MONEY

Best travel apps

Money magazine picks the best travel apps for saving you time and money while on the road.

  • Head-to-head: Kayak vs. Google Flight

    From: itunes; google.com/flights

    The fight: Flight aggregators

    Tools that pull from hundreds of booking sites simplify flight search. Which aggregator will get you to the beach first?

    STRENGTHS

    Kayak: Offers fare alerts and historical price charts. Shows fares that combine different carriers. More international options.

    Google Flight Search: Lightning-fast search results. Flight Explorer feature lets you enter a date range and see the lowest fares for multiple destinations.

    DOWNSIDES

    Kayak: Comparatively slow search results.

    Google Flight Search: No mobile app or ability to set fare alerts. Only fares that include one domestic leg.

    THE WINNER

    Kayak: The original triumphs. Remember, though, airline sites may have offers that don’t show up on either, says George Hobica of Airfarewatchdog.com.

    Availability: Both sites are available on their individual websites. Kayak is also available on the iPhone, Android and Windows Phone. Both apps are free.

  • Tripit

    From: itunes

    Price: Free or $49/year for premium
    Available on: Website, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone

    Turns your air, hotel, and car-rental confirmations into a mobile itinerary. The app is especially helpful for business travelers, says Kevin May of travel tech site Tnooz.com.

  • Tingo

    from: tingo.com

    The promise: After you book a hotel, this site tracks the latest rates and rebooks you if the price drops
    .
    Price:
    Free
    Avail
    able on: Website

    Unlike sites that just alert you when a rate changes, Tingo automatically locks in the savings.

    The site offers this service only on refundable rooms, though, so your credit card is charged when you reserve. But if you cancel or a lower rate is found, the difference is returned to your card.

  • Waze

    From: itunes

    The promise: Provides crowdsourced traffic information.
    Price: Free
    Available on: Website, iPhone, Android

    Get real-time updates on accidents, jams, and detours, plus alternative route suggestions and the latest local gas prices.

    One caveat: Because the data are provided by other drivers, the app works best in cities and other densely populated areas, says CNET automotive technology editor Antuan Goodwin.

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