Top Travel Apps and Sites for the Savvy Traveler

A person who is well-traveled is also one who is well-informed.  Today’s technology world leaves nothing to the imagination when it comes to dreaming, planning and taking a vacation or just getting away for a few days.  A simple search on the Internet or in the app store on your smartphone for travel-related applications will ensure that you are prepared and on your way.

Whether it is looking for a flight, a place to stay or things to do, don’t leave home without first looking at these apps that have been rated some of the best travel apps around.

GETTING THERE

DealRay (dealray.com) – Get alerts that add up to huge savings when you sign up for this service.  Great for impulsive travelers who are flexible, the service is free for the first month and $9.99 after that.  App available for iOS only.

FlightAware (flightaware.com) – Know what is going on with your flight up to the minute with this app that shows real-time updates when planes land, taxi and take off.  It even shows plane routes. App available for iOS and Android.

Freebird (getfreebird.com) – Travelers are empowered by three simple taps to book a new flight due to a delay or cancellation.  Starting at $19, protect your flight by purchasing Freebird two days before your scheduled departure.  When you experience a flight interruption, you can rebook on the same or a different airline for free.  For flights within the U.S. only.

Maven (maven.com) – General Motors is helping you get around for less with this app that helps you to find a car for a short-term rental.  Use the app to see what is available to get you on your way.  Return the car to the same location, hit “End Trip” and you’re done.  App available for iOS and Android.

Mobile Passport (mobilepassport.us) – If you don’t have Global Entry, you’ll want to download Mobile Passport to breeze through customs.  When the plane lands, fill out your flight information and head to a dedicated line after you are off the plane.  A customs agent will make sure your phone scans properly and then you are on your way.  It is not available at all airports but still worth using and is approved by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.  App available for iOS and Android.

Rideways (rideways.com) – Don’t worry about how you are going to get from or to the airport or even around on your vacation with this service.  A part of the Priceline Group, you now have a service that helps you find the best transportation option to meet your budget and needs.

WHERE TO STAY

As You Stay (asyoustay.com) – We can’t always dictate when we check-in and out of a hotel, but with the app, As You Stay, travelers now have more flexibility to choose when they arrive and depart.  Optional for select properties in New York City and Miami, with more properties in major travel cities being added later this year.  App available for iOS and Android.

Dayuse (dayuse.com) – Have a long layover?  Not a problem when you book a room with Dayuse. Whether it is for six hours or 10, be comfortable in one of the participating hotels that offer rate savings of up to 75% off the overnight price.  App available for iOS and Android.

Roomer (roomertravel.com) – Save up to 80% on hotel stays when people cancel.  You can also use the app to sell your non-refundable room when you have to cancel unexpectedly. App available for iOS only.

WHAT TO EAT AND DO

Yelp! is an obvious app choice for dining city to city or country to country.  However, if you are looking to go off the beaten path or for something specific, here are a few apps to check out.

Cool Cousin (coolcousin.com) – Connect with your new extended family (i.e. locals) to find the best spots to have coffee, listen to music or just hang out.  This cool apps lets you “find your cousin” in cities around the world who will make sure you feel right at home no matter how long you stay.  App available for iOS only.

Happy Cow (happycow.com) – Discover vegan and vegetarian restaurants in more than 10,000 cities worldwide.  The app and site also let you check out reviews and recommendations.  App available for iOS and Android.

Roaming Hunger (roaminghunger.com) When travel calls for a road trip, you can make a quick pit stop at one of 7500 registered food trucks along the way.  Download the app to track down the truck of your culinary cravings to grab some grub and keep on going. App available for iOS and Android.

MONEY MATTERS

CalConvert (calconvert.com) Supported in 24 languages, this app helps you convert currency to cut the guesswork out.  The best part is that you get to jazz it up any way you like to fit your travel style with colorful skins.  App available for iOS only.

Revolut (revolut.com) – This app’s motto is, “The only account for your global lifestyle.”  Open an account, receive your RevolutCard and begin spending globally with the real exchange rate. There are no fees and you can transfer, send and request money at any time.  App available for iOS and Android.

Square Cash (cash.me) – Running out of money while on your cross-country trip?  No problem.  Have friends and family send you money in a matter of minutes by using your $Cashtag without the fees by “cashing out.”  Great to use even if you are not traveling.  App available for iOS and Android.

Trail Wallet (voyagetravelapps.com) – If you need a more efficient way to track expenses while traveling, Trail Wallet may just be the app for you.  You can set a daily budget, track by trip and organize expenses by category. App available for iOS only.

TravelWise (travelwise.com) Used by more than 2 million people, get the app to send money internationally with less fees or have family members use it to send you money while aboard.  The app calculates the exchange rate in different currencies and also lets you know when the money will arrive in your bank account. App available for iOS and Android.

LOST AND FOUND

ReturnMe (return.me) – Protect your most prized possessions while traveling with the world’s largest global recovery company. With an 80% return rate, ReturnMe is determined to get lost items back to their rightful owners.   Recovery tags help identify and protect portable items such as phones, laptops, cameras and more.  There is even a reward for the person who finds and returns a lost item.

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A diverse group of global journalists who love to write and talk about all things food, wine and travel.