Innovate

7 Smartphone Apps to Make Travel a Breeze


Written By: Scott Costello

shutterstock_119724175By Crystal Coleman

Whether for business or pleasure, travel can be both the best of times and the worst. The smartphone industry, however, has given us apps that can make all parts of travel much easier. Here are my picks for essential smartphone apps for frequent fliers and road trippers.

 

Hotel Tonight – For the road warrior who doesn’t always know where they’ll be resting their head (or the impulsive traveler in general), Hotel Tonight can’t be beat. Available in an ever-growing number of cities, Hotel Tonight features a select number of hotels on sale at noon local time each day … at heavily discounted rates. I wouldn’t advise it if you’re heading to a huge conference (as rooms will fill up), but for those spur-of-the-moment or off-season trips, it’s the best. Use the code CCOLEMAN7 for a $25 credit when you sign up.

(Free; iOS and Android; https://hoteltonight.com)

 

TripIt – Your flights are booked on one website, your car rental on another, and your hotel on a third. Who can keep it all straight? That’s where TripIt comes in. Just forward your confirmation emails to [email protected] and TripIt will organize all the information into one beautiful itinerary. You can even share plans with friends and coworkers. Upgrading to a TripIt Pro account gives you even more features including point tracking, price drop and refund notifications, as well as updates about delays and gate changes sent straight to your phone.

(Free app with paid Pro version; web, iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile; https://tripit.com)

 

Expensify – Hate trying to sort through all your receipts to submit them when you get back? Keep track on the go with Expensity. You can scan or photograph receipts, connect with a bank account, track mileage, and create reports to submit. It’s a great replacement for all those scraps of paper you usually submit. Both accounting and your assistant will love you.

(Free; web, iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile; https://www.expensify.com/)

 

Evernote – Evernote and its suite of affiliated apps are great for business, freelance, note-taking … pretty much everything you can think of. But a lot of people overlook their travel uses. Good, old Evernote is great for taking notes during meetings and on the go. Skitch and Penultimate are great for annotating pictures, making maps, and drawing hard-to-explain sketches. Hello is perfect for keeping notes and information straight for all those meetings you have during your trip.

(Free; web, iOS, Android, other platforms app dependant; https://evernote.com)

 

SignEasy – If you’ve ever had to print out a form, sign it, and scan it in or fax it somewhere while out of your office, you know what a pain it is. SignEasy cuts all those in-between steps out, letting you open a document to sign, date, fill out. It then emails the signed version wherever you need it. The app is free and allows you to sign three documents; additional credits can be purchased in yearly plans or pay-as-you-go.

(Free app with paid upgrades; iOS, Android, Blackberry; https://getsigneasy.com)

 

GateGuru – For frequent air travelers, this app is essential, letting you know what amenities your airport has and whether you should grab that meal before or after security checkpoints. The app works with TripIt and other services and has recently had a major update, which was very well received.

(Free; iOS, Android, Windows Mobile; https://gateguruapp.com)

 

iExit – If hitting the road is more your style and you find yourself passing exit after exit hoping to find that next Dairy Queen, iExit is your friend. iExit is a guide to the food, gas and other amenities that can be found at interstate exits. For the business traveler who racks up the tire miles, this will be your new best friend.

($.99 to $1.99; iOS, Android, Windows Mobile (coming soon); https://iexitapp.com/)

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