aNewDomain — It’s summer. That means it’s time to head out on vacation if you haven’t already. You are really going, right?
Don’t let a lack of money stop you this year. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Americans go on more than 650 million long-distance trips every summer. You can join them, even if you’re on a budget, thanks to these five free travel apps I tried out. These are travel apps to save you money — in some cases, a lot of money. All work on Android and iOS.
And did I mention they’re free?
Check them out below.
Skiplagged for Android, iOS (free)
The Skiplagged app is genius. If you’re looking to save some serious cash on airfare (who isn’t?) the Skiplagged app will reveal hidden deals airlines don’t want you to see. This free app lets you see “hidden city ticketing” deals, and in a clever way.
Here’s how it works: Book a flight with a layover in the city that is your true destination. Skiplagged will use that information to save you money.
Skipplagged bills itself as the only airfare search engine to not only find tickets where your destination is the final stop, but also any stop leading up to some other destination. It explains what you probably already know, that getting to layover cities is often cheaper.
Making no apologies about the workaround, Skiplagged claims “this is price discrimination that has to do with being competitive in the industry.”
There are caveats. For one, you can’t check bags because they’ll end up at the final destination. You have to book two one-way tickets. You ought not tell the airline your frequent-flyer number, and you have to be willing to accept that, in the case of bad weather, your true destination might be eliminated.
Also, “you may be violating the contract of carriage for some airlines,” says Skiplagged. The company says that “as the consumer you have all rights to partially use the services you are paying for, so these trips are completely legal.”
If you think savings of up to 80 percent make all this worth it then give it a try.
Moovit for Android, iOS (free)
Moovit for Android and iOS is a free app designed to save you money on transportation once you get to your destination. Check out the data visualization below. Scroll down for more on Moovit for iOS and Android, or visit the website.
The best thing about Moovit for Android and iOS is it lets you travel like a local. You get real-time public transportation information and GPS navigation.
The live map allows users to see nearby stops and arrival times, but also the least-crowded routes. Moovit does this by combining public-transit data from transportation operators with crowdsourced user data.
WiFi Map for Android, iOS (free)
How long could you go disconnected from the Internet? If you’re like most Americans, not very long.
The WiFi Map app lets you find nearby Wi-Fi locations and even the passwords as crowdsourced by others. How cool is that?
The makers say the app provides more than 2 million accessible Wi-Fi hotspot locations.
GasBuddy for Android, iOS (free)
Traveling by car? You’re not alone. Would you believe an estimated 91 percent of summer trips are by car?
The GasBuddy app will help you save money at the pump. This free app allows anyone to find the cheapest gas around. Anyone with a smartphone can locate the nearest gas stations and all the current gas prices as updated by the community of GasBuddy users.
I highly recommend this app.
HostelWorld for Android, iOS (free)
Not really into couchsurfing, but want to save some money? How about staying at a hostel?
HostelWorld lets you search through more than 30,000 possible places to stay, and it doesn’t charge a booking fee.
Travel the world without breaking your budget, and meet other fun people along the way with this app. Don’t get stuck overpaying for a place to stay when you’re on vacation.
Like all the travel apps that save you money in this review, I’m happy to report that it’s free.
For aNewDomain, I’m Kyle McCarthy.
All images: Screenshots from Google Play and iTunes by Gina Smith.