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Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Essential travel apps I use on a regular basis
I thought I would dedicate this post to talk about some of the various apps I have on my phone that I use frequently and have saved me on numerous occasions. Just to be clear, I use an iPhone so not all of these apps may apply in your situation but I'm sure most are also available for Android and other operating systems. Also, just a reminder that I have no relationship with anyone so don't receive any type of compensation for promoting these apps and everything that is said is strictly my own opinion.
Here are a few screenshots of my phone that show some of the various apps I have for travel although I don't use them all regularly. As you can see most of them are the official airline/hotel/car app that comes in handy when making/checking/changing reservations and I especially like being able to download my boarding pass to my phone so I can skip the check-in counter altogether if I'm not checking a bag. I wanted to discuss a few in particular that I have found very useful.
The app is essential to be able to utilize Uber which has become my main means of transportation when I travel if I don't end up renting a vehicle. And for those of you who have never used Uber before, you can sign up at uber.com/invite/np444 and both you and I will get a free ride (up to $15) so its a win-win situation. I like Uber because of all of their partnerships and I have my account linked to my Starwood Preferred Guest account so I can earn valuable Starpoints on my rides. You need to go to https://www.spgpromos.com/uber/ first and link your accounts and also have at least 1 qualifying SPG stay per calendar year which isn't hard to accomplish in order to earn Starpoints. You also have the ability to earn more than 1 Starpoint per dollar spent if you use Uber during an SPG stay and the earning rate depends on your SPG status. I'm just thankful that the Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) recently started allowing Uber to pick up passengers since I am a frequent traveler of this airport.
This is one of my favorite apps and is usually one of the first ones I open up when I reach the airport, especially if it is one that I am not familiar with. This app will let you know about all the different lounges that you have access to based on the credentials that you enter as well as their locations and hours of operation. You can also view lounges that you currently don't have access to, find out how much it costs to access them, and you even have the ability to purchase passes through the app. There are usually a few pictures and reviews of the different lounges available that can be useful if you're trying to decide between different choices.
This is also another frequent app I utilize when traveling and is good for those who like to have somewhat of an itinerary but don't like to spend a lot of time researching all the different possibilities. Sometimes it can be overwhelming when you finally reach your destination and you want to try to see as much as possible in a short amount of time so it becomes important to be able to manage your time as best as possible. This app has a list of all the top hotels, restaurants, attractions, etc for most of the major cities worldwide ranked by thousands of traveler's reviews which are usually pretty accurate and you even have the ability to make reservations through the app and download maps. I usually try to hit up at least the top 3-5 attractions when I first visit a place depending on time although sometimes its nice to explore the lesser known attractions.
This app is probably best used by first going to their website at https://awardwallet.com/ and entering your data that way but this is again another essential app that all miles and points enthusiasts should have. This app keeps track of all of your reward and loyalty programs and will notify you if there are any changes including if your points are about to expire. Some features require you to upgrade to AwardWallet Plus which is only $5 for 6 months although if you are a new user you can sign up here and use this code for a free upgrade: free-nqktbb. Not every program is supported such as Delta but you'd be surprised by how many are.
This is by no means meant to serve as an exhaustive list and I'm sure there are a ton more apps that are just as useful that I am unaware of. What apps can't you live without?