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Download These Mobile Apps to Save Money on Summer Travel

Kyle James

As we approach the official start of summer, many of us are planning a vacation. Whether it be a family road trip, a resort stay or an international adventure, the costs associated can add up; gas, airfare, rental cars, accommodations and eating out can strain your budget. Arm your smartphone with these free apps, and you can significantly reduce the costs of your summer travel plans:

Hotel Tonight. Use the Hotel Tonight app to save money on last-minute hotel bookings. Participating hotels favor the app, as it helps them fill their rooms, and travelers can save up to 70 percent off the standard nightly rate. The app is especially useful for summer travelers, who don't have predetermined itineraries. It also helps last-minute business travelers save on lodging.

Available on iPhone and Android.

GasBuddy. Use this app to find the cheapest gas station nearby. The app also gives turn-by-turn directions on how to get to the station.

Available on iPhone, Android and Blackberry.

Triposo. You can practically find your way around anywhere with Triposo. To keep your spending in check, the app allows you to research restaurants, tourist attractions and nightlife to find options that best fit your budget.

Available on iPhone and Android.

AirBnB. Find a cost-friendly place to stay this summer with AirBnB. The app gives you access to more than 200,000 listings, including apartments, houses and private islands. If you have property that you don't use the entire summer, consider renting it out with the app, and you may make enough money to pay for your next vacation.

Available on iPhone and Android.

SkyScanner. The SkyScanner app turns your smartphone into a virtual travel agent by scanning millions of flights from more than 1,000 airlines. In seconds, the app brings up the best airfare options that are available, and you can book flights directly on your smartphone.

Available on iPhone, Android and Blackberry.

GetAround. You can save cash by renting from a private party, rather than from an agency, with GetAround. The app surveys options from local car owners and includes daily and hourly rates; all rentals come with full insurance coverage and 24/7 roadside assistance. You can avoid long lines and piles of paperwork by booking the rental directly on your iPhone.

Available on iPhone.

Whether traveling by car or plane, these six smartphone apps will help you navigate your summer travel plans, and save money in the process. The best part: They're free, so begin using them today, and your savings will start to add up quickly.

Kyle James runs the coupon website Rather-Be-Shopping.com, which has a travel coupons section to help you save money on websites such as Expedia, Hotwire, Priceline and Hotels.com.

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