With summer well underway, some of you will be putting on the trusty backpack and heading off where a million tourists have gone before. If you are an iOS user, then it would pay to leave a space in the backpack for your Apple device.
You never know when you would need it to look for a place to stay. Or even to open your door.
Here are 10 ways your iOS device can help you find a bed during your long and weary travels. It doesn’t have to be a park bench every night, you know.
Airbnb is one of the more well-known programs when it comes to finding accommodation. Instead of profiling bland and anonymous hotel rooms, it instead opts for the personal touch, which is people’s homes.
The owner of the home advertises a room for rent, per night, and some specify a maximum stay. The app has over 600,000 listings in more than 34,000 cities — so if you can’t find a place to stay, then perhaps it’s got something to do with you (just saying).
People who have stayed in the room previously can leave feedback, so you can find out in advance where the serial axe murderer lives.
For the travellers on a budget, a hostel is normally the easiest place on the wallet to go to. Generally hostels are cheap, and have facilities such as washing machines and kitchens. The downside is that much of the time you’ll be sleeping in a dorm room with others, and if you get a snorer the chances of sleep may be zero.
Hostelworld helps to put you in touch with some of the best hostels, no matter where you are in the world. It covers over 35,000 hostels, bed and breakfast, and even hotels. You can download your bookings to Apple’s Passbook, and it integrates seamlessly with your Apple Watch.
You can’t book any accommodation with Foursquare, but what you CAN do is read reviews of places. After staying at a particularly fine establishment (or not), a Foursquare user can rate and review the place. To either recommend or warn, whatever the case may be.
It’s just one more option in your determination never to end up in some flea-ridden Godforsaken hellhole, where two little ghostly girls stand at the end of the hallway.
With a domain name to kill for, Hotels.com helps you to find your next port-of-call for the night. You can browse by a number of criteria, which is good because prices go from the reasonable “that’s quite good” range to the “are you kidding me?” end of the market.
The app offers “secret prices on select hotels, lower prices that are not available to anyone else” and you can even call customer service from within the app 24/7 if you are having problems. You can also sign up with Hotels.com Rewards and get one night free after collecting 10 nights. A bit like a Starbucks coffee card for your travels.
This one has a hip chipmunk for a mascot, so what more do you need? Nothing. My work here is done. Bye.
Actually, I’d better also mention that the app has been lauded by such outlets such as Time Magazine (“50 Best iPhone Apps”), Macworld (“Don’t leave home without Hipmunk”), and Forbes (“the new gold standard in hotel searches”), so it should be pretty useful.
The app claims that it can get you a 60% discount on last-minute deals (last-minute being tonight). You can also see the usual guest reviews and star ratings, as well as a unique heat map, showing how close the hotel is to utilities such as shopping and dining.
This one benefits from name recognition, and judging by the iOS reviews, it seems they are doing something right (an average of 4 stars, and nearly 44,500 reviews). With over 225 million reviews on the TripAdvisor app, finding the right place to stay should be pretty easy.
The app allows you to download maps onto your phone for free, so getting lost finding your digs is a thing of the past. And this is another app which takes full advantage of your Apple Watch. You can save suggested places on your watch to peruse later.
With options such as Park Central, this app may be more suitable for the upper end of the market, for the users of solid gold iPhones who arrive in limousines. But there can be reasonably price offers too— $179 a night is probably not that bad if you want to treat yourself to a fancy hotel for a couple of nights.
Hotels give Hotel Tonight their unsold rooms, which translates into cheap prices and big savings. The company claims that booking takes 10 seconds — “3 taps and a swipe” — and all hotels are vetted and categorized, to ensure you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.
And we’re right back in the lower end of the market with HostelBookers, who list 20,000 hostels, hotels, and bed & breakfasts in their directory. Lots of photos and maps for each place, and over one million user reviews. It’s hard to put a foot wrong with this app, and being hostels the prices are kind too.
You can book and pay for your nap nest securely through the HostelBookers app, while on the road, so you can leave it till the last minute to find somewhere to stay if you’re lazy like that.
HotelsByMe boasts more than 325,000 hotels worldwide “with special Internet rates”, and filters them with categories such as pet-friendly, hotel with pool and the all important price. You can pay in one of more than 17 currencies such as the mighty US dollar or the stuttering Euro.
If dealing with an anonymous app is getting you down, and you are pining for human contact, you can call a real live trained employee to do your booking. And have a chat with, I’m sure.
Couchsurfing is another app, similar to AirBnb, which tries to instill some personality and intimacy into where you stay for the night. As the name implies, you stay on someone’s couch for the night, perhaps along with the cat and the dog who are annoyed to have to share their space with a total stranger. Our Tina has previously written about the scheme, and she is a huge fan.
No fees are charged by the couch owner, as it is understood that when that person wants a couch to sleep on somewhere in the world, they will get one as well for gratis. You can filter which sofas are most suitable for you by means of references on the site (another word for reviews), and you can see if a certain user is currently accepting guests.
Which iOS apps do you use to find a room? Or does the cardboard box under the bridge hide some hidden advantages?
Image Credits: Drunk Man Sleeping In Park On Wooden Bench – Shutterstock