Nearly three-quarters of all Americans plan to travel this holiday season, according to a new holiday travel study released by Orbitz. That’s a lot of hotel and flight reservations to manage. The Orbitz Insider Index offers some interesting insight into the travel buying habits of those hitting the road this year. The survey shows that among the top ten holiday travel destinations this year, airfares are up 7 percent over last year, while hotel room rates have risen 10 percent during the same time period. As travelers aim to be pennywise (71 percent have budgeted $3,000 for their holiday travels), they also plan to use technology to help them plan and save money. “The average family of four plans to travel with at least one computing device per person,” according to the Orbitz report, “with nearly half expecting to pack a combination of at least seven smartphones, tablets and laptops.” If you’ve used a new travel app to its full potential, we’d love to hear about it. In the meantime, here are a couple of app updates that might help you make your way.
Road Ninja. As the name implies, this app can ease your time on the road. When traveling on the interstate highways, Road Ninja can alert you to interesting places nearby. Integrated with Google Maps, the app can help you easily map your route to your destination, while avoiding unnecessary delays caused by construction. You can even plan your stops to find the most inexpensive gas prices along the way. This year, Road Ninja has partnered with Hotels.com to offer easy access to more than 20,000 exclusive mobile travel deals for your road trip itinerary, or for last-minute bookings.
Egencia TripNavigator. The business travel brand of Expedia, Egencia recently launched a new app geared for the business traveler called Egencia TripNavigator. The app allows you to view your itinerary while integrating real-time alerts. According to the Global Business Travel Association’s latest corporate outlook, companies and individuals will spend more than $1 trillion on business trips, a record that just keeps rising. The app has some interesting features. As its name implies, the TripNavigator will guide the business traveler to what action they should take next, whether it’s time to check in for your flight, remember to fill your rental car before returning it, or whether a major event will affect your travels and present you with options to connect with an Egencia Travel Consultant. This app looks nice. It’s available now for iPhone.
TripIt. This all-in-one travel organizer is quickly becoming one of the most popular travel apps around. I’ve written about it before. In fact, many of the new apps that are being launched are actually designed to integrate with TripIt, hoping to augment travelers’ experiences with their familiar app rather than lure them away completely. This holiday season, TripIt is helping travelers make a young child’s travel wish come true by making it easy to donate frequent flyer miles to the Make-A Wish Foundation. More than 70 percent of the wishes that the foundation grants involve travel, so the extra miles can be put to very good use. Make a contribution here, during their current mileage drive. Not sure how many extra miles you have? Of course that’s one of the feature offered on the TripIt Pro version of the mobile app (which you can also give someone as a gift during the current mileage drive). For $49 a year, the program will provide cancellation and delay alerts, gate change notifications, check-in reminders, fare tracking, and seat tracking, while the app’s Point Tracker feature will track your loyalty program’s mileage accruals and expirations.