Thinking of taking a trip this holiday season? Maybe you want to visit friends or family, or maybe you just want to get away from it all. (Can't say I'd blame you.) Here are a few tools that can help you save on your travel budget.
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Bargains are great and all, but sometimes you spend so much time looking for deals that they sort of lose their luster. It's not that you're lazy, it's just that bargain hunting can be a lot of work. That's why I like DealRay. This iOS app alerts you to the best travel deals, making your life easier.
Set your travel preferences via DealRay's website, identifying which region you'd like to fly out of and which destinations you'd prefer to visit. Then, you sit back and let DealRay do its work, identifying bargains and, in some cases, errant fares that can save you big. DealRay is free for the first month, and costs $9.99 per month after that. That may seem like a steep price, but if you're a frequent flyer, you may save more than that on just one trip.
Not interested in paying for an app in order to find bargains? Consider Hopper. This free app for Android and iOS helps you decide when to fly, and lets you book flights from your phone. You enter the dates of your trip; Hopper predicts when and if flights might be cheaper and recommends whether or not to book a trip.
Its color-coded calendar is a nice touch, allowing you to see the best and worst times to travel at a glance, and I like how it lets you "watch" a trip and alerts you if prices drop or are about to rise. Hopper bases its predictions on analyzing data from past flights; in fact, it claims to have a historical archive of "trillions" of flight prices, allowing its accuracy to approach 95 percent.
Maybe you've had enough family time, and you've decided that you need a hotel room, like, immediately. Or maybe you've decided on a spur-of-the-moment trip. Whatever the reason, HotelTonight can come in handy.
This free Android and iOS app can help you find hotel rooms for tonight, or anytime in the next week. It searches based on your current location or a city you chose, and shows you available lodging options. I like how HotelTonight shows pictures of the hotels, and includes ratings and the current price, detailing how much of a discount is available. You can get reviews of hotels and book your stay from within the HotelTonight app.
Traveling can be exhausting and expensive. These apps can help make it a little less so!