There are tons of tools and apps to help us get where we want online these days but finding the right ones to do the right thing at the right time is also something we might need a tool for. That is why I created this post mainly for myself to come back to and help me book award travel or any travel at all. As tools start charging I will drop them and add ones that offer more features. Bookmark this page and come back often!
1. Muchopoints uses an algorithm that calculates and filters the hotels that will provide customers the most points to make the best choice to maximize their points when booking hotels . Muchopoints, currently in Beta, plans to offer end users with the option to manage all their hotel programs with one single log on. This will be similar to AwardWallet where users will be able to track all their points and elite statuses for supported hotel programs. Hopefully they do the same for Airlines. Here are the supported hotels at this time:
- Hilton HHonors
- Marriot Rewards
- Best Western
- Le Club Accor Hotels
- IHG Rewards Club
- SPG – Starwood Preferred Guest
- Choice Hotels and others coming soon!
Pexportal is a similar website that uses an award travel search engine where you can search for mileage airfare.
2. StatusMatcher can help you match loyalty program elite status from one carrier to another. For example, leverage your Silver status with American Airlines to obtain Platinum status with Virgin America or Hilton HHonors to get IHG Platinum Status.
3. HotelUpgrade offers free hotel perks and complimentary upgrades when you book your room directly on the hotel’s website and then confirm your reservation with the HotelUpgrade app. It’s free to download the app and available on iOS with an Android coming soon. You are able to get bonus points for your stay, free parking, suite upgrades, restaurant discounts, free drink coupons, and more possible upgrades. I’m looking forward to trying this app out especially since they are automatically confirmed upgrades and you still get regular loyalty points because you book direct with the hotel such as Marriot.com or Hilton.com then go over to this app to see what magic it can work.
4. RentLuggage – If you’re taking a ski trip, to play golf, or camping and need the perfect piece of luggage you may consider RentLuggage. This will save you money and time by avoiding the expense of purchasing new luggage just for one trip. They ship the luggage directly to your door, and they provide free return shipping from anywhere in the continental United States. New RentLuggage customers can use Promo Code RENTNOW at checkout to save an extra 10% off your luggage rental. I can’t think of a trip I would need it for but you might.
5. Miles Wallet is similar to Award Wallet but it is free and automatically retrieves your reservations and activities on loyalty programs without a time limit. So you can find all of your future bookings but also your past bookings as well as the complete history of your loyalty accounts. It also alerts you to any activity such as a balance and status but detailed. This not only helps you keep track of programs but helps prevent you if there’s an attempt to hack your accounts. Award Wallet has a fee and does less. You can also sign in with your FB account.
6. Hotel Hustle is something I have been waiting for and it has finally arrived to help you find hotels available for certain stays comparing the points it will take. I normally have to open all three browsers, windows, and tabs to get award bookings completed so hopefully this will help out. [wandr.me/Hotel-Tools/Hotel-Hustle]
7. Hotels By Day offers hotel rooms for short term, day use for reduced prices compared to overnight stays. Imagine you have to check out of your hotel room when you have a late flight or arriving early with a late check in. This app comes in handy to spend a few extra hours in a hotel room to drop your luggage, relax, go to the pool or shower before heading out to the airport or checking in to your main accommodation. You could also use it for a quick private meeting with a friend to spend a few hours for the middle of the day. Like many of these apps, it’s new and currently has just in a handful of major US cities but stay tuned as they expand to more locations internationally in 2016.
8. Tools To Find The Best Plane Seats: Routehappy (routehappy.com) scores flights based on a variety of criteria, including legroom, width and amenities such as power outlets. It also scores comfort based onIn-Flight Entertainment and
Wi-Fi. Routehappy uses an algorithm for scoring based on aircraft, seat, amenities, trip duration, and ratings. They have a partnership with Google Flights to let people know when there are things such as wifi on the plane so you do not have to directly goto their site. Seateroo (Seateroo.com) is an app that lets you swap seats for a price. If you’re stuck in seat 36A the last row of economy class on a long International flight you could fire up Seateroo and find a passenger who is willing to swap seats with you. You negotiate a price (minimum of $5, with a 15% service fee deducted from price paid to the other passenger) and swap seats when you’re permitted to move about the cabin.
10. Open Hotel Alert makes sure you get a spot in your preferred hotel on your next vacation or business trip if it’s sold out when you try to book. The app will text or email you when something opens up. You get an alert as soon as something is available and the app will give you a direct link to book to jump out and book the room which is how Open Hotel Alert makes money—through Booking.com.
Top Flight Apps – (Name and percentage of installs on smartphones)
1. Skyscanner, 0.67%
2. Flightaware, 0.64%
3. TripIt, 0.26%
4. SeatGuru, 0.04%
5. GateGuru, 0.04%
11. Basetrip, a travel research tool that not only answers any question you have about any country in the world, it also neatly organizes the information. Simply enter your citizenship and the country you’re traveling to and Basetrip will pull up information on that country’s weather, type of outlet, currency, cost of living, tipping practices, internet speeds, emergency phone numbers, necessary vaccinations, location of your embassy, and more, complete with links to all the resources. You also have the option to read tips from other readers about each country and add your own.
Ticketsroundtheworld.com seems to be similar to one of the discontinued tools we loved that was recently purchased and shut down by AirBnb. It’s only a matter of time before the big dogs with big money come and swoop up all the smaller sites to try and monopolize your pocketbook and limit your choices. Vamo – Incredible way to build an itinerary and pick which cities you want to travel when booking complicated trips such as Europe or Asia. Update: Vamo has been purchased by AirBnb so look for them to be integrated into their product soon.