10 Money-saving Travel Tools
When travel is a part of your life, you need all the help you can get. Fortunately, there are plenty of travel tools to download into your mobile device for on-the-go assists, and websites to help you plan. Here are some of the most reliable travel apps and tools. Use them for your daily commute as well as your out-of-town ventures.
Waze: Sure, it tells you where you’re going, but its biggest plus is its mobile community. Users report road work, accidents and speed traps in real time. Of course, you have to trust that people will report when the hazard is gone, but they generally do. We’re all in this together, right?
Uber and Lyft: Of course GPS-enabled ride sharing apps would make the list! While Uber operates in more places (58 countries vs. Lyft’s 65 US cities), the pricing, timing and service tiers of both services are nearly identical. Make them your designated driver, your rental car alternative, or your taxi.
GasBuddy: Another app that uses crowd-sourcing, it lets you know where the cheapest prices are near you, and it counts on drivers to report when those prices change. That, of course, seems to happen daily. It’s a generally accurate tool even for diesel fuel.
Parking Panda: Available in more than 40 metro areas, it helps you search for a city lot or garage, pay for it through the app (similar to Uber), and park. Just show the attendant your confirmation page or flash a QR code. In you go!
TripAdvisor: An all-in-one app you can use at home or on the road, it shows you reviews and maps to help you plan a journey. It also links up to airlines, hotels, restaurants and many attractions, so you can plan an entire trip on your phone.
Zomato: Formerly Urbanspoon, this app helps you decide where to eat in town, as well as 10,000 cities across the world. Chock full of reviews from professionals and regular folks, it gives you a good idea of what’s around and what’s in your budget.
Airport Parking Reservations: This tool lets you save on airport parking rates and guarantees you a spot. Never worry about wasting precious time circling a lot.
HotelTonight: This app claims it can reserve you a hotel room in ten seconds flat. It specializes in last-minute rooms in hundreds of cities around the globe. One cool feature: it gives you two price points: Basic and Hip.
HotelPlanner.com: Plan that wedding, convention or corporate incentive trip in minutes with this discount hotel booking website. It guarantees you will save 77 percent over single rates, and it can promises to meet any competitor’s price for bookings of ten rooms or more.
Viator: Book tickets to tours and attractions in 1,500 cities worldwide. Just show your phone when you get there! Find things to do nearby, wherever you are, and even view videos so you can see if the destination is worth your time. Prices are often lower than what you’ll find at the ticket window. And, hey, it works with Apple Watch!
So, road warriors and travel buffs, you’ve got a bunch of friends out there ready to make your journey easier. Download the apps, bookmark the sites and see happier trails ahead.