In our digital, tech-savvy times, it seems there are new apps being created and launched every hour. Combing through them all can be quite an undertaking, and if you have a few tried-and-true apps you have used for some time, you might be tempted to skip scouting out new ones. But with summer here and many Americans getting ready for vacations, there are many opportunities to save money, thanks a slew of new travel apps.
I did the research for you, and compiled a list of five hot new apps that will save you money on your next big trip. All of these apps are free to download and have launched within the past year, creatively solving issues for busy travelers, who want to save time and money on everything from lodging and travel to food and supplies.
StayAtHand, a robust hotel search app created by Imagine If Inc., is the first app of its kind, created by a team of hotel insiders. Since their launch in December 2013, the app has offered great rates, a user-friendly platform, 24/7 U.S.-based live support, and easy, one-click cancellation. Most online travel agencies and booking sites offer non-refundable reservations, or have a difficult cancellation process, so the one-click cancellation option definitely sets StayAtHand apart from the rest of the pack.
Unlike other hotel search engines, you can search across all of the hotel brands, earn your points in any of the hotel rewards programs and look for the lowest price across public and special rates, for example, AAA and AARP. You can also use the app to set up notifications to alert you when a particular hotel room is available at, or below, your specified price.
Depending on your flexibility when planning your stay, you can refine your search within StayAtHand to show results across an entire month all at once, so you can see what dates offer the best pricing. And if you want a better price than what is shown, you can take your search criteria and use the 'search offline' function, so hotels can make you an exclusive offer.
The RoomerTravel app just launched in April 2014 and allows you to search and book hotel rooms from people who are stuck with a hotel reservation they no longer need. This can provide some deeply discounted hotel options for those seeking last-minute deals. Users can search the app by destination and check-in and check-out dates to find what is available. You can further refine your search by sorting by price, star-rating or discount.
3. Last Minute Travel
Are you a last minute traveler? Then the Last Minute Travel app, which launched in March 2014, might be just what you need. The app offers last minute travel deals on hotels, flights, car rentals and travel packages. There is no bidding or negotiating involved so you can know the exact price upfront.
The RideScout app launched in November 2013 with a mission to make transportation easy and is currently available in 70 cities across North America. Using the app, you can search options like transit, car share, taxi, bikeshare, walking and parking and sort by current availability, price and arrival time to your destination. It's perfect for savvy travelers who don't know their way around a particular city and are looking for the most cost-effective route.
Favado by Savings.com launched in October 2013 and is a top savings app that helps consumers save up to 80 percent off their regular grocery bill. The savings can easily be applied to travel, when purchasing groceries or personal care items you forgot to pack. It significantly reduces travelers' expenses on food and supplies by identifying the best nearby deals at big box retailers, grocery stores and drug stores.
Using the app, you can compare prices of specific items or brands based on sales at nearby stores, plus you can also locate coupons for additional savings. Favado general manager Chris Tyler also emphasizes that the app is easy to use, taking just a minute or so, which isn't a bad investment if it means you pay less at checkout.
These five new apps should help you save big on your next trip.
Laura Harders is the founder of Beltway Bargain Mom, one of Washington DC's most popular sites for money-saving tips, finding the best deals and living a frugal lifestyle.
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