(Family Features) From planning your next getaway to managing your vacation budget, there are myriad apps you can use to make your trip a seamless, more enjoyable experience.
Before planning your next trip, make sure you visit your preferred app store to download tools like these that can help with everything from planning to staying on track during the trip to looking back on your experiences when you return home.
Map tools. While the most basic function of these apps is obvious, map apps are also useful tools to research the area you’re visiting, plan your routes ahead of time and find nearby essentials like gas stations and restaurants during your trip. Some apps also allow you to download offline maps so you don’t find yourself stranded if you’re going someplace where you’re likely to encounter poor signal strength.
Discount rate finders: These apps make it simple to research and compare the best rates and deals for multiple aspects of your trip, often packaged for maximum cost-savings. For example, the Expedia app can be used to research and book everything from airfare and hotels to car rentals and activities. Once you’ve booked, these app makes it easy to keep track of your reservations and itineraries.
Airline resources: Even if you book your ticket through a third party, you can benefit from downloading the app for the airline you’ll be using. Nearly all airline apps include features that make it easier to make changes to your booking, check in, get a digital boarding pass, check your flight status and more. Additionally, most apps will alert you to any changes via push notifications.
Vacation rental bookings: Many travelers are opting for vacation rentals over traditional hotels, in part because of the convenience and personal experience you can create. For example, the Vrbo app provides everything you need to book a vacation rental. As an added bonus, Trip Boards allow you to save, organize and compare your favorite properties. You can invite friends and family who will be traveling with you to discuss the trip using the new group chat feature and add and vote on their favorite properties to help narrow down the choices.
Unit converters: Handy for international travel, these apps make it easy to compute and convert common units of measurement, such as currency and distance, and many even convert time zones for you. Having a unit converter app is especially important if you may not have reliable access to Wi-Fi or data during your trip.
Budget trackers: Travel expenses can pile up fast, but you can keep tabs on your expenses along the way with an app that tracks the details. Most options allow you to categorize expenses by type and date, and some offer additional features such as splitting balances between friends and families or allowing you to set warning thresholds so you know when you’re getting close to exceeding your budget.
Payment solutions: Fees and structures may vary from one app to the next, but all are designed to make sending and receiving money more convenient. When it comes to travel, you can use an app like Venmo to easily split costs and share payments between family and friends during and after the trip.
Find more resources for your next getaway at Vrbo.com.
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