I like to think of myself as a bit of a nomad.
In the past five years, I’ve called five different cities “home.” I’ve wandered the earth from Texas to Europe, meeting new friends, exploring new places, and eventually finding more and more of myself at every new destination.
Travel is good for the soul. It loosens you up. It rattles your schedule. It transforms your life from routine to extraordinary — it makes you uncomfortable and sweaty and uncertain.
But it’s not always cheap or convenient, which is why I’m here to tell you it can be BOTH if you play your cards right. Thanks to my wanderlust and many friends I met on my journeys, I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of useful travel apps. Here we go:
1. For the best priced flights, use Hopper– Kerstin, my Denver flight friend, told me about this one. You input where you’re coming from and where you’d like to go, and the dates. Then Hopper pulls up a color-coded calendar that shows the best prices during those times. Then you can browse flights. If it’s not a great time to purchase, you can “watch” the flight and receive notifications when more affordable ones arise.
2. For the best priced car, use Turo– My Baylor gal pal Sarah showed me this one. It’s essentially Uber for renting cars, people can rent out their cars to travelers. You pick dates and location and other settings, like how much, what kind of drive, etc. It’s almost always cheaper than a rental company, and it’s nice for young guns like me who get an up-charge for being an untrustworthy youth.
3. For the bestpriced crash pad use Airbnb- nearly everyone knows about this, but some people are skeptical of crashing at strangers’ places. I get and respect that. But whoa, Airbnb has some great deals at great locations. Pro tip: look for indoor pics of where you’re staying. My girl Mads and I stayed at a sketchy af house in Memphis for my first Airbnb experience. It was scarring. But not enough to keep us away.
There are obviously many, many more out there. Lyft, Uber and Yelp are also great tools. Scour the App Store/Play Store for travel apps and you’ll certainly find helpful ones for planning your next great escape.
Let me know what apps I should have on my radar. I’m hoping to wander up to Portland soon, and will be in Denver in the fall for a bachelorette party, so let me know where to go!
**But remember, you are your greatest tool. And you’re so much more useful than an app. Don’t only lean on these — get a little lost, have a lot of fun.**