Photo (cc) by Sean MacEntee
This post by Qiana Chavaia comes from partner site MintLife.
Holiday travel can put a dent in your wallet – especially for families. Value-conscious travelers can save time and money by downloading these free intelligent travel apps.
This is your guide to save big on time, airfare, rental cars, attraction tickets, local activities, hotel reservations, and more.
Some hotels charge $15 per day for Internet access. In many cases, this is an optional service, but it can sometimes be built into your daily rate as a “resort fee.” Isn’t Internet access a necessity? U.S. Consumers seem to think it is, so why pay more?
As an alternative, try Wi-Fi Finder. This is a free app available to iPhone and Android users. It determines your location using your phone’s GPS and feeds back a list of places for paid and public Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi Finder permits you to browse for hotspots both online and off, and its search results are visible by list or map view. Your search returns detailed information about the location, including a brief descriptive overview, contact information, and directions.
For your car rental needs, download the free CarRentals.com app. It gives you instant access to 15,000 rental car locations worldwide and the ability to reserve a car from the palm of your hand. It’s currently available for Android and iPhone.
Simply enter your city, zip, or airport code and the rate you wish to pay, and the app’s price comparison tool feeds back a list of rental car companies based on that criteria.
The free iFindHotels app finds bargain rates at hotels worldwide. It connects to the HotelsCombined.com directory giving you access to price comparison tools, hotel images, descriptions, guest ratings, reviews, and maps. You can browse, research, and book your hotel stay directly from your smart device.
The Tripit app saves time by managing all of your itineraries and reservations. Simply forward existing email confirmations to Tripit and have your entire trip organized into a single master itinerary.
Keep the details current by taking advantage of the auto-import feature, which performs a daily scan of your inbox and automatically updates your itinerary.
This app can be synchronized with Outlook, Google, Lotus, Blackberry, and iPhone and iCal calendars and shared with your social networks. It displays local maps, directions, and weather forecasts, enables flight check-in, and aids in booking dinner reservations or purchasing movie tickets.
Get added features with Tripit Pro, from storing frequent flier accounts to trip rerouting options, and a complimentary 1-year Regus Gold (access to 1,200 worldwide non-airport business lounges) and rental car partner membership.
Tripit is available on most smart devices, including Apple’s iPhone and iPad, Samsung’s Tablet, Android, Blackberry, and Windows 7 phones. The basic version is free, the Pro is $49 per year.
Try the free Foursquare app to find great deals on local shopping, dining, activities – just about anything. A unique money-saving feature of this app is the ability to “check in” from merchant locations. Check-ins accumulate points and badges and can be redeemed for instant discounts or free merchandise.
You can save places you’ve visited, write reviews, track merchant specials, and have recommendations sent to your smart device. There are currently more than 750,000 merchants offering Foursquare specials.
Groupon and Living Social
Finally, be sure to also check out other amazing deals and offers on travel, hotels, entertainment, and local promotions by downloading the free Groupon and Living Social apps.