Over the last few years, between moving to a new city away from family and starting to travel for business a couple times per year, I have begun to travel a lot more than I have in the past. It’s usually domestic, but sometimes I make it overseas. Additionally, travel planning makes up a large portion of my job. This means I spend a lot of my time focused on travel and organizing travel. And to make it all go flawlessly, there are a few apps that I return to again and again.
1. Travel List. The older I get, the more I value being organized. This is particularly important on travel days, when there is so much that can go wrong. Since beginning to use the Travel List app, there are a lot fewer days where I realize in the security line that I have forgotten something crucial at home. I have one list for trips to visit family, one for international trips, and one for work trips; and this has made all the difference. Plus, you can edit and perfect your packing lists as you refine what you need.
2. Kayak. There are about a thousand third party booking websites out there, but my favorite to use is Kayak. The layout is clean, without too many ads, and it has all the options you might need to find the flight or hotel you want: flexible dates, flexible locations, the option to limit flight searches by time, layover location, and airline, and the Explore map, where you can see what destinations you can reach within your price limit. You can also set up alerts for specific searches, and save flights you’re considering but aren’t ready to book yet.
3. Google Trips. If you’re anything like me, you occasionally find yourself searching frantically for your confirmation letter in your email at the reception desk of the hotel you’re trying to check into. Google Trips organizes all your airline tickets, hotel confirmations, and dinner reservations for you by screening your email, and automatically pulls them into respective trips on the app. Each trip also includes suggestions from Google for restaurants and attractions in the area you are visiting. There’s also a button to easily share your itinerary with anyone you want to be able to follow your trip.
4. Award Wallet. Also if you’re anything like me, you probably book the cheapest flight and the cheapest hotel you can find every single time you travel. Which means you end up with a lot of points at a lot of different airlines and hotel chains. Award Wallet is the best way I’ve found so far to organize all my points. Unfortunately a few airlines have disabled the ability to track their apps on Award Wallet, but most airlines and hotels allow it. The app will tell you how many points you have, alert you when additional points are deposited into your account, and tell you when your points are about to expire. In short, it’s excellent.
5. Airbnb. Perhaps my favorite place to search for places to stay is Airbnb. There are simply some of the coolest homes out there posted to the site, and it’s so fun to just peruse all the interesting places out there. Plus, as has been stated on every site ever, there are great deals to be found (also, great home decor inspiration). One of the coolest places I’ve ever stayed was an Airbnb loft in Cádiz, Spain, which overlooked the entire town and the Atlantic Ocean, and we paid about $55 per night. We ate nearly every meal up there, and watched every sunset with a glass of rosé in hand.
What are your favorite travel apps? Let me know in the comments.