5 Travel Apps Guaranteed To Save You Cash

Just in time for the busy—and expensive—summer travel season, RelayRides blogger Eric Rosenberg shares 5 apps that will save you money on your vacation.

I love travel. I love seeing new places in the world and trying new things. But travel can be expensive. For many, it is cost prohibitive. Rather than skipping travel because of money, check out these five apps that may help make your dream vacation a reality.

RelayRides

When you get there, you’ll need to get around. Unless you are going to a city with a great public transportation system like New York or London, you’ll need a rental car to see everything you want.

RelayRides can save you 20-40% compared to the traditional car rental companies, and 40-50% over ZipCar. No coupon required. So why waste your time searching lots of sites for the best deal when savings are just a few taps away in the RelayRides app and RelayRides cars in over 2,000 cities and at nearly 300 airports nationally.

The RelayRides app is available in the iTunes store or on an Android phone through the mobile web site in your browser.

Airbnb

Do you like experiencing a new city as a local? I know I do, and I can’t do that when staying at a hotel in a touristy part of town. Luckily, there is an app for that.

AirBnB is a short term rental service that lets you rent a vacant room or an entire apartment owned by a local. You can pick your neighborhood and price range and you’ll be experiencing the new city in no time. And you’ll probably find that your rental is much cheaper, and nicer, than many local hotels.

It is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

TripAdvisor

You’ll want something fun to do when you get there, right? TripAdvisor is a top online destination for researching activities when touring a new locale, and you might find a very similar tour to what you already had in mind at a much lower cost. My family has saved hundreds of dollars thanks to TripAdvisor.

The TripAdvisor mobile app is available for your iPhone or Android device. TripAdvisor also has mobile apps for Windows phone and an offline city guide app too. Check out all of their apps at TripAdvisor.

TripIt

I was sitting on my plane on the tarmac at PDX waiting for my flight to take off to SFO, where I was scheduled to connect to another flight to SBA. But there was bad weather at SFO, and we were not taking off. The first place I got an update was the TripIt app, which told me I still had time to make my connection.

TripIt’s best known feature is travel planning. The app automatically scans your email for upcoming flight, hotel, and tour reservations and creates an itinerary for you that you can access from your phone.

If you have TripIt Pro, like me, there is another huge benefit. TripIt will compare your flight cost to what is available each day, and if you can get a refund, you will get an automatic email to call the airline and claim your money.

The app pays for itself in one use, and if you travel regularly it can pay for itself many times per year. The free version is handy too. TripIt is available for a variety of phones and tablets.

City Maps 2Go Offline Maps

We have all had an experience traveling when we have no service for our phone and could use a map. For those of us who need a map that works when you are offline, but don’t want to shell out cash for a Thomas Guide, we have a great app for you: City Maps 2Go Offline Maps’. City Maps 2Go Offline Maps’ beauty is pretty obvious—it provides pre-downloaded city maps which don’t require any Wi-Fi or roaming data once you’re at your destination.

In addition to providing travelers with offline GPS services, the app also pins locations of bars, restaurants and shops. It is available for iPhone or Android.