10 Proven Travel Apps That Will Save You Time and Money

With a seeming infinite number of apps available for travelers, it’s hard to know which apps truly work as advertised until you actually need them. These are 10 tried-and-true money- and time-saving apps we recommend for travelers, offered via Google Play or iTunes.

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1. Meerkat

1. Meerkat

If you thought it was cool to Skype or FaceTime with your friends or family members, wait until you live-stream your entire spring break in Cabo to the people you’re connected with on Twitter.

Meerkat (not the fuzzy animal native to Africa) turns your phone into a mobile webcam and live-streams your travel adventures with the press of a button. Suddenly, people are digitally right there with you, and the entire Twitterverse can tune in to watch you surfing the tides of Costa Rica. There is also a “schedule” button on the iOS app so you can start recording at a later time.
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Meerkat  

2. Gogobot

2. Gogobot

What's your travel style? Whether you are a spiritual seeker, rank hotels by thread count or prefer street-food stands, Gogobot for iOS and Android has something for every traveler. 

Save the suggestions to an itinerary and pull them up when you're out exploring, or search for new places to visit based on what's nearby. You can even make collaborative trip plans, looping in family and friends to add to group itineraries.
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3. Hotel Tonight

3. Hotel Tonight

If you like to live dangerously and fly into Brazil during Carnival without pre-booking a room, or your hotel burned down the day before your arrival, or you’ve ended up someplace you hadn’t planned on — we don’t judge here — then Hotel Tonight, available for iOS, Android or Windows phones, is for you. It’s a last-minute hotel-booking app that could keep you from sleeping under a bridge in Los Angeles, as well as save you money on accommodations. 960 1280
4. Carrot Weather

4. Carrot Weather

Stop trying to decipher the weather forecast on the evening news, particularly when it's in a foreign language. Carrot Weather is a bright and vibrant iOS app that adds a little humor to your weather forecast, with more than 2,000 lines of snarky commentary.


For $2.99, Carrot Weather is a good, fun alternative to other weather apps out there.

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5. Enlight

5. Enlight

Photo apps have been around as long as the App Store itself, but Enlight is the app you always needed. Whether you want to conquer Instagram, experiment with vignetting for a retro feel or make Picasso jealous by applying paint effects that convert photographs into artistic masterpieces — this is the app to take with you on vacation. Select the strokes, canvas and lighting that best flatter all your travel photos.

For $3.99, this iOS app is worth every penny.
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Enlight  

6. Field Trip

6. Field Trip

Before traveling to a new city, it never hurts to reach out to locals or read up on the history and suggestions of favorite restaurants and attractions. But why bother when there’s an app for that? Field Trip is a background app that alerts you of the cool, hidden and unique things in the world around you that are at your fingertips.

The iOS and Android app is powered by publications such as Zagat, Thrillist and TimeOut, pulling suggestions for you on trendy places to visit, shows to see and restaurants to grab a meal. There’s even a “Women on the Map” option, which will point out sites where women have played an important role in our past.

No more walking around with your guidebooks in hand.
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7. TripIt

7. TripIt

Be your own travel agent and plan every detail of your trip — from car rental to lodging to restaurants — with TripIt. You can create custom itineraries by hand, or simply forward the email confirmations of your flight, rental car, train tickets and hotels, and then watch the iOS and Android app make the itinerary for you.

TripIt is available for free or in a 99-cent, ad-free version.
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Tripit  

8. Citymaps

8. Citymaps

Citymaps is a mash-up of Yelp and Google Maps that incorporates reviews, tips, directions, social aspects, discovery and local deals, all in 1 beautiful map app for iOS and Android. It allows users to create their own collections — say, of their favorite nightclubs in a given neighborhood — either to share with friends or just for their own memory.

And yes, once you find that hole-in-the-wall restaurant on the corner along the Seine in Paris, Citymaps will also give you driving, walking or mass transit directions.
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Citymaps  

9. Peek

9. Peek

When you’re planning a vacation and want to book a flight or hotel, you have multiple sites that can help, such as Hipmunk, Kayak or Orbitz. But when you’re trying to figure out what to do on your trip, there’s Peek for iOS. Think of Peek as OpenTable for booking activities.

