Welcome to Appy Hour! Our latest blog series highlights apps that do what they do really, really well. Since summer is the season to get away, we’re starting with travel apps.
The travel industry is big: $2.6 billion a day spent by travelers in the U.S. alone kind of big. But what gets us excited for mobile marketers is that more travelers than ever are using mobile apps to plan their next adventure: a whopping 42%. That's a lot of potential users ready to use a great travel app. So this Appy Hour, we’re highlighting the travel apps that make it possible for users to put the trip of a lifetime together.
1. LONELY PLANET'S CITY GUIDES
The City Guides app puts just about everything you’d find in their guidebooks on your phone, like beautiful images that’ll make you want to leave tomorrow. Bookmark activities and places to go on your trip. Download maps to use offline so you never have to worry about getting lost due to spotty service.
Also noteworthy from Lonely Planet: the Make My Day app, which ensures you don’t waste a minute while you’re away. Find and plan a day’s worth of activities in 12 different cities.
Is your bucket list packed with travel goals? Create a list you can share with a supportive community with the BUCKiTDREAM app. Get travel inspiration from other people’s bucket lists, and set deadlines and goals for your once-in-a-lifetime adventures.
For affordable inspiration, European travelers should check out TravelBird. TravelBird curates 6 daily limited-time offers on trips to places across the globe, especially Europe and the UK. You can’t beat the deals, many of which include airfare.
If your timing is flexible, HitList monitors your preferred destinations and tells you the best times to book and save on airfare. HitList also includes fun extra features, like the ability to coordinate your trip plans with a group. (No more epic email planning chains? We’re in. 👏)
EasyJet’s airfare is some of the lowest available for European flights, and the airline consistently adds new destinations. The app’s quality user experience makes it very easy to book and track flights while you’re hopping through Europe.
Real talk: the Grand Canyon lives up to the hype. Priceline’s app lets you decide how much you’ll pay to get there, and special Express Deals if you're willing to book fast. Once you get in the swing of naming your own price for airfare, you can do it for your hotel and rental car, too, all through their app.
Sometimes, you need to get out of a plane and back to the open road. If you’re ready to pack up the car and go, Roadtrippers is the one-stop-shop resource for planning your trip. From finding fun places to stop along the way (world’s largest ball of twine?) to booking hotels, Roadtripper is designed to make your trip great. The kids in the backseat are a whole other story.
One of the biggest names in the hotel game, Hotels.com gives you plenty of incentives to keep coming back to their app, thanks to the ease of accessing their frequent special offers and active loyalty program, which givesyou get a free hotel room for every 10 nights booked.
If you’re a backpacker, you’re probably familiar with Hostelworld. The longtime site has a well-designed app that makes it a standout for booking affordable places to stay on-the-go. You'll find all the familiar reviews, plus easy filtering by hostel services and amenities.
If you’re a HiltonHonors member or just like having everything you need when you get to your hotel, get the HHonors app. Specify the room you’d like, the refreshments you want there when you arrive, and unlock your room with your smartphone.
So you've booked your trip. Now, tell PackPoint where you’re going and what you’ll do when you’re there. After checking the weather, PackPoint gives you a perfectly organized, shareable packing list. And it’s thorough: PackPoint covers everything from warm sweaters to laptop chargers.
If you can use data on your trip, Citymapper lets you plan trips through local public transport, estimate cycling time, and integrate with Uber--basically, endless ways to get you where you want to go. Use it in dozens of cities around the world.
13. GOOGLE TRANSLATE
As someone who stepped through an emergency exit expecting to find a bathroom while abroad, instant translation with Google Translate is handy. Wifi access is optional to use, too, since you can download translation packs in advance.
Splittr is designed to handle all the pain points associated with sharing costs on a trip--like dealing with currency, splitting bills unevenly, and keeping a running tally. Unless you love hunting down receipts, download it before your next friend reunion.
Sometimes your hotel isn’t as nice as you hoped. Or you need to find the best vegetarian food in bratwurst-heavy Berlin. TripAdvisor has more than 200 million users sharing reviews and tips, and their mobile app makes it easy to get the recommendations you need, fast. You can book your new vacation rental through TripAdvisor, too.
You’ll be posting plenty of pictures on social media, but we bet you know someone who would be delighted to get real mail featuring your smiling face. Use Postagram to create and mail a postcard featuring any of your Instagram pictures, and make the people thinking of you happy.
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