Every year, 64% of Americans plan some sort of getaway vacation. Many people grew up with fond memories of packing up the car and heading to the beach, the lake, or Grandma’s house during the summer months.
Sadly, in American culture, the ability to get away is becoming more of a luxury and less of a priority. Nearly half of Americans report that they will not be taking a summer vacation this year because they either cannot afford it, or they are too busy with work.
This number is actually quite alarming. Failing to take even just a few days off to refresh your mind, body, and spirit can eventually lead to a burnout that may be difficult to bounce back from.
However, taking a vacation can actually have a positive effect on your productivity. Scientific studies have found that taking even a short weekend getaway can refresh your creativity and decrease stress levels. Additionally, a rejuvenation can lead to greater productivity; which leads to more opportunities in your career. In fact, employees who took more than 10 of their vacation days a year were twice as likely to be promoted or receive a bonus at their job.
Talk about an incentive for a vacation!
If the stress of planning a trip or the financial strain of getting away is holding you back from giving yourself a break, consider these helpful apps and tools that can help solve all of your travel worries.
1. Hopper—Know when to fly and buy
One of the biggest obstacles that stands in the way of most people’s getaway plans is the high cost of flying. During the summer, airline ticket prices can jump 20% or more, especially during popular travel weekends like Memorial Day.
The hassle of comparing flights from various websites is enough to make some travelers quit altogether. To make matters worse, travel comparison sites can come with hidden fees. Furthermore, they don’t always show every airline, and they won’t tell you if the price is actually the best deal or not.
If you have some flexibility with your vacation dates, Hopper can certainly help you find the best bang for your buck.
Simply type in your destination and preferred dates, then Hopper will scan nearly every airline to find the current rates and even suggest travel date adjustments for cheaper flights. But what’s even better is that Hopper tracks every single flight’s price fluctuations and will predict when the cost is about to change. If you set up travel alerts, Hopper will send you a notification when the price is at its lowest so you can rest assured that you are getting the best flight deal available.
2. iExit—Your road trip pitstop finder
If your family is more of the road-tripping type, you know there is nothing worse than frantically searching for a rest stop. Bathroom emergencies or hungry travelers can certainly suck the fun out of a trip and make for some whiny kids (and adults).
Thankfully, iExit makes it incredibly easy to find a pit stop area. Its GPS function figures out your location and shows you where the nearest rest area, gas station, or restaurant is that won’t take you miles off your route. iExit is even integrated with apps like GasBuddy and Travel Coupons to help you find the cheapest gas and hotels along the way.
3. Roomer—Find discounted hotel stays
Finding nice, affordable accommodations during the summer months can often times seem like an oxymoron. Most of the best hotels are booked up months in advance, and the less-desirable lodgings may have overly inflated prices due to higher demand.
Thankfully, Roomer can help you find the best of both worlds by scouring hotel sites for last minute booking deals. Roomer works with travelers who are not able to use their previously booked travel accommodations. It then connects you with these rooms, which saves you money in the process by offering hefty discounts. This means that you can potentially score nice hotel stays and luxury resort spots all around the world for a fraction of the cost.
4. Guides by Lonely Planet—Discover your destination
There’s nothing worse than arriving at your vacation destination and hearing the question, “What should we do now?”
While some travelers enjoy going with the flow and discovering things along the way, having a guidebook can be a lifesaver to eliminate moments of boredom in the meantime.
Guides by Lonely Planet acts like a super friendly and knowledgeable tour guide who is only there when you need them. The app compiles thousands of tips and recommendations from expert travelers so all the information you could ever want is right at your fingertips. The GPS function will help you navigate through cities while passing by famous landmarks and beautiful sites along the way. Plus, there’s a “Need to Know” tab to help you get a feel for the city’s layout and the can’t miss spots.
5. TripLingo—Stay safe and savvy during trips abroad
Traveling internationally is an amazing opportunity to experience new cultures and explore the world. However, one of the biggest issues while abroad is communicating with the people around you.
TripLingo can help you easily converse with locals thanks to its helpful language features. The app has thousands of phrases and translations from 42 languages to make conversations a little easier. There is even an instant voice translator feature, Wi-Fi phone dialer, and currency calculator built in to eliminate all of your language barrier woes.
Don’t let obstacles like financial constraints or the stress of planning stand in the way of taking a vacation this year. After all, even a little getaway could be instrumental in helping you become more productive, happier, and successful. Give yourself the rest you deserve and let these apps do the hard work for you.