8 Apps That Will Help You Save Money During Peak Holiday Travel

'Tis the season to travel more! With the winter holidays right around the corner, we are officially approaching one of the busiest travel periods of the year. With over 150 million Americans predicted to travel this holiday season, it's wise to book your travel plans sooner rather than later. And what comes with peak travel season? Increased prices, of course. 

While there's a good chance you'll have to shell out a few extra dollars or a few extra miles to secure your upcoming travel plans, some companies are making those intense sticker shocks a little more bearable. You may be visiting family overseas, spending your holidays away from home, or deciding on the best mode of transportation — planes, trains, or automobiles — to get to your destination. In any case, downloading some reliable apps can help you get the most out of your trip. These tried and true apps will ensure you get the best value for your money.


Here lies the big question: to fly or not to fly? If you're traveling somewhere this holiday season where carting via train, bus, boat, or even ferry is possible, you might want to weigh your options as to which form of transportation makes the most sense. For an ultimate side-by-side guide, use the trusted travel site Omio.

Omio allows you to search for transportation from your starting point to your desired destination and provides a wide array of options for getting there. It also scans thousands of travel partners across the web for your benefit. This provides a nice variety of timetables to give some flexibility in your travel plans and can help you save money since you can choose the cheapest route.

While Omio can help you with travel plans worldwide, it is from a European company, making it especially useful if you're headed to the continent this holiday season. Hey, maybe it's a sign to finally take a trip to the German Christmas markets.


If you're solely looking to travel via flight, there's one app that knocks the rest out of the water. Skyscanner is an online search engine that scans the web for the cheapest fares. Customers can apply multiple filters while searching for flights. They can choose to look for direct flights or opt for layovers with one or more stops. They also have the option to depart early in the morning or later in the evening. Additionally, customers may want to filter based on airline alliance programs.

However, one of Skyscanner's best features is especially useful if you have flexible travel plans. If you're planning a trip, you can use the "Whole Month" feature to select your departure and destination locations and choose a month for your travel, such as December 2023. This feature will display a calendar that shows different prices based on various dates, making it easier to pick the best time to travel. This allows travelers with flexibility to leave on the cheapest date that works with their schedule.

Skyscanner is also great if you don't have a specific destination in mind. If you want to get away for the holidays, or any season for that matter, use the "Everywhere" feature. This will provide you with a chronological list of the cheapest flights based on your preferred dates and airport. It is easily one of our favorite hacks regarding travel plans with wiggle room.

Priority Pass

Time is of the essence at an airport, and with the busy travel season ahead of us, you can expect flight delays and cancellations, meaning your odds of being stuck in an airport are slightly increased. Since airport rules seem to differ from the rules of the real world, prices seem to generally be inflated. If you find yourself in an airport with hours to spare, it would be easy to rack up a bar or restaurant bill in the hundreds. However, investing in a Priority Pass membership at only $99/year, even utilizing it twice a year, can save you some money.

Priority Pass is essentially your golden ticket to get into airport lounges participating in the Priority Pass program. While it does not grant you access to every single lounge in the world, you can download the app to see which ones work based on the airports you'll be traveling in and out of. In most lounges, food, WiFi, caffeine, and alcohol are included with your membership. Sometimes, lounges even have showers for those long, dreaded travel days, which is handy on an extended layover. Lounges aside, Priority Pass sometimes offers discounts on airport restaurants and airport massage or spa services. 

Advantage Rent-a-Car

According to a 2023 research by Civic Science, 62% of tourists plan to travel by car during peak holiday travel in 2023, meaning between Thanksgiving and New Year's. While many small-town and suburban folks likely have access to a vehicle, indicating this is no big feat, renting a car when traveling from a major city can cause a huge headache. Luckily, Advantage Rent-a-Car is making booking vehicles from some of the USA's most hectic cities easier than ever. 

Advantage Rent-a-Car has many locations across the United States, including Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Nashville International Airport, Charlotte Douglas Airport, and Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. The service is also available at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, Orlando International Airport, Tampa International Airport, and Miami International Airport. They also have locations in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Canada, and other places in Florida. With their presence in big cities, driving becomes hassle-free.

So, what makes Advantage Rent-a-Car a cut above the rest of all the car companies out there? For starters, their pledge offers free changes to reservations. They also have a "reserve now, pay later" policy, which can be especially helpful during the stressful holiday season.

The Parking Spot

Speaking of driving during the holidays, sometimes, you have no choice but to drive yourself to the airport. If there's one thing more stressful than driving in holiday jam-packed traffic, it's finding parking at the airport. Why is it always so challenging? Luckily, The Parking Spot has your airport parking needs covered.

The Parking Spot allows drivers to reserve their parking space ahead of time at their designated airport. The prices, while varying, can get astoundingly low. For example, rates at MCO International Airport in mid-December are as low as $15.25 a day. The Parking Spot has locations around the country, from Newark International Airport and St. Louis, Missouri, to Salt Lake City. Better yet, they provide a free airport shuttle, so you don't have to worry about navigating to the airport once you park your car. All locations are open 24 hours a day and offer complimentary chilled water. Download the app to reserve right from your phone and take advantage of promos such as monthly discounts for your home airport.


Most travelers have plans set in stone for the holidays, but life always throws unexpected twists and turns their way. If you find yourself in a rut needing a last-minute hotel and don't want to have astronomical rates, look no further than HotelTonight. Most of its best deals are only offered in the app, so you'll want to download this one right away.

HotelTonight prides itself on offering last-minute hotel deals, especially for day-of hotel bookings. While you can book a hotel stay on the app up to 100 days in advance, the company really shines for those needing same-day accommodation. If this sounds too good to be true, think about it. No hotel wants empty rooms, even if it means peddling those empty beds at a discounted rate. It's a win-win for both the traveler, who inevitably saves, and the hotel, who makes something as opposed to nothing. HotelTonight allows travelers to book a same-day hotel stay until 2 a.m. on the check-in date.


Do you have family in Europe that you need to see this holiday season? Are you looking to explore some of Germany's Christmas markets? Looking to have a non-traditional holiday and spend it frolicking through Greece and Italy? Whatever your reason for heading to Europe this season, you'd be remiss not to travel with a Eurail pass

Eurail grants unlimited access to trains in 33 countries under one pass. While there are sometimes additional fees depending on the route, Eurail makes it easy to go on the app, find the train that best suits your schedule, and reserve a seat until the last minute. However, it should be noted that you'll want to reserve your seats at least a little in advance during high season.

A wide variety of passes are available for purchase, but one of the most common is a seven-day pass, which grants you up to one month to use (meaning seven travel days over one month). This is a great option for those who want to do some proper European country-hopping, allowing travelers between six and eight destinations. If you're traveling with kids, up to two children travel for free per adult ticket.


Last but certainly not least, for our road trippers out there, the biggest cost is often fueling up. GasBuddy is an app that allows drivers to find the cheapest gas stations in their area. The company has estimated that it has saved drivers around the USA approximately $3 billion at over 150,000 gas stations since its founding in 2000.

The app is so financially friendly that it offers a wide array of programs to help you save even more on gas. Take its GasBack feature, for example. GasBack allows users to select from retailers participating in the GasBuddy app and earn free gas credit on everyday purchases. GasBuddy also enables users to pay with their GasBuddy Card, which is free to sign up for and helps users save up to 25 cents per gallon. The company is so dedicated to all things gas that it even has a podcast called Over a Barrel Podcast, a great soundtrack to tune into while you drive on your holiday road trip.