The world has undoubtedly become more accessible and connected, often leaving families living far apart. This can add a layer of financial stress, especially when the holiday season rolls around. Two of the biggest family gathering holidays fall in consecutive months. So, how can you avoid blowing the budget you’ve been diligently following all year in the final two months? There are a number of travel apps available today that can help save money on each trip! Sure, we’ve all heard of the mainstream apps and services like Kayak, Orbitz, and Airbnb. Here are some lesser known apps that can have a major impact on your travel expenses this year.
Hopper is one of my personal favorites, and can save you hundreds on any flight you need to book. Simply input the airports you’re flying to/from and the dates and let Hopper do the rest! They will pull all flight options for your trip and will use historical flight data and current airline pricing models to predict the future price of your flight. If now is your best time, they will advise you pull the trigger ASAP before the price increases any further. If you input your travel plans far enough in advance, it’s likely they will predict a better price for you in the future. Not only will they predict a lower price, they will tell you have much they expect the price to drop, AND when they predict prices will drop. You can also “watch” your flight and they will send you notifications when predictions change, or the price has dropped. What more could you ask for?!
HotelTonight separates itself from the Kayaks and Orbitz style booking sites by catering to last minute bookings. They post discounted room rates at a wide variety of hotels with open rooms that might otherwise go unsold. They work with everyone from basic cookie-cutter hotel chains to upscale luxury hotels and anything in between. Want to pack up the car and just go, leaving the rest to be figured out upon arrival? Want to live the ritzy life at a luxury hotel with all the amenities for half the price? No matter how you like to travel HotelTonight has what you’re looking for in just a few clicks.
We all know Airbnb by now, right? Well, Turo is an app that uses the same concept, except for rental cars. Wherever you’re headed, local car owners will rent out their car to you through Turo. You can find anything from a Honda Accord to a Porsche Cayenne to get around town in. Even better, for an additional fee, the owner will bring the car right to you! Schedule your car ahead of time and have them waiting for you at the airport upon arrival to avoid the big name rental companies and save money.
To rent a car or not to rent a car? This is a common discussion travelers make when planning and budgeting their next trip. Maybe you’re headed to the beach for the week, but also need to stock the house with groceries. You don’t want to rent a car for the day or week just to run a couple of errands and let it sit the rest of the time. What a waste of money! GetAround has your back with short-term car rentals. They offer hourly rentals, some for as little as $5 per hour, to get what you need done and return the vehicle immediately after. This is an easy way to save money on your next trip, while still making sure you can get all the essentials needed to make it great.
The name is probably self-explanatory here, as this app does exactly what the name suggests: saves you money at the pump. GasBuddy will use your current location to pull all the gas stations and prices in your area. This saves you from ever even considering driving another mile down the road in hopes that the next station has the cheaper option. They also offer 5₵/gallon off if you use the free Pay with GasBuddy card. They also offer GasBack perks when you use the card to help squeeze out a bit more savings at the pump. The app will also alert you if a price hike is expected, so you can fill up at a discounted price before it hits. None of this will save you enough to buy a house in the Hamptons, but hey every little bit counts. Plus, if you’re in an unfamiliar area and need to find pumps in your area, why not pay as little as possible!