Spring is prime vacation season (yesss!). But that doesn’t mean you need to pay top dollar to travel. There are apps that can help you save on everything from hotels to currency exchanges—they’re so efficient, they practically hand you money.
Of course, having extra pocket money means you can spend more on the good stuff…like that beachside massage or those strappy sandals you’ve been lusting after. (Or a deposit toward your next vacation.) Whether you’re planning to travel in a few weeks or a few months, trust us, you’ll want to download these first. Bonus: The most expensive app is just 99 cents.
Got some flexibility and want good accommodations? Try booking your stay last-minute using this app. Rooms become available at noon, so early birds get the best choice; but holdouts might get the best prices. (The app lets you book as late as 2 a.m.) Hotel Tonight staffers vet each property, and even their “basic room” category is swankier than your average cheap hotel: A recent search in New York City resulted in a $106 room at GEM hotel with complimentary shoe shines and toiletries, and on-call manicurists. (Note: This is a favorite of DailyWorth’s founder!)
Sure, you could leave your car in that long-term lot. Or you could search for a cheaper option using this app. The savings can be hefty: Recently, parking at one major airport was $11 a day—versus $6 in a lot nearby that offered shuttle service to the terminal.
A road trip must-have, this app tells you what the closest stations are charging per gallon of gas, based on user reports. One warning: Some prices are cash only, and you won’t get a heads-up, so visit an ATM first.
Oanda Currency Converter
Unless you have really good math skills, guesstimating how much you’re spending abroad can lead to painful credit card bills once you get home. This converter will give you the proper tally—and even add in your ATM or credit card foreign currency fee.
Out to Eat With Kids
Watching your little one waste a restaurant meal just plain stinks. With this app, you can lower your investment: Search for places that will give you a deal or let kids eat free altogether. (Caveat: The site tries to focus on healthy choices, but many of the offerings are at chains. If that’s not your style, the app won’t be, either.)
If all you know is that you want to fly somewhere, this flight finder can serve up adventure. You can check thousands of airline and online travel sites at a time, searching for, say, all flights under $200 this month, or all flights from a certain airport.
Don’t let freakishly high international texting or overage fees cut you off from the world. This app uses the Internet (rather than your SMS plan) to send messages, so you can send friends back home updates.
Tablets are kind of pointless when you can’t find a hotspot. Solve that problem with this app, which tracks down free and for-pay networks near you. Unlike most of its kind, the app doesn’t require you to go online to find the info—a major perk since you’re, you know, looking for wifi to get online.