There’s an App for Every Traveler

Whether you’re a fall foliage hunter, a die-hard, year-round globetrotter or just a family-focused person off to Grandma’s house during the holiday season, apps can add value and verve to your next trip.

As the fall season settles in across the country, now is a good time to plan a winding road trip framed by the red and gold hues of autumn. Yankee Publishing’s Leaf Peepr displays the country as a map of many colors. Six shades represent the varying stages of leaf color, from everyday green to yellow and orange (representing moderate foliage color, respectively) to red for peak vibrancy. Brown represents fading color and gray denotes that foliage is past-peak or that the leaves have already fallen from the trees.

For frequent fliers, AirHelp is a #musthaveapp. Five full-time lawyers on AirHelp’s 35-person staff help travelers determine what they’re entitled to when their travel plans are disrupted. For example, reports that travelers have rights when they’re bumped from flights. The site notes that “if the airline is not able to get you to your final destination within one hour of your original arrival time, the airline must pay you an amount equal to 200 percent of your one-way fare, with a maximum of $650.” But most travelers aren’t aware of their rights to compensation. AirHelp reports that 26.5 million travelers are entitled to monetary compensation each year – and fewer than 2 percent actually file claims.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the six-day period around Thanksgiving sees 54 percent more long-distance trips and the Christmas/New Year’s holiday period sees 23 percent more long-distance trips compared with the rest of the year.

With so many more people traveling during these periods, booking flights and lodging can become more like a competition rather than an enjoyable planning experience. Fortunately, HitList monitors real-time flight prices and sends email notifications when rates drop after users select potential travel destinations for the app to track.

For the spontaneous or last-minute travelers, Flight Tonight and Hotel Tonight are must-haves.

Flight Tonight aggregates cheap fares from the user’s selected “home” airport departing within 24 hours. The flights are booked through the airline or travel site, and Flight Tonight takes a standard agency commission for the referral (which varies depending on the site). Flight Tonight doesn’t have a version for the Android operating system yet, but since the iOS version was just released in July, the Android version may not be far behind.

Hotel Tonight features hotels offering same-day deals. And since this app can be added to the widgets section for the “Today” view on an iPhone, finding the next deal is just a swipe away. 

Data usage applies for app download and use.

Ginger Daril is a public relations manager for Verizon Wireless. You can follow her on Twitter at: @VZWginger.