Four travel apps I always use to get the best deals on flights and hotels
I LOVE switching phones because it forces me to evaluate which apps I'm actually using and which apps I downloaded, then ultimately forgot about because they just weren't that useful and are now taking up needless storage on my phone ( a huge problem for someone who takes as many photos as I do!)
So here are the apps that are actually worth downloading.
I've recommended this app to friends so many times (and so aggressively) that they've asked if I'm getting paid to do so. For the record, I'm not, it's just that good that I want everyone I care about to know about it too! Hitlist helps you find the best deals and shows you which friends are also interested in traveling to your dream destination-perfect way to find a travel buddy! An app for flight deals is nothing new and I am generally not a fan of them. They seem unnecessarily complex, there are soooo many pop ups and they usually spam my inbox with deals that are rarely worth looking at. But Hitlist approaches this in a unique way (and doesn't send annoying and unnecessary notifications). If I have an event somewhere and I know the exact dates I have to be there, I find the best way to book is with google flights. But, If I simply want to go "somewhere" and have some flexibility on the dates, Hitlist is everything.
The way it works is you download the app, set your preferred departure airport, fill out a few questions about places you've been and places you'd like to go, and let the app do its work!
Hitlist is great not only for finding deals, but determining where you want to go. They always have fun lists like "Best cities to find wild kittens" or "Destinations where the $ is $trong" along with deals specific to big events like Comic Con or Art Basel.
I use it in two ways. If there is a destination I've been wanting to visit (right now it's Cuba!) I'll mark that down and see when I get can the best deal to go. Or, If i know I have a few days available like over memorial day weekend, Hitlist will show me all of the places I could go and for which prices. Way easier than thinking of all the places I could ever want to go, then using a bunch of flight apps to see if the trip is within my budget.
Hopper uses extensive data to determine not only when it is cheapest to go to a specific destination, but also when it is cheapest to book your flight, as prices can rise or fall for the same dates. It appears they are now working with hotels in a similar way but I haven't used this feature yet.
Try as I might, I just don't love AirBnb (unless its for a big group) because house cleaning is the best and I need to have a gym onsite. I also don't like paying $$$ when I don't have to, which is where Hotel Tonight comes in. The app allows you to find great deals at top hotels. All you do is select your destination (you can even search by neighborhoods within a city) and dates, they show you whats available, real time reviews, and the rate at which its discounted. And, the app recently got a lot better by allowing you to book hotel stays out for the next 100 days. Before this change, you could only book out up to 2 weeks in advance. I never used the app when this was the case because I wouldn't want to wait for the last minute, only to find out that the only available option is a hotel that was recently infested with bed bugs (this actually happened, one reason to always do your research when a deal looks too good to be true!).
Recharge-Luxury by the Minute
Recharge lets you book luxury hotels by the hour. Sounds salacious, I know. But, its actually very useful! If you travel frequently, you're sure to have had one of those awkward timing situations where say your flight is arriving at 8am, check in time at most hotels is between 1-3pm. Which means you're left with the option of either booking a room for the night before (which is $$$$) or leave your luggage with the bellhop and go about your day until it's time for check in. Personally, I love a shower (and sometimes a workout or nap) after I land and never feel fully prepared for the day until I've washed off that recycled airplane air.
The app only works in San Francisco and New York right now but I'm sure it will be expanding to other cities soon.