It's a wonderful time of the year—well, unless you're traveling. If long lines and crowded roadways are not your idea of a vacation, then make sure you prepared, because it's going to be one of the busiest travel seasons. Pack light, take some emergency cash, but just don't leave your smartphone behind, those apps will come in handy.
To ease your holiday headaches, we have come up with a list of 10 iPhone, iPad and Android apps that no traveler should leave home without.
From packing for your getaway to exchanging currency to finding an authentic restaurant, these are the apps to use and improve your overall travel experience. In fact, we're willing to bet that after one trip you'll start to wonder how you ever managed to travel without them.
Since the holiday season is arguably the most expensive time to travel, take a look at a travel deal app and site, Hipmunk for iOS and Android, to find flights and hotels at rock bottom prices. Unlike many other flight and hotel aggregations apps, Hipmunk doesn't stop at the lowest price, it keeps searching for the trip that will cause you the very least amount of pain in terms of layovers, plane changes and all those other things that can make a low-price plane fare feel like a one-way ticket to hell.
Hipmunk also includes non-traditional lodging, such as listings from Airbnb and HomeAway. (Those two services connect people who have rooms, apartments, and homes to let with travelers who want to rent them.)
For the lowest round-trip fares over a 90-day timeframe, be sure to search Hipmunk's pricegraph, too.
Organizing travel just got automagical. Whether you're a planner or the spontaneous type, TripIt helps transform your travel and booking confirmation emails into a master day-by-day itinerary, with all your plans in one place, via the web or your phone.
Along with creating your vacation itinerary, TripIt also suggests attractions and activities according to your schedule, and even looks up all the information we seem to forget like weather updates, local maps, and directions.
Its free-to use service is great for casual travelers, but high-powered features like flight status, text-message alerts and fare refund notifications can make Tripit's pro-level service pay for itself.
TripIt is available for iPhone, iPad, Android and even BlackBerry. And even, even Windows Phone.
Hopefully by now, you already booked your trip, now-- you're up doing laundry at 2 a.m., trying to figure out, how many pairs of long johns you need for your two-week ski trip. Lucky for you, PackPoint for iOS, Android and BlackBerry aims to solve your packing woes by curating a list of all of your travel essentials—it practically packs your bags for you.
Users answer a few basic questions, such as: Are you a man or woman? Are you traveling on business or leisure? How many days are you going for? And where exactly are you going? Then PackPoint creates a custom packing list to account for all of your travel needs based on weather, location and your travel activity. Not only will you thank us for packing light, you will also save yourself the $25 checked bag fee.
Nothing spoils a trip more than good ol' jet lag. Whether you're a seasoned traveler or just now joining the mile high club, prep for jet lag using Entrain for iOS and Android. Developed by researchers from the University of Michigan, the app monitors your body's circadian clock using your smartphone to know what time of day it is to help reduce the suffering of jet lag.
Plug in your sleeping habit data and the time zone you're traveling to, and the app calculates a schedule specifying when you should stay in bright light, low light or be in the dark. The app then helps you gradually shift your sleeping schedule to lessen the impact of skipping across all those time zones to help you get the most out of your travel.