Users can browse activities by category, such as “what to do with the kids” or “off the beaten path,” or they can look at Peek’s city guides, which are made by tastemakers such as Tory Burch and Wolfgang Puck, who share their suggestions for spending 1 day in their favorite cities.
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Peek  

10. Waze

10. Waze

Driving can be treacherous — especially if you’re traveling in uncharted territory. But this can be avoided with Waze’s navigation app for iOS, Android and Windows phones, which is constantly updated in real time using drivers’ GPS points. Activated by participating drivers who generate reports and send in photos, Waze can automatically alert you about traffic jams, fender-benders, detours — and even police traps. 960 1280

Waze  

Sleep Tight

Sleep Tight

Many people suffer anxiety while flying, leaving them exhausted upon arrival. Mosaic Weighted Blankets offers a refreshingly low-tech solution. Weighted blankets simulate the effect of a reassuring hug, which increases serotonin, producing a calming, sleepy feeling, as if you were napping under Grammy's homemade quilt. 960 1280

Izabela Habur, iStock  

Relaxation 30,000 Feet in the Air

Relaxation 30,000 Feet in the Air

There are ways to do yoga on a plane that do not end with an air marshal and handcuffs. Yogi Ramesh Padala has devised YogaTailor a personalized yoga and meditation guide with suggestions for air travellers by which he swears. Teri Meissner teaches the Japanese practice of Jin Shin Jyutsu, a touch-based relaxation technique that can be applied even within the confines of an airplane seat.   960 1280

Genaro Melendrez-Diaz fotografo, iStock  

Tune In, Drop Off With Me

Tune In, Drop Off With Me

If you find it impossible to tune out the carnival in your brain prior to an early flight, the DreamScience Brainwave Oriented Sleep Companion is your own personal off switch. 20 nature-themed soundscapes and hypnotic mood lighting will drop you into a blissful dream that the gradual wake setting will lift you out of in time to make your connecting flight.  960 1280

DreamScience  

Fasten Your Head Belts

Fasten Your Head Belts

The only thing worse than not being able to sleep on a plane is being too good at it.  The GoSleep Travel System is a car seat for your nodding noodle. It combines a memory foam neck pillow with a sleep mask that wraps around the seatback keeping you in the upright, locked position for the entire flight. We love the cool retro-aero designs.  960 1280

GoSleep  

You're Getting Sleepy

You're Getting Sleepy

Four out of 5 scientists agree that listening to the windbag next to you doubles flight time. SleepPhones are headphones in a headband form that comfortably and cordlessly evict the outside world from your headspace. They’re made from recycled plastic bottles, so when you glance out the window at that swirling vortex of trash in the Pacific, you’ll rest easy knowing you had little to do with it.  960 1280

SleepPhones  

First Class Sound, Even in Coach

First Class Sound, Even in Coach

When you want to feel fancy even when you're sitting by the aft lavatory, slip these tony Symphony 1 cans over your ears and let the vulgarians speculate as to the aristocrat in their midst. These premium Definitive Technology Bluetooth headphones feature 50mm drivers for high-quality sound and pack a battery with 10 hours of run time, although these leather and chrome babies should score you an inflight upgrade to business class before that ELO playlist blows your cover.  960 1280

Symphony1  

Heavenly Sleep

Heavenly Sleep

If you’re not a fan of bulky, neck pinching, swim camp looking travel pillows, the Travel Halo may be the answer to your prayers. While the oversized eye flap blocks out light, the two stabilizer pillows on the back of the headband keep your dome upright, balanced and comfortable. The Travel Halo packs into a tiny bag that fits neatly into your purse or pocket.  960 1280

Travel Halo  

Blue Light Special

Blue Light Special

Using a mobile device before trying to sleep is like Red Bull for your eyeballs. The blue light from phones and tablets inhibits the production of melatonin.  Enter WaveWall Sleep, an affordable blue light filter and screen protector for Apple and Android devices. Now you can use your mobile device until the sun comes up, secure in the knowledge that it won’t keep you from losing sleep.   960 1280

WaveWall Sleep  

Convertible Neckwear

Convertible Neckwear

There’s nothing more dashing than an aviator scarf, but they haven’t been functional flight wear since the open cockpit era. The Voyager Travel Pillow Set by Happy Luxe resuscitates the classic accessory by including two removable pillows that can be configured as neck support or a sleeping cushion. There’s even an air-activated warmer in case cabin temps dip below your comfort level. 960 1280

Voyager Travel  

Window Seat Upgrade

Window Seat Upgrade

The Znzi Travel Pillow instantly turns your porthole into a headrest. The plush, adjustable pillow has two suction cups that attach to your window, enabling you to make the most of a limited space. When you arrive, the pillow folds into a small slipcase that slides onto your luggage handle for quick deplaning. 960 1280

Znzi  

19 Photos
Chris Grundy with the Polaroid InstantShot

Chris Grundy with the Polaroid InstantShot

Chris tries out the new Polaroid InstantShot -- smile! 960 1280

  

uwater MP3 player

uwater MP3 player

If listening to music while swimming or diving is your wish, check out the Uwater Waterproof MP3 player. 960 1280

  

