Top 5 Apps for Summer Vacation Planning

As days get longer and hotter, many Austinites start planning staycations and vacations near and far. Here’s a list of apps that can prove handy whether you’re going across town, cross-country or across the globe.

Bird 1Duolingo (free)

This language-learning tool is a great app for globetrotters who want to be able to master vocabulary and common survival phrases when they travel abroad.

The app is super user-friendly and turns language learning into a game. With an encouraging owl for a guide, the user advances through levels and earns “lingots” that can be used to purchase accessories or bonus rounds. Those who use the app every day also develop “streaks” which create lingot multipliers.

Globe 2Airline Apps (most are free)

Several airlines now have their own apps and while they all sport their own unique offerings, some airlines, like United, are increasingly providing more “bring your own device” (BYOD) entertainment options to encourage downloads. With United’s app, users can of course do obvious things like check on the latest flight info but there are also conveniences like a currency converter and UBER integration so you can figure out transportation as soon as you land.

Tip: Download the latest version of the app before you leave town as the current version will insure functionality.

ChipMunk 2Hipmunk (free)

Hipmunk is a flight aggregator that allows you to find inexpensive flights based on your search parameters. Hipmunk helps you find the right balance between convenience and cost for your summer trip.

What we like about Hipmunk is that you can use a variety of search criteria, including price, duration, and departure and landing times, to narrow down your specific itinerary. For instance, while you may want a good deal on your tickets, you may not want to leave at 2 a.m. on a Sunday morning with five stops, or deal with a 10-hour layover.

Dog 2Bring Fido (free) 

Many of us with four-legged dependents wouldn’t dream of leaving town without our fur babies in tow.

The Bring Fido app is a blend of travel directory and review site that enables you to find the best place for you and your pet to stay. It’s handy for things like finding out whether you can bring large dogs to particular hotels and if there are additional pet fees. The app also serves as a concierge of sorts, recommending dog-friendly beaches, off-leash parks and restaurants, in addition to helping you locate the nearest vet or pet store in more than 10,000 cities around the world.

CapMetroApp2CapMetro App (free)

It’s no secret that Austin is one of the top U.S. travel destinations. So why leave town when you can have the ultimate staycation right in your own backyard?

You can use the CapMetro App to view route maps, departure times and plan your staycation. If you have a smartphone, it can also serve as your transit pass. The possibilities are endless – plan a burger #urbanadventure to sample the best eats, check out what’s new at the Bullock Texas State History Museum, stroll South Congress for unique finds or take a dip in Barton Springs Pool. And ride Capital Metro where you can relax and watch Netflix on your phone instead of dealing with traffic.


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