You deserve a vacation, and it's never been easier to take one. These days, all you need is a smartphone, and booking and planning an adventure is/ right at your fingertips. From apps that organize your itineraries to matchmaking services for solo travelers and much, much more, you're a download away from the ultimate escape. Check out these new and updated apps that take the baggage out of traveling so you can be free to wander wherever you please.
If you're looking for the best time to book your flight or hotel room, Hopper has you covered. In the past two years, the travel app has earned massive praise from budget travelers looking for the sweetest destination deals. Just plug in your proposed trip and receive notifications and updates on the most affordable itineraries. And that's not all—last year, Hopper introduced a new "secret fares" feature. By partnering with multiple airlines on long-haul flights, the app alerts travelers of exclusive price drops not available on other platforms, saving users up to $500 on international airfare.
Gone are the days of planning your hotel stay months ahead of time for fear of being left out in the cold. With HotelTonight you can find killer last-minute deals on places to stay for super reduced rates. Whether you choose to book 100 days in advance or the very same day, the app offers a host of options, complete with descriptions and reviews, all over the globe. Choose from Base, Hip and Luxe, or search by city, price-point or "pet-friendly." Plus their perks program offers bonus points to regular bookers.
This app is your best friend in the airport—providing flight updates and TSA wait times, while also keeping track of frequent flier miles users may be accruing. More recently, App in the Air got an even friendlier update. Now users can message fellow air-bound travelers through the platform's geolocation service. Put simply, if you see someone you'd like to meet while you're waiting for your flight, you can drop them a line directly and maybe pick things up over a bloody mary at the airport bar.
You've got the wheels. Let this app do the rest. All you have to do is plug in your dates, where you're driving to and from, and any other interests you may have along the way (iconic food stops, museums, state parks), and Roadtrippers will create the ultimate journey—complete with must-see attractions, places to stay and surprise adventures.
Say you've got a layover with just enough time to explore a new city. Only problem? Lugging around your bulky carry-on suitcase. Store.Me has your fix: It finds handy baggage storage locations where you can safely drop off your stuff for a minimal fee. ($2-3 for the first hour, $1-2 each additional hour). This way you can make the most of your stopover without checking into a hotel or hauling your luggage wherever you go.
This app is designed for women traveling alone to connect with fellow female travel buddies along the way. Book dinner with a future pal in advance, or use it mid-trip when you're craving some company. Just fill out your profile and enter your trip itinerary and location—then swipe through fellow female travelers in the area until you match with a newfound friend.
This tried-and-true translation app just got a new travel-friendly update. Users can now take photos of street signs, instructions, food labels and other written words they spot on their international travels and the app will instantly translate the text into English. This can really come in handy if you're baffled by a menu or a sign with crucial directions you can't comprehend.
You can use this app to plan adventures once you reach your destination, or use it as a starting point for inspiration on where to travel. The way it works: by culling tips and insights from local experts, Culture Trip serves up the best eats, experiences and sleeping arrangements at major destinations around the world—from hiking in Wellington, New Zealand to the best coffee spots in Bogota, Columbia. Users can also save articles and destination information on wishlists so that when the wanderlust strikes, you're already ahead of the planning game.
Forget all the printouts or email searches. This free app compiles your entire travel itinerary in one place. All you have to do is forward your booking emails to TripCase, and they do the organizing for you. The best part is that it doesn't require access to your email, so you're privacy isn't compromised.
It's a good time to be a world traveler. So what are you waiting for?