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When it comes to planning trips, frequent travelers are relying more than ever on their smartphones, not only as a source of inspiration but for booking them as well. So jump on board and use these five apps — which are available for both Apple and Android devices unless otherwise noted — to help organize and plan your next big adventure.
TripIt organizes all your travel itineraries and documents so you have everything in one place before you even get to your destination. Just have your reservations automatically sent to TripIt, which will let you view travel confirmations, flight itineraries, tickets, hotel and Airbnb booking info, rental car reservations, ferry tickets and driving directions in one easy place. The app also makes it simple to share your trip plans with whoever is picking you up from the airport or train station, as well as anyone else who may need to coordinate with you or know what your travel plans are. Business travelers will love the the Pro version, which costs $49 per year and tracks your frequent flyer miles and plane seats — it can even help you get a refund if your trip plans suddenly go awry. There’s also a free version available.
2. Google Trips
Google Trips is out to give TripIt a run for its money. While the new, free app may still have a few kinks to iron out, it’s got the potential to store and organize all your travel info in the same way, but also helps you by offering customized tours, guides and maps once you arrive, while showing you certain restaurants and/or monuments that are close to your hotel. Google Trips gathers all the travel information from your Gmail account, easily storing it offline so you’ll have access to it with or without Wi-Fi. Looking to travel lighter and save time? Consider using the app’s destination-based features as an alternative to lugging around a heavy guidebook or digging through a ton of emails to find your reservations.
Perfect for organizing that epic road trip you’ve always wanted to take, Roadtrippers not only plans out your driving route but also lets you book hotels along the way. The free app is especially useful for finding interesting and off-the-beaten-path places to visit as you go, helping you find cool restaurants and one-of-kind spots that you can bookmark and go back to during the trip.
4. Packing Pro
Once your trip plans are settled and you’re ready to start pack your bags, Packing Pro can help organize your suitcase with a checklist that breaks down what you’ll need by category. Start by telling the app how many days your trip will be, where you’re heading and what the weather is supposed to be like. You can also add other relevant information, like whether or not you’ll have access to a washing machine or if you’re going to be swimming. The app then offers a tentative list of clothing, footwear and other necessities, which you can amend and save. In addition to packing lists, the app also reminds you of any important things you’ll need to accomplish before traveling, like renewing your passport, getting vaccines or buying a first-aid kit. Packing Pro ($2.99) is only available for Apple devices.
Once you’re ready to book your flights and hotels, use Skiplagged to find the best rates and deals. The free app offers clear and concise search features and is so user-friendly that even the most technology-impaired can still figure it out. In certain cases, you’ll have access to low one-way fares by “skipping” the last leg of a purchased flight, meaning you’d be booking a multi-stop trip to a destination but not boarding the last leg of it in order to save money. Is this ethical? Probably not, but it’s certainly saving consumers a great deal of cash. The app also has plenty of nifty filter options when it comes to booking hotels, so you can select the features that are most important to you — like free parking or a swimming pool — and immediately see which properties will work for your criteria.
What are you favorite travel-planning apps? Tell us about them, below.
Featured image courtesy of JGI/Tom Grill via Getty.
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