As one of the USAs Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin once wrote: “Time is money”, and it is quite likely he would have been impressed by the timesaving qualities of some of the top travel apps currently available. Franklin would have been fascinated by smartphone technology given his own experiments with, and contributions to, the development of electricity. These apps are ideal for the constant business traveler, but are also perfect for the leisure traveler who needs to book flights or hotels when on the move.
The market leader in travel app technology is mooted to be Expedia’s “Expedia Hotels” IPhone booking app. Boasting a slick interface and GPS technology that pinpoints hotels with vacancies within walking distance, customers are also able to quickly and easily search for accommodation anywhere in the world. Results can be filtered by price, rating, popularity and distance, and the interactive maps make finding the booking on the ground a straightforward task.
The apps below represent the best of the rest. Not every travel app can be used for making bookings, so these apps are ones where bookings are possible, either through the app or by linking to a travel provider’s site.
Compatible with iPhones, iPads and Androids, the Orbitz travel app opens up the world by offering the ability to book hotels, flights and rental cars. It sorts and filters results quickly, and has map-based search results. The app also offers exclusive discounts with mobile-only hotel deals – these can save you up to 50% and are a great way to save money.
Travelers who enjoy a spot of haggling when buying services will find the Priceline app a useful tool. Users find hotel rooms and bid on them, so experienced and knowledgeable travelers can set their own price by looking at the area that the hotel is located in and its star category before putting in a bid. The app provides an immediate response, so there is no waiting around to find out whether or not the bid has been accepted. Those who prefer not to haggle can still book a room directly, and discounts can be up to 50%. Priceline also has a rental car service that will take bids, and last-minute rentals can be booked with price reductions of up to 40%.
Flights can be expensive, especially at popular times of the year, which makes the Skyscanner app a more than useful tool for searching for cheap flights. For example, the owner of a small business with things to do in San Francisco and on a tight travel budget can use the app to find the cheapest dates to fly as well as the best options for fares. The app scans over 1,000 airlines, including scheduled and low-cost, and once the route is chosen can connect with one touch to the airline’s booking system.
4) Hotel Tonight
Covering over 50 major cities, areas and airports, as well as starting to roll out to international destinations, this app delivers last-minute hotel bookings; ideal for the spontaneous traveler looking for a good deal. Discounts can be as high a 70%, with rooms going up for sale every day at noon.
5) Choice Hotels
With over 6,000 hotels to choose from, the Choice Hotels app for Android allows users to choose and book a room instantly, as well as to view and change reservations. For the budget traveler, the app also includes economy hotels such as Comfort Suites or Econolodge, especially handy for stopping off when on road trips.
Smartphone technology has helped to shrink the world for the smart traveler, and travel apps are more and more the go-to solution for visitors to thousands of destinations for business or pleasure, helping save time and money along the way.