Take Two for October 9, 2013

App Chat: Tools to make travel more bearable

Holiday fares

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Travelers wait in line to have their boarding passes checked at a security screening area of American Airlines terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on November 23, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

Today feels like the first day of fall for us here in Southern California. There's a little rain, temperatures have dropped below 70 degrees, and that feeling of fall reminds us of the upcoming holiday season. Which, for many, inevitably means travel.

This week on App Chat, we'll fill you on the best apps to help you organize, survive and thrive when you travel this holiday season. 

App Chat regular Devindra Hardawar, national mobile editor for Venture Beat, joins us this week.

Hipmunk

One app that I really enjoy for researching flights, figuring out the best deal. There are plenty of apps and services out there that let you compare price information, but I find Hipmunk to be really easy to use. You just plug in the details of your trip, it finds different prices across different airlines, but it has a really nice interface and its a really nice and simple way to figure out when you should buy a ticket. Sometimes you can actually click through from Hipmunk and buy the ticket right there on your phone. 

LoungeBuddy

This one, you just plug in your credit card information, your frequent flier programs and your itinerary and it tells you where the closest VIP lounges next to where you are. Sometimes those are things reserved for premium customers, but LoungeBuddy can tell you if you qualify, because of your frequent flier program or you can just pay a little bit to hang out there for a while. 

Hotel Tonight

This is all about last-minute travel. They get some of the best hotel deals you can find because they are rooms that the hotels have not yet filled at the very last minute. So at HotelTonight you can find yourself in a very nice room at a swanky hotel for hundreds of dollars less than you would normally pay. It's a little scary, I don't know if I would plan to travel like this, but if you travel a lot or you end up in a new city at the spur of the moment, you can find some really good deals. 

Onavo

This is a free app for the iPhone and Android. It compresses your mobile data so you're not using as much as you normally would. It's especially good for roaming, because you can end up paying quite a bit just for a couple hundred megs of data, and it's also useful for when you're at home. It can save you hundreds of dollars for just a simple trip. 

TripIt

This is an app that collects all of your travel information, your flight data, your hotel booking, it puts it all in a single place. They also have a premium offering with features like seat alerts, so if you want to see if more seats are available on your flight it can ping you ahead of time so you can swap to a window seat or something. 


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