Travel can be stressful no matter the time of year, but the holiday season always seems to be worse. You're stuck managing multiple reservations for flights, hotels and car rentals, facing long lines at security, and, depending on where you're traveling, there's often a looming threat of a snowstorm grounding your plane.
Luckily, we have technology to do some of the hard work for us. While nothing can make airport lines any shorter, I've highlighted three Android apps that can help take the edge off the rest of your travel woes.
Tripit (Free, 99 cents for ad-free version)
Your trip is all planned out, and now your inbox is brimming with confirmations for flights, hotels, and rental cars. Enter Tripit, a freemium service that corrals all the dates, confirmation numbers, and other vital information from your upcoming reservations and turns them into an organized travel itinerary. All you have to do is forward your travel-related emails to TripIt's address and the service figures out the rest.
All the information you could need as you make your journey from airline counter to hotel check-in, including flight times and confirmation numbers, is stored in the Android app and you can even view it when you're offline. You can also get weather reports, directions, and turn-by-turn navigation for the hotels and destinations listed in your itinerary.
You can also download TripIt for iOS.
There are many, many flight-status apps, but FlightStats is my favorite because of its simple design. This free app helps you track your flight's status and saves your searches for quick access later. It will tell you if your flight is on time, it's estimated departure and arrival times from the runway, terminal and gate numbers, and at which baggage claim carousel you can claim your bags. Once the flight takes off, friends or family who will be picking you up from the airport can track your plane in the air.
You can also search by airport to see local weather conditions and seven-day forecast, time and date information, and a delay index, which tells you if there are any flight delays and how severe they are.
You can also download FlightStats for iOS.
Hotel Tonight (Free)
This last-minute hotel booking app is essential for when staying with the in-laws isn't working out, or you're stuck at the airport after a canceled flight and don't want to sleep in the terminal. It has an elegant design which makes it easy to find a nearby hotel room on short notice. You might even get a deal since many of the rooms listed are discounted.
There's no need to worry that you'll be staying at a dive, as Hotel Tonight vets all the accommodations that it lists in the app. You also get access to Hotel Tonight's 24-7 customer service, which can help you with a booking.
You can also download Hotel Tonight for iOS.