Free iPhone & Android Apps to Save on Airfare, Hotels & Car Rentals

Everyone likes to travel, right? Judging by how much of the year I am on the road and how full the airports are, people are always looking to jet off somewhere for a little R&R. However, travel costs a lot of money right now because of the economy and how expensive gasoline is, so we all need to find some different ways to try to save money on flights, hotels, and car rentals, right? A few weeks ago I put together a list of the 10 Best Free iPhone Travel Apps which focused on travel, weather, nightlife, etc., so I figured a good companion piece would be a post concentrating solely on iPhone and Android apps which can help you save some money on travel. Let’s take a look at what I found for each platform, shall we? All the apps I have listed are free and the links go directly to either the iTunes or Android app store.

For the iPhone from iTunes:

  1. Kayak: Compares travel sites to find car, hotel, and car rental deals. Allows users to book travel, track flight status, and get baggage fee schedules for different airlines. Seems to be the Big Daddy of travel apps.
  2. BookMe Travel Search: Easily search travel sites for flights, hotels, car rentals, and deals on cruises. Haven’t used this one, but it’s the only one that I saw which includes cruises.
  3. Orbitz Flights, Hotels, Cars: Users can book hotels, flights, car rentals, check their flight status, search for (and read reviews of) hotels using their phone’s GPS system. Plus, they have a price guarantee on travel booked, which is pretty sweet.
  4. Booking.com: Search for and book reservations at over 150,000 hotels around the world. Read guest reviews, see hotel photos, and plot hotel locations on a map. For international travelers this could be really helpful.
  5. Travelocity: Use the Gnome to find and book travel and car/hotel rentals. Also includes city guides and the ability to check gas prices around you. I personally find the Gnome a little annoying but it’s a clever marketing gimmick.
  6. iFindHotels: Combines hotel results from over 30 different travel websites to help users find the best rate for a room. Sort results by price, location, popularity, and user ratings.
  7. Hipmunk Flight Search: Instead of the standard flight search app, Hipmunk searches for something called “agony” of each flight, incorporating things like how long layovers are and how many legs it will take to get to your destination. Kind of a brilliant idea, really. I hate flying but I hate layovers/delays even more.
  8. TripAssist by Expedia: Shop and book travel from your phone, get real-time SMS updates to your itineraries, access SeatGuru to find the best seats on your flights. Expedia is an ever-popular choice for travel needs.
  9. Travel Deals & Coupons: Get coupon codes, promo codes, and special deals updated daily from Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, etc.
  10. Priceline: You’ve seen the ads, now get help with your travel plans from William Shatner by naming your own price on hotel stays and car rentals. Shatner alone makes me check out this site when I need to rent a car.

For Android phones from the Android Market:

  1. Kayak: The ultimate travel assistant helps you find flight, hotel and car rental deals, book travel, track flight status, etc.
  2. Orbitz: Book flights, hotels & cars; view your trips; check flight status and find nearby hotels using your phone’s GPS. And don’t forget the price guarantee on booked travel.
  3. Booking.com: Search over 105,000 hotels worldwide, find nearby hotels and book directly from your Android phone.
  4. TripAdvisor: Search for hotels, restaurants, and flights while accessing real traveler reviews, opinions, photos, and maps. I love TripAdvisor for the hotel reviews, as they have steered me into better choices several times now.
  5. Priceline Negotiator: Stuck without a place to stay at the last minute? Pick the exact neighborhood and star level you want and save up to half-off when you bid for a hotel. William Shatner once again for the win.
  6. HotelsByMe: Allows users to find and book hotels worldwide from their phone. Searches return real-time availability and rates from over 100,000 hotels.
  7. BookMe Travel Search: App allows you to easily search the best travel sites for flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises and vacations in every country in the world. Search Expedia, Orbitz, Kayak, Priceline, Travelocity and more. Seems to be an aggregator of all the major travel websites.
  8. OnTheFly: Offers an advanced way to shop for airfares for any itinerary in the world. Easily find the best fares and flights available for your trip. Seems almost corporate in nature, but could be useful for some travelers.

Do you have a favorite travel and/or money-saving app that you use on your iPhone or your Android phone? I am only personally familiar with the iPhone and I had to do a ton of searches in the Android marketplace, so if you are an Android user and have any suggestions we would love to hear about them in the comments!

(photo credit: boklm)

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