Use apps, travel sites to plan the perfect summer vacation

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert , Marisa Breese - News Producer

HOUSTON - Before heading on summer vacation this year, travelers might want to consider using apps and travel sites to plan a cheaper getaway.

Many families automatically pack their suitcases into the car and buckle up without considering the actual cost of a road trip. According to a survey by, at least 40% of vacationers plan to drive to their summer destination.

While gas might seem cheaper than an airline ticket, surveyors found that many vacationers don't consider other costs along the way.

"We find that 95% of respondents indicated that they tend to splurge and overspend on their road trips," said Trae Bodge, who works with

The money that many people believe they'll save by driving, is often spent on hotel rooms and food.

Experts said there are ways to avoid overspending.

Apps like RoadNinja can help, along with a little planning.

"[RoadNinja] is geo-located. So, as you're driving through any particular town, it will let you know where all the gas stations are and also give you the price," said Bodge.

Users on sites like and can book hotel rooms for up to 20% less.

Food apps, as long as they are geo-located, can help travelers track down places to get a bite to eat.

"It will funnel food deals to you for everywhere from a fast casual, to a high-end restaurant depending on your taste," said Bodge.

Another useful app is called City Maps 2Go, which is available for Apple or Android devices. The app uses the GPS feature on your cell phone to guide you through a particular city and tracks down the best deals. Not just on food and lodging, but also museums and landmarks in the area.

For a full list of useful apps to download before heading on summer vacation this year, click HERE.

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