We picked the Skyscanner flight search engine as one of our most invaluable booking sites, and its mobile
is just as good. Skyscanner searches the major airline sites as well as online travel agencies (OTAs) for the lowest fares. Just daydreaming? You can also search from your home airport to "everywhere" and see a list of the cheapest flights on certain dates to destinations all over the world. (Free for Apple, Android, Windows, and Blackberry)
Instantly translate more than 65 languages—speak a phrase into your phone and it will read it back in another tongue, or read foreign scripts with the Google Translate app, perfect for traveling to countries where you don't speak the language. You can even use the app's conversation mode to converse in a foreign language with a native speaker or fellow traveler. (Free for Apple and Android)
Save gas (and never drive miles off an interstate only to find that a rest stop is closed) withRoadNinja. This app lets you find nearby attractions, lodging, food, and rest stops, making your road trips easy. RoadNinja also features promotions and specials to help you save along the way. (Free for Apple and Android)
Did you know that many major airlines will refund the difference in price for tickets that are cheaper after you book? It's true, and Yapta will help you get your refund. Simply save your flight details on the site and Yapta will track the price, send you alerts, and help you claim your refund if the price goes down. Alaska, JetBlue, and AirTran all offer refunds for any price drop, and others (including Virgin America, United, and Delta) will refund you if the price decreases beyond a certain amount.
Kayak and TripAdvisor Flights
Kayak is invaluable for booking airfare if you have flexible dates. Its handy fare calendar lets you see at a glance how the price would change on various dates throughout the month. You can also search for specific dates, and the site will display cheap fares and special "Hacker Fares" (in which, to save money, you book two one-way tickets on different airlines rather than one round-trip flight). You can also use Kayak to search for hotels and car rentals, plus general deals with keywords like "ski," "romantic," or "beach," if you're not sure where you want to go. We also recommend TripAdvisor's flight-search tool for its vast and organized results display.
Tingo is a game-changer in the hotel-booking industry, and we're not just saying that because it's one of our sister sites. The concept is simple: Just book a hotel on Tingo that has a "Money Back" icon, and if the price drops before you travel, Tingo will automatically rebook you at the lower rate and refund you the difference. Best of all, you don't even have to watch prices in order to get a refund—Tingo does it for you.
Your GPS might not be able to give you a heads-up about an upcoming traffic jam, but the Wazeapp can. This app uses real-time data from other drivers to automatically alert you to police presence in the area, road hazards, traffic jams, and the cheapest gas stations. Don't worry about being distracted by your cell phone—Waze is hands-free and voice activated. (Free for Apple and Android)
Is your flight delayed or canceled? Did you miss your connection? If you have the Next Flight app, you won't have to fight the lines to speak to a ticketing agent or spend hours on hold with the airline. The app will show you a list of all available flights from more than 1,200 airline carriers for the same day and the next two days. Nothing works with your schedule? You can also search for hotels, cabs, and car rentals. ($2.99 for Apple and $3.99 for Android)
Get the most out of your tablet or smartphone even when you don't have access to the Internet. Download the Pocket app and you can save Internet articles, videos, or web pages to read offline at your leisure—perfect for in-flight entertainment or reading maps without getting socked with international data-usage charges. (Free for Apple, Android, Windows, and Blackberry)
Organize your travel plans with the TripIt app. Simply email your flight, car, or hotel reservations to TripIt and the app will keep all your plans (and confirmation codes) in one place. Upgrade to TripIt Pro to get instant texts and emails about flight delays, cancellations, and gate changes, plus track all your frequent-traveler reward accounts. (Free for basic TripIt or $49 per year for TripIt Pro for Apple, Android, Blackberry, and Windows)
The ICE 4 Travel app could be a literal lifesaver if you get injured or sick while abroad. The app lets you store medical information like allergies, medications, and emergency contacts on your phone and translates it all into seven different languages. ($2.99 for Apple)
What makes Airfarewatchdog different from other flight-search tools? It tracks bargain flights on thousands of routes, and it verifies availability before it posts them. Plus, all of the fares featured on the site have recently dropped in price, are lower than average, or are unadvertised specials. We recommend signing up for the fare-alert emails, which track fares on specific routes for you. Or, sign up for alerts on any low fares from your local airport. (Note: Airfarewatchdog is owned by Smarter Travel Media and also powers SmarterTravel's Departure City Fare Alert and City to City Route Alertemails.)
You typically won't find homey bed and breakfasts by searching on Hotels.com or Expedia. If you're looking for somewhere cozy to stay, check out BedandBreakfast.com. Whether you're in the mood for a mountain getaway or a New York City escape (yes, even the Big Apple has B&Bs), BedandBreakfast.com is the best and easiest search engine we've found for this specific type of lodging. Plus, it often has discounts on properties, and you can sign up for deal alerts and promo codes.
It's always tough to decide when to pull the trigger on booking airfare. Should you book now, or will prices go down in the future? Bing Travel is the closest thing flyers have to a crystal ball. Use the site'sPrice Predictor and it will advise you whether or not you should buy now or wait. You can also view the fare history for a specific itinerary so you can see for yourself if prices on a certain route have been rising or falling lately.