Smart Travel Apps for a Mobile Generation

May 29, 2019
By: Marissa Camilli

The smartphone could have been built specifically for the travel industry. As a device that travels with us everywhere, helps us find hotel rooms, books flights, plan excursions, maps our routes, and inspires our future journeys, it’s difficult to image traveling without a smartphone. This is before we even take a moment to consider how many devices we no longer have to pack because of the smartphone — the camera, audio player, laptop, eBook reader are all consigned to history. Seriously, the only thing left to integrate with a smartphone that would make it the perfect travel companion is the hairdryer (although we may be some way away from that innovation just yet).

It’s, therefore, no surprise that travel apps are big business on smartphones. With this in mind, the team at Digital Turbine decided to collate a list of some of our favorite travel apps — the kind of thing that you really shouldn’t leave home without.

The Full-Service Travel App

For some journeys, you just want all your travel arrangements to be managed in one place. The full-service travel app is the smartphone equivalent of your old bricks ‘n’ mortar travel agency where you could package up flights, accommodation, car rental, and a full range of other travel-related services in a one-stop-shop type environment.

The vast majority of these apps are managed by big names in the online travel sector and will already be very familiar to both frequent and occasional travelers alike. They include:

  • Expedia: Hotels, flights, cars, activities, and bundled deals. Expedia helps you plan, book and manage your whole trip on one app.
  • Priceline: Exclusive app-only travel deals. Priceline is rated by Travel + Leisure magazine as a Best App for Travelers!

Travel Price Comparison Apps

Offering a more flexible travel solution for more flexible travelers, travel price comparison apps enable users to compare and contrast offers from hundreds of travel sites, helping them find the best possible deal to suit their individual needs. If you are not tied to a specific date or time, these apps can help you find some incredible deals:

  • Kayak: Discover mobile-only deals, view your trip details on the go, and search hundreds of travel sites with one tap on the Kayak app.
  • Hotwire: The Hotwire app helps travelers save more byoffering unsold travel inventory at discounted prices.
  • TripAdvisor: More than just a review service. Discover and book amazing things to do while you travel, with recommendations from TripAdvisor’s global community on the TripAdvisor app.
  • WeGo: Compare travel options from hundreds of travel sites on one simple screen. A truly global service The WeGo app is available in a huge variety of languages.
  • Hopper: Watch your next flight and get a notification as soon as the price drops to its lowest point.Users save on average $50 per flight by following the Hopper app’s advice.

Low-Cost Airlines

Sometimes you just need a seat on a flight and the new breed of low-cost airlines have done more to make this as affordable as possible to the widest range of travelers than anyone else. By selling seats direct to the public (reducing agency commissions), introducing paperless travel (e-Tickets and mobile boarding passes), and charging for extras on top of their no-frills service, low-cost airlines have completely disrupted the aviation industry. Now with the right smartphone app, jumping on a flight can be as cheap and easy as taking a bus.

  • JetBlue: Book flights, change seats, check-in and download your boarding pass with the JetBlue app.
  • SouthWest: Book and manage your flight and car rental services, check your flight status and boarding info, access reward points, view travel and weather alerts with the SouthWest app.

Accommodation Only

So, you’ve booked your flight with a low-cost carrier? You’re going to need somewhere to stay. Accommodation only is an incredibly crowded sector of the app travel market. This is great news for those of us looking to save some money on hotel rooms, apartments, and guest houses because the availability of choice has never wider.

  • Airbnb: Unforgettable travel experiences start with the Airbnb app. Find travel adventures and new places to go far away or near to you, and access vacation home rentals, new experiences, and places to visit all around the world.
  • HomeAway: Find and book the perfect holiday rental in just a few taps. With the HomeAway app, you can quickly and easily access all the tools you need to plan, book and manage your stay.
  • Trivago: Compare hotels & find your ideal hotel at a great price before you book with the Trivago app.
  • Check in with your digital confirmation, manage your bookings on the go and travel with ease with the app.

Airport Parking

Nobody in their right mind parks at the airport without pre-booking first. These apps will ensure that your cars stay at the airport isn’t as expensive as your vacation.

  • ParkWhiz: Find parking anywhere, compare prices and pick the place that’s best for you, and save up to 50% off standard rates with the ParkWhiz app.
  • WeSmartPark: A little local knowledge goes a long way. The WeSmartPark app can help you find the perfect parking spot in Barcelona and Madrid in Spain orSantiago in Chile.

Car Rental

After clearing customs and collecting your luggage, you can never underestimate the convenience of having a car waiting for you at the airport. Thankfully, there are a number of apps available to make sure that happens.

  • Enterprise Rent-a-Car: Easily view or modify upcoming reservations, get directions to a rental branch, call roadside assistance or find a hire car for your next trip at one of 7,000+ worldwide locations with the Enterprise Rent-a-Car app.
  • Easyrentcars: No matter where you are, you can always rent a car with the Easyrentcars app until the last minute before pick-up. And you can manage your booking anywhere, anytime.

Travel Inspiration and Management

If all of this talk about travel has inspired you to hit the road, the following apps are available to help you plan your next trip.

  • Roadtrippers: Billed as the only map built for travelers, the Roadtrippers app helps you plan your summer road trip with friends or find an amazing place nearby you never knew existed.
  • Culture Trip: Get a feel for what makes a place special through local writers, filmmakers, and creatorswith the Culture Trip app.Discover everything from experiences, to hotels and restaurants and more.
  • Tripit: It doesn’t matter where you book, the TripIt app can manage it all. As soon as you book a flight, hotel, car or other reservation, simply forward it to [email protected] and it’s instantly added to your master itinerary.

Make Sure Your Travel App Goes Further

Could your app do with a break? At DigitalTurbine we have availability on the hottest devices and most sought after networks. To learn how your travel app could fly first class and avoid all those nasty queues in the app store equivalent of departures, talk to one of our pre-loading experts today.

Marissa Camilli
By Marissa Camilli
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