6 Basic Travel Apps for the Urban Traveler
I leave for NYC tomorrow morning for work. Although it is a very short, domestic flight for me, I still have a couple apps that I just can’t travel without on my phone.
I’m not one of those people that need a dozen apps or games to keep me entertained on the plane. You’d probably actually be surprised to find that I don’t use very many at all outside of ones for social media.
However, there are a handful of apps that I use that just make my life that much easier while traveling.
Millennials reading this are probably thinking, “Well, duh.” Uber is one of those apps that you will end up using once, then wondering how you ever survived without it.
For those of you who don’t know what Uber is or haven’t used it, I heavily suggest you check it out. It’s a ride sharing app that helps you get around basically whatever city you’re in. It’s basically like a cab, but more convenient and safe because you can use the app to track it.
Uber has gotten me out of every situation possible—from being stranded at a Walmart during a job interview gone wrong to being able to get to my hotel in California.
The best part? It’s usually available everywhere.
ParkWhiz & SpotHero
If you ever travel to a major city in your car, you need to stop reading and download these apps right now.
These apps are for finding parking spaces at low rates. It guarantees you a spot and saves you from driving around going garage-to-garage looking for the best rate.
Basically all you do is type in the address where you’re going, select a timeframe, book it, then drive to the spot and follow the directions on the app. Sometimes you’ll have to scan the QR code to get into the garage, and sometimes all you need to do is register your license plate and park.
You will save a ridiculous amount of money on parking with these apps. I park at my boyfriend’s garage in the city for $11 using ParkWhiz. Without ParkWhiz, the garage’s rate is about $42. If you’re decent at math, you already know that I’m parking at the garage for nearly a fourth of what it would normally be because of ParkWhiz. It’s literally cheaper for me to park in the garage than to take public transportation.
SpotHero is the same way. Usually I use SpotHero on the weekends because it tends to get me the cheaper rate (and they email you coupon codes!).
I don’t understand completely how these apps work exactly, but I’m thankful they do.
Expedia’s app makes my life so much easier. Instead of having to pull up email after email, I’m able to pull up my Expedia account on the app and look at all of my travel information in one spot.
If you use Expedia for traveling, go ahead and just download the app. It’s free and super convenient.
On my phone, I have the Southwest, America, and United airline apps. I used to never have these downloaded, but once I did, I was kicking myself for not doing it before.
With the apps, all of your flight information is at your fingertips. The gate number, boarding time, check-in, baggage claim—whatever you need is on the app. Plus, if you’re using different airlines for a multi-destination flight, you won’t have to search through your emails trying to figure out which flight was which one; you can just check the apps and see.
You can also add your boarding passes to the Wallet app if you have an iPhone. I don’t use the Wallet app that much because I just keep my apps in a section on my phone labeled “Travel” but if you prefer the Wallet app, add those boarding passes in!
When I travel, I’m typically running low on sleep and high on caffeine. During the holidays, I tend to always get Starbucks gift cards, and since I lose things quite frequently, I load my gift cards onto the Starbucks app to keep them all in one place. So, when I’m traveling, to make things much quicker and simpler, I use the app to pay for my coffee. Since all of my gift cards are on there, I just scan my phone at checkout, and am on my way.
Traveling can get expensive, so when I use my gift cards through the app, I feel like I’m getting free coffee, which is what everyone wants when they’re jet-legged.
And that’s it for my must-have traveling apps! There are a ton more out there that will keep you even more organized, but for those of you who just want a few apps to get you by that you will still use on a day-to-day basis, these are probably the best ones I can recommend. Safe travels!