In the modern age, planning a vacation is simultaneously much more complicated and a lot simpler than before. With countless websites and companies all pulling at the leash to give us the best deals and the best options, it’s easy to get lost in the choices — especially when you’re looking to stay within your budget while still enjoying your getaway. Blank checks aren’t an option for most of us, but that doesn’t mean we have to miss out on a fantastic vacation — it just means we need a little help.
Here is a list of the most essential apps to have when planning and enjoying your vacation, helping you find the best places, save the most money, avoid getting ripped off, and even ensure that you don’t forget your toothbrush.
Anyone who’s planned a vacation knows exactly how valuable all those little essentials and nonessentials are to making sure the vacation not only goes off without a hitch, but that no unexpected expenses swing around to surprise you along the way. To-Do is an organizer app that lets you categorize and access your notes easily, so the planning stage is both flexible and effective. The app is available on iTouch and iPhone, and Ebates offers fantastic Cash Back and coupons for the App Store, making it easy for both your app and your vacation to be more affordable.
An affordable vacation relies on making the wisest investments, but it also means not losing the investments themselves. Nothing’s worse than showing up all ready to head off on your vacation, just to find out that your flight has been delayed or that it’s been pushed up and you’ve missed it altogether. Flight Tracker is a free app for most devices that lets you check your flight’s status on the go, so you don’t have to worry about booking another plane, having to reschedule your hotel, or losing your car rental. Not to mention all the painkillers you’d have to buy to get through the ordeal.
When you think of vacationing, you probably don’t think of an app to recommend businesses to you. But visiting an outstanding vacation destination can be disappointing when the restaurants, local shows, and attractions are outside of your price range. Going to your dream city can be far out of your vacation budget simply because your bank account can’t accommodate all the things you wish to do while you’re there. Yelp makes it possible to pinpoint the best places at the most affordable prices, including the little-known shops that escape the public eye but give you that personal charm without the high price tag.
Everyone says they’re the best gig in town when it comes to offering deals and lower prices on hotels, planes, and cars. Finding a reliable app that works while you’re on the go is even harder, especially when you’re trusting it with banking information or if you’re on a tight schedule. The Travelocity app has a reputation for high-quality functionality and offers comparisons on different flight, hotel, and car rental choices so you can find the most money-saving options. As an added bonus, Travelocity offers users rewards for booking on their app exclusively, so you can save even more money by using your phone and get those last-minute tickets for an even lower price.
The infamous “five-star hotel turning into a two-star once you show up” is a risk we all dread taking when planning our vacations. If you want to book an affordable hotel but don’t want cockroaches terrorizing you in the night, then you need a second opinion, and that’s exactly what TripAdvisor offers. With this app in the palm of your hand, you can get real-life opinions on hotel experiences with recommendations for alternatives if you first choice turns out not to be all it was cracked up to be according to the reviews. This allows you to book a high-quality hotel that’s much less expensive simply because it’s not very well known. To make things even more affordable, there are plenty of coupons and deals you can earn, cutting back on those small costs that can add up in the end. As another added benefit, if you’re on vacation and want to see some of the local attractions, the app recommends restaurants, museums, historic sites, and more so you can get the most for less.