Even with all the shortcuts available today, travel requires a tremendous amount of preparation. Trips abroad introduce extra complications such as longer flights and currency exchange rates. Details including the times you choose to visit certain attractions or directions for navigating unfamiliar territory can make or break your day.
Your smartphone can eliminate a good amount of your travel woes. Whether you need to book a last-minute trip extension, eat well during a three-hour layover or message your family back home, a smartphone app stands ready to help you become a smarter traveler.
For the early stages of your journey, download Kayak. This mobile travel app by Kayak.com helps you find hotels, price car rentals and browse flight options. With Kayak's price comparisons, you will know whether you're getting the best deal for each service. The app is free for iPad, iPhone, Android, Nokia and Windows Phone.
The filters in Kayak's search option allow you to browse according to specific criteria such as where you prefer to have a layover. In the category My Trips, your travel itinerary is at your fingertips.
It's important to note that although Kayak is a useful research tool and can be used to reserve hotel rooms and car rentals, it cannot be used to book flights. The app can be used to find the best available price, however, and will direct you to a page where a flight can be purchased.
In the latest version of the Kayak app, you can receive price alerts on your iPad for discounted flights, hotels and car rentals. Searches for cities and airports are now saved as well, so you can easily book future trips to favorite locations.
Kayak's website has been around for eight years, but the company recently switched its focus to mobile. Now, instead of using its website to influence its mobile app, Kayak designers are doing the opposite.
"I got to the point where I actually liked [the] iPhone app better than our website, I thought it was more aesthetically beautiful," said Paul English, co-founder and CTO of Kayak, in a statement to Gigaom. The app is easy to navigate, a quality that Kayak hopes to replicate on its website.
Travel and hotel reservations mark only the beginning of a traveler's journey. Take a look at the rest of these travel apps. A quick download could lead to less stress during your next trip.