It used to be that traveling almost always meant consulting the concierge at my hotel—whether to deal with logistics or for inside info about how to make the most of limited time. Now he or she gets a smile, maybe a quick wave, but I breeze right by the desk. I know where I’m headed and what to do when I get there, because my smartphone is loaded with apps that can capably find clean, well-priced accommodations, coordinate transportation and help me live like a clever local. In other words, I’m sure that concierge is a hardworking individual. But I’m all good.
Hopper: It’s the Big Question that plagues anyone looking to book a flight: Bite the bullet and buy now or wait a day, or a week, in hopes of scoring a better deal? Stop stressing. Just input your plans and this app will tell you exactly when to book to get the best price, based on more data than any one person could compute. iOS, free.
HotelTonight: Hit the road now, worry about where to sleep later. You’ll get the best price—at the last minute, exactly where you are—with this app. If a specific property you have an eye on seems too spendy, use the Track It feature to receive an instant alert when the price goes down. Android, iOS and Windows Phone, free.
Roadtrippers: Plug in your trip details to get apprised of local hot spots and happenings, without ever having to pore through a freebie area newspaper. Android and iOS, free.