Have smartphone, will travel? A crop of new apps are making sure you'll never run out of places to lay your head. Here's a look at six of the best new travel booking apps, the pros and cons of each, and how to decide which one is right for you.
If you're a spontaneous traveler that doesn't require all the niceties of a hotel but would prefer something a bit more upscale than a backpacker's dungeon, there's Overnight. The app allows hosts to offer everything from entire wings of the house to just a couch, which allows for a greater range of prices. You can even book day-of; as the host only has 10 minutes to accept or reject, you'll know fairly quickly where you'll be staying. The app also taps your Facebook contacts to see if a more personal connection can be made. It's designed for those who like mingling with locals and hopes to foster opportunities to experience a more personal side of a new city -- but as of now, it's only available in greater Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin, and New York City.
It's known in some corners of the world as the AirBnb for celebrities, but even laypeople looking to splurge may want to give this a download. The homes, villas, chalets, and apartments up for rent through this app are all luxurious and are vetted in-person by Oasis Collections staff. They also sync up with local businesses to offer unique hotel-like perks, such as access to exclusive bars and clubs, fitness studios, and preferential treatment at hot restaurants.
Unbeknownst to many, it's exceedingly difficult for individuals to book more than eight hotel rooms at a time under one member account. Skipper acts as a middleman to make group bookings easy. You'll get block discounts (no matter what size group), access to real humans if you hit snags, and even a recommendation engine that's tailored to your needs (options include number of rooms, desired location, and must-have amenities). If you're planning a wedding, a corporate event, or a family reunion, Skipper should take away much of the stress.
If you're going to do The City of Lights, do it right. Paris Perfect is a highly specific service that focuses on just one city, but it's one of the best cities the world has to offer. It caters to luxe travelers, enabling those with fancier tastes to select from more than a hundred boutique apartments in the very best sections of town. There's a high priority placed on service, as you'll get a host of recommendations for restaurants, pastry shops, and things to do in the neighborhood you end up in. There's a no-hassle element that should appeal to busy professionals who don't have time to fuss with days upon days of planning and research.
Looking to plan a trip that's a little outside the box? Book a boat. Sailo isn't the only booking app that links beach bums with watercraft, but the key differentiator is that it also connects folks that have no boating experience with captains. Destinations all over the world are supported, with everything from pontoons to yachts up for grabs for day trips and overnights. Boating ain't cheap, but it's a rental you won't soon forget.
Any other new travel apps we should check out? Let us know!