The App Corner: Travel

Parking lot traffic jams. Delayed flights. Forgotten belongings. When it comes to holiday traveling, we’ve all been through the horrors of long lines at the airport and rows and rows of stopped cars on the highway in one way or another. Though our smartphones cannot magically move up flights or make our cars fly over bumper-to-bumper traffic, there are apps that can make traveling less of a headache. Here are a couple of notable and helpful travel apps:

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Just Landed
Planning on picking up a relative or friend from the airport during the busy holidays? With Just Landed, timing their landing has never been easier. Just Landed is an elegant app with a user interface that can make any designer giddy. It’s accurate and has received great customer ratings.

T.V. Rating: 5/5

Kayak
Move over Expedia — there’s a whole new generation of flight and hotel search engines to watch out for! Kayak is the leader of this new travel search wave, especially since it “compares hundreds of travel sites at once.” Not to mention, it’s the #1 travel app in the app store. With a simple and easy-to-use interface, it’s no wonder Kayak is doing so well.

T.V. Rating: 5/5

Hipmunk
In the May issue of Bloomberg, the return of cute mascots was brought to attention with a mascot timeline. Hipmunk’s adorable chipmunk mascot was featured, to no surprise. The website, co-founded by Steve Huffman, founder of reddit, displays flight and hotel results in a visual “timeline,” which allows users to view all choices in an easy and readable format. It’s a unique concept, and though Hipmunk may not be the top travel search engine, it’s certainly up there. Not to mention, Hipmunk offers incredible customer service and loves to give out swag adorned with their lovable mascot.

T.V. Rating: 4.5/5

If you don’t think this is the cutest mascot ever, you can stop reading this blog.

SeatGuru
SeatGuru markets itself as the one-stop travel app: find low fares, pick your seats, get alerts, receive flight statuses, etc. It’s an alright app. There’s nothing too special about it, and both their mobile and website interfaces could use a little remodeling (more emphasis on the latter). It gets the job done, but it’s definitely not the most user-friendly app.

T.V. Rating: 3/5

Smart Ride
If public transportation seems confusing, it won’t anymore with the Smart Ride app. A simply, incredibly easy-to-use app, Smart Ride shows the nearest bus stops and all of their respective stops. And – better yet – while on the bus, the Smart Ride app follows your progress along any bus route. As a frequent user of public transportation in Los Angeles, a city not especially known for their exceptional bus and metro systems, I can easily say that this app has saved me from many missed buses and wrong stops.

T.V. Rating: 5/5

Couchsurfing
Hotels too expensive? Go Couchsurfing! Couchsurfing, a community of open explorers, connects travelers and locals who meet to open their homes and hearts through different cultures and languages. Though there are obvious caveats when it comes to couchsurfing, all and all, the concept is pretty cool. The website is just a bit more attractive than the app, but the latter gets the job done in a more efficient, more accessible way.

T.V. Rating: 4.5/5

TripColor
Despite all the of the frustrations from traveling, if there are any moments worth sharing (and I hope there are!), the TripColor app comes in handy. The app interface is rather cutesy and is formatted in a Tumblr-esque way. It’s easy to get started and even easier to browse through other users’ trips. However, the TripColor web interface needs a bit of tweaking, but it’s nothing too drastic.

T.V. Rating: 4/5

If there are other travel apps that you think should be reviewed, please let me know in the comments below! Otherwise, I hope you all travel safely and have a great holiday season! Expect many more techvolo posts in the next couple of weeks!

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