Last minute lodging apps that fail

Sep 12, 2011
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Last week I wrote a list about last minute apps that I love. As I’m travelling soon and plan to book last minute lodging I’ve been poking through the different apps out there that seem to be good for this type of travel. There are lots of great ones out there… these aren’t them!

Hostels

OK, I like the theory of this app. In any major city there are often more choices than one can digest. Why not know the best option and forget all the others. Great idea. Assuming you’re only travelling to one of the 16 cities this app has listed. Yeah, that’s right, 16 cities, nothing more. No search, no nothing and therein lies the problem. I had hoped to see what this app said about hostels in my neighboring Portland, Oregon since I definitely have a favorite. That would give me an idea if their “best” corresponded to my “best”. With hostels that can be wildly different. Some people want to party and meet people at a hostel. Personally I want a good quiet hour strongly enforced. Sadly this app won’t tell me anything about Portland. Heck, it won’t tell me anything about Seattle or even San Francisco! Honestly I can’t imagine why anyone would want this app. It’s too limited to have any value.

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Hostels Sleep Easy

Later this year I’ll be travelling to Nicaragua. While I don’t plan on using this app for that portion of my travel I was hoping to use it for my one night stop over in Fort Lauderdale. I don’t really want to book a hotel in advance, especially since I’ll be getting there in the morning and might find myself exploring someplace away from the airport. I’d hoped this app would work for me since it promised lower cost hotels, hostels and bed and breakfasts, any of which would be perfect. Sadly this app is not for me. Not only does it only return one result for Fort Lauderdale (it’s not really a tiny place folks) but it lists the price first in US dollars and then when you go into the particular location it shows prices in Euros. I’m giving this app 2 bars as I expect it would be more useful in Europe and it’s free so maybe, somewhere it’s worth the download.

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BudgetPlaces

Cute works for me and the adorable little guy icon is fantastic. Sadly that’s about where things stop. The app does tell you that it only has 650 locations. That seems like a lot but let’s be clear here, that’s not necessarily 650 locations in the country you’re interested in. From the looks of it’s it’s 650 locations outside the US. I was excited to use this app for my trip to Nicaragua as I have an evening layover in Florida and will need to find a hotel or someplace cheap to stay that night. I don’t really want to book in advance so hey, an app! Sadly this doesn’t cover Fort Lauderdale. From the endless spinning wheel of death that has come up when I said to use my current location it also doesn’t cover Seattle. Anyway, I’m sure this app is lovely if you’re travelling to places it covers (please state that app developers so we know in advance if we should bother!).

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Hotel Finder: Find Nearest Hotels and Motels Around Town Tonight!

In all fairness this app doesn’t tell you it’s going to give you the prices of the hotels it finds around you. It really just says it will find hotels around you. Why the regular search in your phones native map app won’t do I’m not sure but I’ll leave that be. The app does indeed find you hotels. You can search by 3, 4 or 5 stars or even look by name but as mentioned, it doesn’t tell you anything about the cost for said hotel. It does have the phone numbers so you can call the hotel which is nice and certainly if you’re in a jam and not able to travel much this might well be the app to choose. For me, cost is a bit too important to ignore that feature but I can see using this when I’m away from a number of options or can’t travel too far.

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Orbitz Flights, Hotels, Cars

I’m going to state right here that were this app put out by a business I’d never heard of I’d likely rate it differently. It’d still have the same fails but I’m guessing I’d give it an extra bar. But when you’re a big player I expect more from you and I think that’s fair. The app works but there are some things that are absolutely missing and are major bummers. While this one may seem like a silly problem it’s something that should be included: when you type in the name of a place it doesn’t try to autofill or give suggestions. This means I had to type in Fort Lauderdale and really I’d rather not. Other apps fill in areas Orbitz, you should too. The second fail. My search resorts come back just fine but I can’t see a map of where these locations are. I can narrow my results by neighborhood but let’s face it, I don’t trust that you’ll say something is as close as I want it to be. I want a map! No deal. The final fail? You’re able to search by value and price but not things like reviewer rating or distance. Again, this app isn’t horrible but with better hotel finding apps out there why go with this one when there are other options. I might keep it just to cross check pricing but for my actual hotel search I’ll use something else.

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