Anyone who’s been on a road trip lately likely has a horror story to share. From canceled flights to long waits, travelers face a multitude of hassles.
Nonetheless, technology could make it easier for travelers to deal with stress. COVID-19 has hit the travel and tourism industries hard, and now people are ready to hit the road and fly again.
Three years into the pandemic, this sudden increase in air, sea and land travel means travelers need to carry more than a toothbrush. A lot of patience and a smartphone with the right apps will go a long way in managing stress when facing chaotic travel conditions.
Related: Best travel apps 2022
Avoid third-party apps and websites
While third-party apps and websites can reduce the cost of airfare or car rentals, they do not offer guarantees, refunds, or exchanges. If something goes wrong with a booking, dealing with the intermediary can take hours.
Going straight saves time and money. It also simplifies the process of changing or canceling plans.
Use apps to track offers
Instead of booking through a third-party website, travelers can use apps to track prices directly from airlines, car rental agencies, hotels and more. Google Flights tracks prices based on travel dates entered by the person planning the trip.
The app offers a feature for email and text notifications when prices drop. The link takes the user directly to the airline’s website to book the flight.
Book a great and cheap place
seatGuru allows travelers to enter their flight numbers and view a map of the plane’s seating options. This makes it easy to choose the seat with more legroom, access to overhead storage, or behind non-reclining seats.
Monitor flight status
Cancellations and delays make travel unfeasible. Keep an eye out for these events with tools like FlightAware and FlightRadar24.
These apps provide up-to-date information about flights. The LoungeBuddy app provides details on which airport lounges have the most occupants.
Check COVID-19 requirements
International travelers may need to provide documentation of recent COVID-19 infection, vaccination and quarantine details. O joinSherpa.com web tool quickly pulls a list of documents required for international destinations.
Organize the itinerary
TripIt organizes itineraries. It tracks hotel reservations, car rental reservations and reservations for restaurants, museums and more.
View the itinerary as an organized timeline. One analyst recommends travelers use a dedicated email account for all their travel bookings and connect that account to the TripIt app.
Proof of Vaccination
Upload two digital proof of COVID-19 vaccination forms. A state health department QR code and a photo of the physical vaccination card will work for most travelers.
The recent boom in air travel has caused an increase in the amount of lost luggage. Tile and AirTag make it easy to track bags and other checked bags.
Use the hotel app
Many hotels have their own apps. Using the app facilitates faster check-in, payment, room service and departures.
In-app check-in can also prevent the hotel from canceling a room reservation if a flight delay causes a traveler to arrive after the check-in deadline.
Many hotels also offer exclusive perks through their apps, such as discounts on services and access to premium programming and special events.