LG 55-inch OLED TV

LG 55-inch OLED TV

LG unveiled a 55-inch 3D OLED TV that is the thinnest and lightest OLED TV on the market. It features voice and gesture recognition. 960 1280

  

SimpliciKey Deadbolts

SimpliciKey Deadbolts

There's no need to worry about where your keys are with SimpliciKey. The electronic deadbolt can be opened using a remote control or by simply entering a code into the keypad. 960 1280

  

Zipbuds

Zipbuds

These earphones won't get tangled because of their unique Zipper-integrated cabling. They provide superior sound with comfortable eartips. Zipbuds can be used with iPads, iPods, iPhones, Andriods and other media devices. 960 1280

  

Mercedes Benz's DICE

Mercedes Benz's DICE

Chris had the opportunity to try out Mercedes-Benz's Dynamic and Intuitive Control Experience (DICE). DICE is an augmented reality-based dashboard that allows users to control features of their car with simple hand movements. Users can also see weather, social media, messages, GPS and more. 960 1280

  

Mobileye Driver Assistance

Mobileye Driver Assistance

The Mobileye 5 Driver Assistance product helps identify situations that could become dangerous, such as lane departures, pedestrian presence and headway monitoring. It can also help control the car by doing things like switching high beams on and off. This model has Bluetooth, so critical real-time warnings can be delivered to a smartphone. 960 1280

  

Casio 3D Cat Painting Creation

Casio 3D Cat Painting Creation

The Casio 3-D Digital Painting tool will transform 2-D images into 3-D masterpieces by either adding subtle texture or making them truly 3-D like the cat in this picture. They hope to have the product on the market soon. 960 1280

  

Celluon Prodigy Laser Projected Keyboard

Celluon Prodigy Laser Projected Keyboard

The Celluon Prodigy Laser Projected Keyboard lets you add a full-sized keyboard to any smartphone. Just attach your device and project the keyboard on a surface so you can type away. 960 1280

  

Schick Hydro Power Select Razor

Schick Hydro Power Select Razor

A task as simple as shaving is now enhanced with the Schick Hydro Power Select Razor. Users can select from 3 settings to find the vibration that is best for them. It also has a hydrating gel reservoir that when activated with water releases a gel to soothe skin. 960 1280

  

GorillaMobile kit

GorillaMobile kit

The GorillaMobile is a one-of-a-kind mobile entertainment kit that lets you attach devices such as your smartphone or digital camera to unusual places. It includes adhesive cups, suction cups, rubber foot grips and a camera adapter screw. 960 1280

  

House of Marley Bag of Rhythm

House of Marley Bag of Rhythm

The House of Marley Bag of Rhythm lets you turn your iPod, iPhone or any other portable music device into an audio system. The bag includes twin tweeters and woofers to amplify the sound. 960 1280

  

Casio G-Shock Smart Watch

Casio G-Shock Smart Watch

Casio's G-Shock Smart Watch is Bluetooth-LE enabled so the watch can connect to your phone and alert you to e-mails, calls and texts, and help you locate your phone if you can't remember where you put it. 960 1280

  

IC Realtime ICRSS Home Security Application

IC Realtime ICRSS Home Security Application

The IC Realtime ICRSS Home Security App lets you control up to 9 cameras set up in your home. With the app you can move, tilt or zoom them and power them on or off. 960 1280

  

iBallz tablet protection

iBallz tablet protection

The iBallz are a great way to protect your tablet. They slip onto the corners of your device and prevent damage when it is dropped. You can also use them to position your tablet in a tilt position for typing or watching movies. 960 1280

  

Case-Mate Tank

Case-Mate Tank

These Case-Mate Tank cases are military-grade strength and can stand up to any abuse you put your iPhone through. The retractable screen shield slides into place to prevent cracking and condensation. 960 1280

  

Victorinox Swiss Army Flash Drive

Victorinox Swiss Army Flash Drive

Victorinox, the makers of Swiss Army Knives, are now entering the flash drive market. In the new product, the flash drive can either take the place of the knife or be added onto one. They range in size from 4GB and higher, and some offer a layer of protection that only allows access via fingerprint recognition. 960 1280

  

Bone Collection Horn Stand

Bone Collection Horn Stand

The Bone Collection Horn Stand adds 13 decibels of sound pressure to your iPhone, and can also be used to prop the phone in the vertical or horizontal positions. 960 1280

  

Optrix HD Sport Case for Smart Phones

Optrix HD Sport Case for Smart Phones

Optrix HD is a sports case that transforms your iPhone 4S/4/iPod into an HD action sports camera. It is waterproof so it can withstand all types of weather. The case includes an anti-vibration sled to help limit vibrations. 960 1280

  

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