We need to apologize for all the Summer Fridays we took for granted—big time. Instead of taking advantage of shortened Friday schedules to take the weekends to travel and explore far-off cities, we spent hours in our favorite sweats bingeing Netflix.
It was a waste … And now we’re itching to get out and explore, without spending an arm and a leg. That means scanning our favorite money-saving travel apps for the best deals on airfare, hotels, and even workout classes in all the cities we should’ve gone to this summer. No worries—with these apps on your phone, you’ll be able to justify a quick weekend getaway.
If you’re traveling solo and you don’t mind carrying on, Skiplagged should be your first stop for travel bookings. The app finds the cheapest flights to get you to your destination, and often, that means hopping on a “hidden-city” flight (a flight where you get off at the layover city rather than the final destination).
Hidden-city flights can save you big money; on the app, a flight from Los Angeles to Chicago (with a final destination of Memphis) was less than $120—about $100 cheaper than a typical trip. The only caveat when booking on Skiplagged: Make sure you carry on your luggage. If you don’t, your bags will go to the intended final destination on your ticket, even if you get off at the hidden-city layover.
If Skiplagged is for the impulsive traveler, Hopper is made for meticulous, budget-conscious planners. The app analyzes flights and predicts the best time to buy tickets. All you need to do is input your desired cities and the dates you’d like to travel and track the trip. Hopper predicts when the best time to buy will be, and how much money you’ll save. When it’s time to purchase, the app sends you a reminder and you can buy your flights right off the app.
Hotwire is great for cheap hotel deals when you book six months in advance—but what about last-minute bookings? EnterHotel Tonight. The app works to find inexpensive rooms at sweet hotels (you can search by star rating, location, and price) that have had last minute cancellations. Which is convenient for you, because usually those bookings are more inexpensive than if you’d locked down a room in advance. It’s a very cool app, but we wouldn’t risk it during busy holiday travel—you might not be able to find a spot, or it’ll end up being more pricey than you’re prepared for.
So you booked the last-minute flight and hotel … Now what? Once you make it to your destination, fire up Triposo to discover exactly what to do in your new city. The app is basically like a travel guidebook, packed into a user-friendly interface. Search for the most famous monuments and museums, best restaurants and bars, or scan the quick primer that lays out all the practical information you need to know about your destination. Triposo is also great for international travel because it gives you the current exchange rate and weather forecast.
Traveling can seriously mess with your healthy habits—long flights, airport food, and late nights throw off any wellness routine. And you know the best way to kick jet lag and that bloated airplane feeling is by fitting in a sweat sesh. Open up MISO to get your spin class and green juice fix, no matter where you are. The app aggregates fitness studios, gyms, and healthy food destinations around your location. Scan through to find out what’s nearby, and read reviews from other travelers about their experiences. We love that you can sort restaurants by dietary preferences like gluten-free options, vegan, or vegetarian—it makes it so much easier to eat well even if you’re out of town!
Summer is over, but wedding season never seems to end. Stay strong—once you get through the last few fall ceremonies, you’ll be in the clear. Of course, traveling for weddings can get expensive, fast. Especially when you factor in the day-of grooming that’s absolutely necessary like hair and makeup. Download PRIV. The app allows you to book services like haircuts, makeup, men’s grooming, spray tans, (even massages!) in just a click. And the best part? They come to you. It actually ends up saving you money and time, and the prices are completely reasonable.