, toothpaste, phone charger and socks. Packing lists can be separated into different categories, including by person or by bag.

priceline Best Mobile Apps For Discount Travel

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Priceline Hotels, Flights And Cars App

You cannot go wrong with being able to determine how much you want to spend on accommodations, airfare and car rentals. Through Princeline’s “Name Your Own Price” feature on the app, you are able to search for and compare prices based on what you can afford to pay. Using this feature could save you up to 60 percent on your accommodations and up to 40 percent on car rentals. Other features include Express Deals and Tonight Online Deals which offer big discounts for same-day reservations.

TouringPlans.com

The smartphone app from TouringPlans.com will help you save both time and money while vacationing at Walt Disney World. This app will help you efficiently navigate through the parks by showing current wait times and which parks are the most crowded. It also shows menus and current prices at all of the restaurants at the park you are currently exploring, helping you find the best dining deals. Other features also include vacation planning and other money-saving tips.

Travelzoo

This app helps you save money by showing you a weekly Top 20 list featuring all of the best deals available. These are the best-of-the-best deals when it comes to saving money on travel, accommodations, dining and entertainment. This is a great app when looking to save money during the planning stages of your vacation, but it also comes in handy when traveling. The app can help you find the best deals on restaurants, spa services and things to do in the area you are visiting.

The next time you are planning a vacation, it might be a good idea to pick up your smartphone and download a few good apps. These apps will help save you both time and money when planning your vacation. They may also help you save even more money while traveling.

Heather Landon is a freelance writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has combined two of her passions – writing and travel – to share her experiences with others. You can read more of her articles at Examiner.com.

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