About · Press · Contact · Write For Us · Top Personal Finance Blogs
Featured In:

5 Best Free Travel Apps for Saving Money on the Road with Your Smartphone

By Angela Colley

travel apps smartphoneSometimes traveling seems like more stress than it’s worth. Whether you’re taking a trip for business or pleasure, keeping flights, hotel reservations, and general itinerary straight can be a hassle. How can you possibly juggle all of those things and find the best deals? The answer is easier than you think.

With thousands of travel apps to choose from, traveling with an Android or iPhone is like traveling with a personal assistant. The ability to keep a journal of your trip, post updates to Facebook and Twitter from the road, take panoramic photos, or even find a day spa in your area are all just a simple download away.

Many apps not only enhance your travel experience, they also help you save money. The best money saving travel apps let you book a flight, rent a hotel room, find a good deal at a nearby restaurant, or locate cheap gas prices.

So, how much do you need to pay for this kind of peace of mind? Nothing! These travel apps download completely free.

Here are five great travel apps to consider when embarking on your next adventure:

1. KAYAK

With the KAYAK mobile app, available for Android, Blackberry, and iPhone, you can search for the best price on flights, hotels and car rentals. The app has a clean and simple to use interface that lets you search, view, and book right from your smartphone.

Once you book, you can track your flight information or manage all of your bookings through the flight tracker and trip management features. The app also provides a list of important airline information including contact numbers and a list of extra fees. As an added bonus, it has an integrated Twitter feature so you’re always only a tweet away.

Best Feature: No more waiting around, staring desperately at airport monitors. This app will track your flight and notify you of any cancellation so you can quickly search for, and book another cheap flight.

2. Meal Ticket

The Meal Ticket app, available for iPhone, allows you to search for restaurant coupons and special deals by area. The travel app will provide you with a list of coupons as well as user submitted reviews for local eateries.

You can also set the travel app to send you email reminders when your favorite restaurants have new coupons, and you can post these deals to your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Best Feature: You can show the waiter the coupon right from your phone – no printer required. Meal Ticket only shows restaurants that allow you to use the coupon directly from your smartphone. This feature makes this travel app stand out above other coupon apps that require you to print the coupon before you use it.

3. GasBuddy

The GasBuddy app, available for Android and iPhone, has a running list of gas prices in real time for most areas of the United States.

GasBuddy users submit the current gas prices in their area to the website, which then update automatically on the app. You can search by city or zip code to see a complete list, including stations that offer diesel. You also have the ability to create automatic filters for your searches and save a list of areas or gas stations you frequent to the favorites section.

Best Feature: The gas prices listed are typically up to date so you know you are getting the best deal when you get to the pump. Using this app is a great way to save money on gas.

4. HotelPal

Available for Android and iPhone, this app lets you search for the best deals available for booking a hotel at the last minute. The search feature allows you to search for a hotel room by city or zip code. iPhone users can even automatically pull up a list of open rooms in their area using the iPhone GPS functionality so you’re able to find cheap accommodations wherever you go.

HotelPal features chain hotels, boutique inns, and privately owned local motels. Each hotel listing includes real time prices and full screen images of hotel rooms and other amenities.

Best Feature: You can book a room on the go, free from hidden fees. HotelPal does not charge booking fees for their listings.

5. Yelp

The Yelp app offers thousands of user submitted reviews for everything you might need from local restaurants and entertainment, to retail stores, veterinary clinics, gyms, and health centers. It’s available for Android, BlackBerry, Palm Pre, and iPhone, and lets you search through the reviews by city or zip code. Beyond the reviews, you can also view price rating, contact information and hours of operation for each listing.

Best Feature: You can view restaurants by average per plate price, which is great for a limited budget or families traveling with kids.

Final Word

The future of travel is here. There’s no longer a need to purchase multiple travel guides or do extensive research prior to leaving on your trip.With the advent of smartphone apps, everything you need to have a fantastic, organized, vacation on a budget is available at your fingertips.

What kinds of apps have you used while traveling? Share your experience and tips in the comments below!

(photo credit: Shutterstock)

Angela Colley
Angela Colley is a freelance writer living in New Orleans, Louisiana with a background in mortgage and real estate. Her interests include animal rights advocacy, green living, mob movies and finding the best deal on everything. She blames her extreme passion for never paying full price on two parents that taught her that a penny saved is two pennies if invested wisely.

Related Articles

The content on Money Crashers is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional financial advice. Should you need such advice, consult a licensed financial or tax advisor. References to products, offers, and rates from third party sites often change. While we do our best to keep these updated, numbers stated on this site may differ from actual numbers.
Advertising Disclosure: We may have financial relationships with some of the companies mentioned on this website. Among other things, we may receive free products, services, and/or monetary compensation in exchange for featured placement of sponsored products or services. We strive to write accurate and genuine reviews and articles, and all views and opinions expressed are solely those of the authors.
Links monetized by VigLink
Close