Recharge, rest, and relax. Many people dream about getting on a plane and traveling somewhere to do just that. But the cost of traveling can be steep. Once travelers add up the flight, hotel, food, transportation, and touring expenses, they will have spent a small fortune just to get away for a few days.
What if there was a way to save on travel expenses right at your fingertips?
Many mobile apps offer ways for travelers to save through price comparisons and discounts. The following are the best apps travelers should use to help plan their next trip and save on travel expenses.
Fetch Rewards is a great app to use and collect points for grocery and retail shopping and gas purchases. Fetch users can then redeem their rewards points and convert them into free gift cards that can help reduce their travel costs.
Airbnb is a popular option instead of often pricey hotels. Plus, it just happens that Airbnb has gift cards on Fetch Rewards. Saving even more on overnight stays with gift cards is a great way to use your points from the Fetch Rewards app.
Fetch also has a partnership with Delta and Southwest airlines. Depending on the distance, air travel is often the more significant expense. Using Fetch Rewards points towards gift cards when purchasing tickets for either airline is a great way to help discount a significant travel cost.
Gift cards for Uber, also available on Fetch Rewards, are another great way to save on transportation costs with inter-city travel.
When it’s time to plan your trip, check out the travel section in the Fetch app’s Rewards tab for gift card options. Remember to keep and scan all receipts for eligible purchases to earn points. Another way to add points up fast is through friends and family referrals.
Speaking of Airbnb, they also have a handy app that can help save travelers money. Travelers are often able to find more spacious private quarters in Airbnbs at a much lower cost than getting a room at a hotel. For extended stays or when visiting multiple locations, travelers should look at Airbnb for potential cost savings.
Kayak is a meta-search engine that helps consumers find the cheapest airfare for their travel destination. Besides finding savings, Kayak helps travelers save time by visiting each website to check out prices. Hotels and rental cars are also available for comparison shopping.
Also available on Kayak are price alerts. The Price Forecast tool alerts users when it anticipates airfare prices dropping or increasing in the coming week. Many travelers fear overpaying, so knowing that tickets were purchased at the right time can be a relief.
Hopper has several travel partners like tourism boards that allows them to offer exclusive deals and discounts to travelers. Hopper provides discounted rates for a limited time. Users can also earn rewards points referred to as ‘carrot cash,’ equivalent to 1 USD, which allows for additional cash savings.
Users can earn carrot cash rewards when booking flights, hotels, and car rentals through the app. Hopper is a free app and is an accredited travel agency.
Skyscanner allows people to book flights, hotels, and car rentals for their next adventure. Skyscanner is a price comparison tool that partners with hundreds of airlines and hotels and with travel agencies worldwide such as Expedia, Priceline, Orbitz, and more. Skyscanner’s user-friendly interface makes navigating the app and finding good deals easy.
Booking.com goes beyond being able to book flights, hotels, car rentals, and packages like other apps of this nature. It also allows travelers to find tours, attractions, and activities in thousands of cities at great prices.
If you are renting a car and touring different sites on your own, Waze is a great app to have on hand. Waze operates on crowd-sourced information from app users about road conditions such as traffic jams, construction, accidents, and even police speed traps. Travelers in foreign cities will benefit from the step-by-step assistance, which can help prevent drivers from taking unnecessary routes or getting lost and wasting money on gas.
XE Currency is everything a traveler needs for exchanging international currencies. Travelers can save on fees by tracking exchange rates. Users can transfer money in 65 currencies to over 170 countries, monitor up to 10 currencies, view historical charts, set up alerts, and receive notifications when the rates change.
Hotel Tonight allows travelers who are last-minute planners or have flexible schedules, to book hotel stays up to seven days before their stay and even for the same evening. Users can save certain hotels as favorites and receive specific price information. Consumers can also book hotels on behalf of family, friends, and coworkers.
Hotels Tonight also has a customer loyalty program. The more consumers use the app for bookings, the more the app will help unlock levels that give access to exclusive extra discounts. HT also doesn’t have blackout dates.
The cost of traveling can be a barrier for many people wanting to explore new locations. Free apps can help travelers save on the cost of flights, hotels or Airbnbs, car rentals, and tourist attractions. These apps can help make traveling more affordable and, with some luck, more frequent.
Nadia is co-creator and author of the blog This Mom Is On Fire, a place where busy moms can find ideas for family meals, kids activities, and tips for saving time and money, as well as relate to common experiences in motherhood. She is also a freelance writer, primarily in the areas of lifestyle and personal finance.