With all of the recent buzz around Apple’s new iPhone 5 (please don’t tell me any readers have actually camped out for one #insanity), I figured it would be quite the appropriate time to discuss some of the apps I use on my “now-outdated” iPhone 4 (no, not even the 4S) to stay connected/make my traveling a bit easier.
HotelTonight: I downloaded this app back in February because of the free $25 credit offered to new members (related post + $25 credit details). I gave it a try for the first time in March when Dad and I went to Portland and stayed at The Nines for just $15 out of pocket. I was super impressed with the ease of using the app/making a reservation, and better yet – I was happy that I got a SPG stay credit/points from the booking! This app can be a life-saver in the event of needing a last-minute, same-night hotel booking.
Viber: I use Viber to stay connected with family and friends via text while traveling abroad. Viber is a free calling/texting app for those who don’t have the benefit of using iMessage to stay in touch. For example, my mom has an Android smartphone, and with Viber, we are able to communicate instantaneously through texts and picture messages for free from anywhere in the world with a wifi connection. Though Viber also allows you to make calls to your other Viber contacts, I do not use Viber for calling because I have personally found the call quality to be poor on several occasions.
Award Wallet: Though the Award Wallet app isn’t nearly as good as the full website version of the program, I definitely love having access to all of my important loyalty programs and balances right at my finger tips should I need to provide them to an airline or hotel agent (or even to take advantage of/register for a promotion or flash sale!). Having the app eliminates the need to bring paper copies of my membership details or the loyalty program’s physical membership card. Don’t have an Award Wallet account yet (tsk tsk)? You can sign up for one here before downloading the app.
XE: The XE currency-conversion app is easy to use and provides real-time rates. I love having quick access to this app because it not only helps when changing money to ensure I am getting a good rate, but I also like having it handy when dealing with currency conversions when it comes to booking International travel or shopping abroad.
Skype: While I like to use Viber for texting, I primarily use the Skype app to make phone calls back home and access my cell phone voicemail messages. The Skype app is wifi enabled and you can make calls directly from the comfort of your cell phone for a very small fee (I’m talking pennies). Before I travel, I make sure to load my Skype account with about $5-10, and that usually lasts me about a month, or more in some instances.
ITA OnTheFly: When shopping for the best flight deals, I use the ITA OnTheFly app before booking my itinerary. OnTheFly offers an advanced and comprehensive [and user-friendly] way to shop for and compare airfares. Even when I’m not specifically looking for a flight, I still like to play around with routing for fun using this app to fuel future trip inspiration #AviationGeek.
Savored: I recently added the Savored app to my iPhone after using it for the first time a few weekends ago during my staycation at the Westin Times Square. Savored allows you to [discreetly] book a reservation at hundreds of restaurants in major cities for 10-40% off your entire bill. Love it!
Uber: Here’s another app I recently added to my collection after using it for the first time [and loving it] after my stay at the Westin Times Square: Uber. I recently downloaded the Uber app and blogged about NYC free taxi week + $25 free credit not too long ago. Uber is a new app that allows you to get a taxi or car service on-demand right from your smartphone. The cool thing about this app is that you pay for your ride entirely with credits (including gratuity), so theres no need to worry about scrambling for cash at the end of your ride. I definitely plan to utilize this app again when needing airport transfers to and from LGA and JFK.
Google Maps: Believe it or not, going back to the basics is never a bad thing, and I make very good use of this standard iPhone app. Not only does this app come in handy when getting from point A to point B, but I also rely on this app for public transportation directions in a new city, when calculating distances from airports and hotels, and I also cleverly use it when I am in a taxi to make sure the taxi driver is not driving aimlessly or taking “the long way” to get more money out of me.
So there you have it – those are the travel apps that get plenty of use from me when I’m traveling (besides the usual hotel and airline co-branded apps & the MilePoint app). What apps do you use to make your traveling easier? Please do share!