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Must Have Travel Apps

Patch's guide to essential mobile apps for weary travelers.

I'm kind of a travel app junkie.

I don't use just one, as a consummate deal-seeker and tech nerd. So this week, I thought I'd share four of my favorites and ask you for yours.

Earlier:

So, which travel apps do you find my useful?

For me, I use:

TripIt: More than just a booking site, TripIt is an all-around travel organizer with one key feature: It recognizes confirmation emails sent from airlines, Amtrak, etc. and turns them into calendar invites. No more looking for booking numbers or confirmation codes, because TripIt will take the information from my inbox, then turn it into useable information that my wife can see on our shared calendar.

TripAdvisor: I use this not only to book hotels, but find out what kind of hotel I’m choosing and its nearby amenities. The best part: Reviews from former patrons of these hotels. It’s how I’ve found some of my favorite, obscure hideaways and nearby restaurants.

Kayak: In many ways, I prefer Kayak’s mobile app over its website for the streamlined, on-all-one page choice of quality hotels at low prices. I used this app to find a hotel for my family at 2 a.m. in Louisville, KY, and was able to book the room just as we were pulling into the parking lot. Good deals, great app. You can also use Kayak to book flights and see if your flight is on time through its “flight tracker” feature.

Hotel Tonight: This app appeals to the adventurer in me. If I wanted to, where could I stay tonight, for cheap? With a few dozen cities to choose from (Chicago to Washington, D.C. and beyond), Hotel Tonight picks out last-minute deals for hotels wanting to dump excess inventory. I haven’t had a chance to book a hotel through it yet, but I find myself looking at my choices whenever the kids are driving me nuts. It’s almost like reading escapism travel lit.

So, what apps do you love? Share your favorite apps in the column below.

Charlie March 11, 2012 at 05:52 PM
I like Trip Advisor but caution is required when reading the user reviews because many of them are written by touts under false identities.
John Russillo March 11, 2012 at 07:56 PM
United just launched their new app last weekend when they integrated the United and Continental reservation systems. It's pretty good and you can manage your mileage program, too.
Kelsey Trabue March 12, 2012 at 02:18 PM
MyCityWay USA is another great travel app, especially if you are travelling to bigger cities. I am a digital editor for TheRecapp.com, an app review website. We just recently reviewed it here http://www.therecapp.com/apps/mycityway_usa/our_review/. I LOVE this app and use it all the time, especially to find restaurants :)
Robert K. Elder March 12, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Thanks, folks. I'll check them out.
Robert K. Elder March 12, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Thanks, Charlie. I should have said that, yes. You can usually tell who they are by the hyperbole.

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