Our Top 5 Travel Apps

Our Top 5 Travel Apps

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Hotel Tonight

We’ve used Hotel Tonight countless times.  Our first experience with this app was on a 3 week road trip across the country after a disaster of a hotel booking.  After leaving the hotel and canceling our reservation, I remembered Clark Howard talking about Hotel Tonight.  We hit the road and used this app to book a much nicer hotel for much cheaper than our previous booking.  From then on we’ve continued to keep Hotel Tonight in our arsenal for traveling.

The concept of this app is that you can search great deals by well-vetted hotels the day of your booking… so it is more of a last-minute deal grab.  Since we started using Hotel Tonight they’ve been able to change their platform to allow you to book up to a week in advance.  We’ve never stayed in a place from Hotel Tonight that we haven’t liked.

TripAdvisor

Most people have probably heard of Trip Advisor, but if you don’t use it much now, it is a great resource for discovering great things to see / do, places to eat, hotels and more.  One of my favorite ways to use Trip Advisor is for finding places to eat.  I have a simple formula to search for the best restaurants.  1. It must have 4 1/2 stars rating… No less.  2. It must have a TON of reviewers.  Filter these two criteria with your price level and type of cuisine you want and you’ll never go wrong.  I’ve never been to a restaurant that fit those criteria that I wasn’t really happy with.

Lyft (Alternative to Uber)

Lyft was a life-saver for us in San Francisco and La Vegas.  It is a the lesser-known alternative to Uber, and although I have not used Uber, I’ve heard that you tend to get a little higher quality driver using Lyft.  But from what I can tell, Uber and Lyft seem to be nearly identical in how the app works.

I discovered Lyft because I recently got a new phone number and when trying to activate an Uber account, my phone number was rejected.  Apparently someone who owned my number previously had already set up an Uber account and I couldn’t register my phone number.  So out of desperation I found Lyft and signed up, used it, and will probably never use Uber in the future.

Using the app you can detect Lyft taxi drivers in your area.  By selecting a pick-up location and destination, the app triggers an alert to the close Lyft drivers and finds a driver for you.  The fare is much less than a traditional taxi, and from my experience, a much more pleasant drive and conversation.  It is fast, efficient, and easy to use.

SpotHero

When parking is a pain to find, use SpotHero!  I’ve used SpotHero in Washington D.C., New York City and San Francisco.  It seems to only have parking spots available in the bigger cities.  I love this app because I can prepare by knowing exactly where I want to park and choose a location by the price I’m willing to pay, then I reserve my spot by booking it right from my phone.  It may also be somewhat of a AirBNB for parking space because in San Francisco I paid $4 to use the space of a private residence’s driveway rather than paying $38 for a covered commercial parking deck.  This app is amazing!

Transit App

If you;re planning on taking public transportation, Transit  App can really make a what can be a complicated commute much easier.  I used Transit in New York City and San Francisco, and with a little studying of the map, it was able to show me the bus and tram lines, times, and get us where we needed to go without any hiccups.    It is also really handy to be able to see your GPS pin moving across the map on the route line to help you identify the right stop you need to take.

PS. For those into Pokemon GO, there is even an integration to show you all the Pokestops and Gym locations!