It's officially here. Time to break out the sunscreen, flip flops and swim shorts. The world is your Oyster for summer travel now that Covid-19 is hopefully a distant memory. But summer travel can have its challenges so we've put together a little check list to help you make the most of your precious travel days with some of the lesser known travel apps that will save you money, show you weird attractions and put the fun back into your summer.
Car Rentals With a similar premise to Obi (perhaps that's why we like it so much) Autoslash is dedicated to helping consumers save money on car rentals. https://www.autoslash.com/ . Autoslash constantly monitors prices of the major car rentals and will even search for discounted rates based on the types of credit cards you carry. Plus, you can set an alert with Autoslash to notify you in case of price drops. So you'll be sure to get the cheapest car rental every time.
Another fun slashing app, also coincidentally related to Autoslash, is HotelSlash. It's a subscription product but especially for the frequent traveler could well be worth it. Similar to their car rental product, it monitors hotels / cities that you select and tells you the best deals. According to their website: "HotelSlash is a member only travel service designed to assist travelers in obtaining lower rates on their hotel reservations. The service achieves this by continually searching for better rates, providing a form of price protection for customers. By accessing negotiated, members-only rates, HotelSlash is able to offer significant discounts on over 1.5 million properties worldwide."
Lets Meet Halfway
This does exactly what it says on the tin, or page to be more precise. If you need to meet someone, this niche little site can help you meet them in the middle and point out good spots to meet nearby. It has a nice simple name too Whatshafway. https://www.whatshalfway.com/
Wi-Fi Maps Finding a hotspot, especially if you don't have roaming can always be challenging when traveling. Wi-Fi Maps helps you find free WiFi hotspots with an interactive map and offline mode. When using the offline mode, you’ll see a list of all the hotspots with passwords in your chosen area. You can also contribute to the app by sharing new hotspots in the places you visit.
Roadside America is a) obviously focused for the US audience and b) very cool at showing strange, wonderful and unusual attractions on your travels that the likes of Google Maps probably won't highlight.
There are many attractions to check out here, split into more than 70 themes, including music, tech, and more. As they say in their app description "Never miss a giant twine ball, quirky statue or odd museum"
Need to Go Potty?
It has happened to all of us. You're in a strange country, had a few too many glasses of water, wine or beer and have the desperate urge to go. Well there is an app just for you. Flush Toilet Finder is the quickest, simplest way of finding a public bathroom or restroom. Simply open the app and it will display the nearest toilets to you. It's free, no in-app purchases and has over 200,000 bathrooms in its database!
In Search of Vegan? There's a website / app called HappyCow that helps you with vegetarian or vegan dietary to eat during your travels. In addition to searching for the best restaurants nearby, you can also create a personal profile and actually find others to eat with who want to share some vegan delights.
Alternate Camping Hipcamp helps you stay on private land, away from the hustle and bustle. It works with landowners so you can camp on private land with RV parks, tent camping, glamping, treehouses, or cabins. So if you like to stay somewhere most people haven't even heard of, the Hipcamp app could help your dreams come true. It has 4.8 stars form over 19k reviews, so it sounds pretty awesome to us.
And now for some stories. Autio is a cool app that provides stories based on your location. It's very different from the likes of Spotify and has none other than Kevin Costner as a co-founder. He's even quoted on the site "Autio could be the biggest thing I’ve ever been a part of." So make of that what you will. But Autio has 10,000+ stories and so when driving from city to city you can seamlessly glide to different stories based on your location. Worth checking out next time you travel.
We couldn't complete the list without a shout out to Obi. With nearly 300k users, Obi continues to grow every day as more and more people realize the benefits of comparing ride prices. Some little known facts:
- Many drivers work for multiple companies, and so you can be quoted very different fares for EXACTLY the same driver and car. How does this make sense?
- Ride prices can vary anywhere from 30-50% between providers and in fact Obi users save on average 30%. Especially for airport rides, that can be over $30 for just one ride.
Obi is 100% free - you just input your address and destination as normal and Obi shows you all taxis, rideshares and black cars in your area so you can always get the cheapest ride, whether you are in New York, London, Paris or Sydney. Available or iOS and Android at rideobi.com
We hope you enjoyed our little exploration of alternative summer travel apps that will make your summer a little more wonderful and hopefully a lot more incredible.