I have been traveling since before I could walk or talk. I can actually remember a time where we still did not have cell phones, so I would have to call my friends or family back home from pay phones. Or, a time where we did not have WiFi in hotels, so I would have to go to Internet cafes to get online.
I remember one trip to Paris vividly, where I was so determined to send my friends an update on my trip, that I walked 2 km in the pouring rain just to get to an internet cafe. Or the trip to London where I actually used the iconic red public telephone boxes to make calls (I promise I am not that old.)
Today, traveling is so much easier with the technology we have at our fingertips. There are so many helpful phone apps you can download to take your trip to the next level – before you even leave home. Here, some of my favorite resources I use to make sure my adventures are seamless from start to finish.
The $9.99 per month members-only airfare tracker finds low-cost flight deals and sends notifications when it detects massive price drops, error fares, or flash sales. iOS only.
Register your flight on this website up to two days before departure, and if it gets canceled or delayed by four hours, book a new ticket on any airline. Fees start at $19 for a one-way flight.
Find “hidden city” one-way tickets with a stopover where you get off the plane instead of continuing on to the destination on your ticket— they’re often cheaper than a nonstop fare.
This slick reservation app offers a highly curated collection of the hottest restaurants, such as Drunken Dragon, in Miami Beach, or Petty Cash, in Los Angeles. You can also use it to pay your bill or split it with your dining companions. Coming soon: popular nightlife spots in Aspen, Colorado, and Gstaad and Verbier, Switzerland.
A typical hotel stay has you checking in around 3 p.m. and checking out by noon. This new last-minute-travel app is looking to upend that tradition by giving guest more flexibility to choose when they arrive and depart. AsYouStay has partnered with more than 50 properties in New York City, including the Park Lane and the Paul Hotel, and a dozen hotels in Miami’s South Beach, with properties in Chicago and San Francisco coming later this year.
Extra-long layover? Use this app to book a hotel room for a few hours to grab a shower, take a nap, or just freshen up after a red-eye. Dayuse offers hotel rooms for up to 75 percent off regular nightly rates at 3,000 hotels around the world.
Discover and book stunning, influencer-curated boutique and luxury hotels with best rates and personal service, using artificial intelligence and award-winning design.
The new car sharing app from General Motors is taking on Zipcar as the most affordable short term- rental service on the market, starting at $8 per hour for most vehicles and $14 per hour for SUVs. The fleet features many Chevrolet brands, including the eco-friendly Volt. Every Maven vehicle is equipped with 24/7 OnStar assistance, remote start, Sirius XM radio, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. It’s currently available in 10 cities in the U.S., with more coming.
Formerly known as RelayRides, the peer-to-peer app that lets you rent cars directly from their owners has received a big upgrade. Available to users in the U.S. and Canada, Turo allows you to search for exactly the type of vehicle you want—often at prices lower than what the big rental agencies charge. We found a 2014 SUV for $40 per day, while rates on Kayak were $140 per day from Hertz and Avis. The company recently expanded into Europe.
Alleviate jet lag and reset your sleep clock with the help of binaural beats—repetitive sounds that cultures around the world have relied on for centuries to create relaxed states of mind. Besides helping you sleep, the beats can improve focus and attention, foster learning, and reduce anxiety, according to the app’s creators.
Dufl will house and launder an entirely separate travel wardrobe and ship it to your destination for a flat rate of $99 for each roundtrip, plus $9.95 per month for storage.
The concierge app used by boutique hotel companies Joie de Vivre, Viceroy, OLS, Waterford, and Provenance offers personalized service via in-app chat. Guests can use it to get insider tips and book restaurant reservations.
Skylark pairs luxury hotels with premium- and economy-class flights to offer special rates on vacation packages. Deals are negotiated by travel agents, with savings of up to 50 percent off published airfares and hotel rates. The $400 annual membership also includes a 24/7 concierge.
Looking for inspiration or ideas to spark your wanderlust? With better content than Instagram, this photo-sharing community showcases some of the world’s best photography. Each image comes with technical information, such as the type of camera used, shutter speed, and ISO.
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