Do you like a bit of luxury when you travel? Let’s face it, who doesn’t? These five great travel apps are all designed with the luxury traveler in mind, ranging from concierge services to fine dining guides, private cars to reward point management and more. If you’re planning a luxury trip, be sure to load up these apps on your smartphone or tablet before you leave.
♦ Red Butler: iOS (free)
When you’d like to get the best out of a city but don’t have the time or inclination to spend hours researching arranging everything, let Red Butler do it for you instead. The Red Butler card provides access to 1500+ VIP privileges like priority seating and discounts at some of the finest restaurants, clubs and bars, and the app makes those perks easy to access with a single tap.
The bread and butter of Red Butler is the concierge service, however, which can make reservations, schedule appointments and arrange almost anything else on your behalf. Costs range from $99 to $995/month, depending on the level of concierge service required.
♦ Groundlink: iOS / Android (free)
If the idea of haggling with taxi drivers or being crammed into an airport shuttle after a long flight doesn’t seem very appealing, check out Groundlink instead. The app lets you pre-book a car pickup in the US and 100+ countries around the world, with a fleet that includes everything from economy sedans to stretch limos, SUV’s, luxury Mercedes and more.
Payment is handled by the app, avoiding the need to have local currency as soon as you arrive in a foreign country, and the driver’s contact details are sent by SMS in case you have any trouble finding them.
♦ Zagat: iOS / Android (free)
Long a leader in dining guides, Zagat’s venerable guidebook is now available in a more convenient app form. If you’re looking for the best restaurant picks in a given city, or want to find a high-end establishment for a special occasion, it’s easy to filter by category. The guide covers many large US cities, and a few European ones, and lets you read the menu, place a reservation and see the outside of the restaurant via Google Street View.
♦ Luxe City Guides: iOS ($5.99 per guide)
The Luxe print guides are renowned for their short, sharp and brutally honest reviews of restaurants, shopping, activities and attractions in a given city. With monthly updates, local writers and a focus on providing the information travelers really need without the padding, Luxe has carved out a niche for itself in a crowded marketplace.
The apps provide the same information on your smartphone or tablet, plus extra features like building your own itinerary, location finding and a built-in social network for sharing your own views.
♦ AwardWallet: iOS / Android (free)
If you travel frequently, there’s a good chance you’ll have accumulated award points from dozens of different companies. Airlines, rental cars, department stores and many others all let you accumulate points – but tracking how many you’ve got, and what you can do with them, ends up becoming a job in itself.
AwardWallet lets you enter your membership details for all of your award programs, and then automatically monitors them for updates. You end up with a single place to go to find all of your award information, and the app will notify you when points are about to expire. While the app doesn’t let you redeem points directly, just knowing what you’ve got available makes it easier to apply for upgrades and free travel.
Which apps are your favorites for luxury travel? Do you have any others to share?