Get An Upgrade for Your Travel With These Must-Have Apps




Call it Tinder for hotels. After you’ve entered your desti­nation, dates, and preferences (rating, free Wi-Fi, etc.), the app (the Android version is still in beta) presents a series of property profiles with photos. Tap on the green thumbs-up or the red thumbs-down and you’ll later be contacted by the hotels you’ve “liked” with their best rates.


Extra-long layover? Use this app to book a hotel room for a few hours to grab a shower, take a nap, or just freshen up after a red-eye. Day use offers hotel rooms for up to 75 percent off regular nightly rates at 3,000 hotels around the world.


Touting private rooms, fun communal spaces, and booze-fueled events to bring together solo trav­elers, Hostelworld is the go-to app to book 33,000 hostels globally.


A cooler version of Airbnb? This short-term-rental com­pany has a pared-down list of coveted luxury apartments and homes in close to two dozen desti­nations, including Rio de Janeiro, Miami, and Milan. Guests can also use the app to access a 24/7 concierge to help with restaurant reservations, theater tickets, and tour bookings.


Similar to Hotel Tonight, the new app from the operator of Standard Hotels offers same-day stays at more than a dozen luxury hotels in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, and Austin, Texas. Every day at 3 p.m., the app unveils dis­counts for that eve­ning. We recently saw rates of $189 per night for the Standard Spa in Miami Beach and $568 for a stay at New York’s 1 Hotel Central Park.


Use this app to get deep discounts on hotel rooms from people who have had to cancel their trips, and save 30 to 80 percent. Likewise, if you’ve prepaid fora nonrefundable room, you can sell your reservation on the app.


This browser-based customiz­able search tool uses big-data analytics to comb through 37 million user reviews to determine the best places and neigh­borhoods to stay in. Sort results by price or rating.


This vacation-rental manager recently expanded to 15 states in the U.S. And it now also offers apart­ments and homes in Latin America, Italy, and Spain. Unlike VRBO or Airbnb, the properties are cleaned and man­aged by Vacasa, so you’re not deal­ing with the owner.




Collections of off- the-beaten-path recommendations from savvy resi­dents in 14 destina­tions, such as a mixologist in London and an art­ist in Paris. Their suggestions aren’t ones you will find in a typical guidebook; expect hip new spots in emerging neighborhoods.


For anyone missing the recently retired Maps feature on Instagram comes this new service that allows you to preview neighbor­hoods with user­-generated photos. Want to checkout an area before you book an Airbnb stay? With better photos than Google Maps, Streetography covers most major cities in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, Russia, and Australia.


Plug in your desti­nation and Walc will give you directions based on easy-to-spot landmarks. A Pocket Mode fea­ture gives step-by- step audio directions. Just plug in your ear-buds, and you won’t have to constantly pull out your phone.




With rates for car rentals fluctuating everyday, it’s not easy to know if you got the cheapest price. AutoSlash asks you to input your car reservation details into its mobile site — an app is in the works for later this year—then tracks the rates for your dates and scouts competitor pricing, including coupons and dis­count codes. If a lower price for the same rental becomes available, you’ll be notified by e-mail and can rebook your reservation.


The new car sharing app from General Motors is taking on Zipcar as the most affordable short- term-rental service on the market, starting at $8 per hour for most vehicles and $14 per hour for SUVs. The fleet features many Chevrolet brands, including the eco-friendly Volt. Every Maven vehicle is equipped with 24/7 OnStar assistance, remote start, Sirius XM radio, and Apple Car Play/Android Auto. It’s currently available in 10 cities in the U.S., with more coming.


Instead of taking your chances with an Uber after your flight lands, use Priceline-owned Rideways to book reliable airport transfers, taxi rides, trains, and buses in more than 500 cities worldwide. Just enter your trip details and the type of transporta­tion you want, and the app presents you with several options; on a recent trip to Paris, we had the choice of taking two different buses to our hotel for $5.30 each or splurging on a $160 transfer in a chauffeured Mercedes-Benz.


Formerly known as RelayRides, the peer-to-peer app that lets you rent cars directly from their owners has received a big upgrade. Available to users in the U.S. and Canada, Turo allows you to search for exactly the type of vehicle you want — often at prices lower than what the big rental agencies charge. We found a 2014 SUV for $40 per day, while rates on Kayak were $140 per day from Hertz and Avis.

The company recently expanded into Europe.


Prebook affordable airport and other point-to-point transportation in a dozen metro areas across the United States. There are no surprises: travel­ers know in advance the total cost and who their driver will be — and can even request their favorite driver on future trips. Reliability and safety is a company hallmark: all drivers have had their DMV records checked.

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