Get your personal travel advisor with Kayak!

Personally, I like to travel a lot. And when you’re travelling there are two things you can’t forget, a map so you don’t get lost and proper planning as to where you’ll stay, how expensive the food and car rental is etc. Trips can be a disaster if you don’t plan ahead of time. This is where Kayak comes in. With your handy android smartphone or iPhone you can have access to everything you might need on the go.
Previously we had reviewed a similar app, Trip Advisor for android, Kayak has improved on that by a huge margin so let’s get straight down to the review.

Considering how large the application is, we’ll take it in sections from here, first off Flights!

Booking your flight:

The first part of any trip is of course, booking the most suitable flight, normally you’d have to go to  your PC and search the respective airline’s website or worse yet travel to an office yourself. With Kayak, you can easily view available tickets with prices and even book them if you have a credit card (who doesn’t nowadays?). You have options to book a single flight for a one-way trip, a return flight and a third rather unusual “multi-city” option. So if you’re off on a short flight or a huge multi-flight trip, Kayak has you covered. Once you get the search results, you can filter them by price, choose from Economy, Business and First class and book your tickets.

If you’re looking to save some additional cash, tap the price alerts menu, choose a flight in similar fashion and Kayak will notify you regarding price changes automatically! Booking flights is common to every other travel related app, but this feature really adds value to Kayak, shows the developers have put thought into it to make something unique and useful.

You also have two additional menus for tracking your flight by flight number or airport and a My Trips menu that keeps track of all of your bookings whether its  a flight ticket or a hotel room booking.

Accuracy is of course important for flight trackers, and as far as I’ve used the flight tracker it works just as it should and doesn’t miss any flights like Trip Advisor did.

Car rental and hotel booking:

Once you get to your destination, tap the car rental menu and you can search for rental cars by location. You can use the GPS to track your location or manually enter your location instead. Kayak will give you quick and detailed results. You can filter the choices by location, price or car class which is a great feature to have.

Booking a hotel is just as easy. Enter your location or automatically determine it and Kayak will give you results. But this app is by far the best in this category. I have used several other apps for this but the problem is most applications do not list the cheaper hotels you can get, not everyone would be ready to pay 500+ dollars for  a one night stay. Kayak gave back results in every price range ranging from a lowly $73 hotel to more expensive ones.

Airport information, currency converter and more:

With the basics covered, Kayak still has a lot more to offer. You have a built in currency converter, an essential tool for when travelling abroad.  You have more information related to flights. You can for example use the application to find how much cash an extra KG of luggage will cost you with a specific airline. The feature is excellent but not as useful as it could be since you can only search a handful of airlines, not the full list. Hopefully they’ll expand their database in the future.

Similarly the Airport Information menu will give you details regarding everything you can do on a airport, where a certain shop is located, how far are the washrooms or terminals etc. But again, the information is limited to a select few airports which is disappointing.

You can also browse air fare trends in a similar fashion to the  Price Alerts option, share your location with a friend through the Beacon menu incase you need directions and Kayak even includes a packing list!

You have default lists in the menu such as “General” which lists stuff like your cell phone charger, medicine and cash, stuff that you’ll need on any trip. You can edit the lists and add and subtract items ofcourse.

Lastly we have a preferences menu, where you can log-in to Kayak or use the Facebook log in option, change the currency, and select how many results to give when searching in the app. You can also provide feedback through another menu and you even have a handy 4×4 widget to keep track of flights, price alerts and your trips.

I’d say Kayak is by far my favorite app for when I’m on the go. I was very impressed by Trip Advisor which I reviewed sometime ago, it is an excellent app in its own regard, but Kayak is even better. The interface takes very little time to get used to and the best bit is the level of detail in the app. The developer has gone beyond the basic options such as flight and hotel booking and included some new stuff such as the packing lists menu. You have many other small touches here and there that shows how thoughtful the developer has been and it is these things that really make an app great, and in the case of Kayak, it’s a truly marvelous app. After all it has the Editor’s Choice award on the app market for  a reason.  The ONLY problem I’ve had with it is that its not that fast, I have been using it on Wifi over a 20Mbit connection and while its slightly slow here, I suspect using it over Edge or 3G will show signs of slowing down occasionally.

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