KAYAK

KAYAK
kayak.com 

If your business or life requires that you travel, consider Kayak's mobile app (iOS, Android, Windows, Kindle Fire). It is a well built app which is clearly assembled by a team of individuals who are themselves travelers and have thought through their own needs and preferences. Testing the app was a pleasure and a pain as I kept fidgeting with the features and grew sad that I was not, in fact, planning any upcoming trips. Kayak Pro* is truly an all-in-one travel tool that I wish I'd had back in college when I was trotting the globe. It provides Hotel, Flight, and rental Car search features as well as a host of smart tools to ease the pain of passage.

One thing that I was initially impressed by when I first used Kayak and again recently when opening the app, is the cleanness of the design. It is not cumbersome to navigate, nor do the search results overwhelm with information like so many travel comparison services. The buttons for choosing dates, times, and locations are clearly marked and sized so that you don't have to strain to select them. The filter feature is also very well done, which also invites use, rather than scaring you away with difficulty. When Kayak is out searching for your needs, there is an orange progress bar that grows toward 100%, lest you grow despairing.

Kayak makes searching for Hotels, Flights, and Cars comprehensive, and accessible. But that's not all! Each of those features get sliced many ways. If you're looking for a quick fix, Cars and Hotels both offer quick search features per your location, and they return instant results. If you want to fly in a particular month but are concerned with the price, the Buzz feature will show you a chart of the Average and Absolute best prices a month at a time. (You really need to see it). There is an Airline phone Directory should you want to call an airline for any reason, and a Fees breakdown for excess baggage, pets, meals, and minors. They include the ubiquitous Flight Tracker, and an Airport Information section.*

Kayak's toolkit is strong. A great looking and easy to use Packing List feature sets you up whether your outing falls as General, Business, Romantic, or Family. Their team has come up with a few things you should keep in mind. If your trip takes you abroad, a Currency Converter is built in to the app as well. There are also Price Alerts and My Trips features that I was unable to test sufficiently due to my current grounded state of travel (have I mentioned that?)

All considered, the mobile offering from Kayak will be a great tool for you whether you're familiar with the site or not. The additional features that have been smartly implemented make it easy to suggest as a nearly all-in-one tool for both getting you to, and getting you through your next adventure. I hope that I too get to use it in the field soon.

*The free app has occasional ads and excludes Airport Information. Powered by GateGuru, which is a pretty fantastic addition for $1, especially when you've got a layover and time to kill. 

Photo credit flickr user armadilo60