January is a pretty depressing month all in all. It tends to be cold and wet and many of us have the added bonus of having very little cash to our names. But let's forget about that money situation for a minute and focus on cheering ourselves up. We could eat a chocolate bar or whack on our favourite TV series, or we could do something much more fun like plan a holiday.
These days it is so much easier to plan and book a holiday than it used to be. Yes you can still go to the travel agent and get them to do it all for you, but you could also do it right from your desk by downloading a couple of apps. Just think, you could have a holiday to New York or Barbados booked in the next 10 minutes.
To help you out, we have rounded up some of the best apps that can help you find a good holiday deal. So whether you need a last minute getaway, or you are looking for a holiday deal for all the family to look forward to sometime this year, here are seven apps worth checking out.
If you have found your flights but need a hotel, Booking.com is a brilliant way to find one. The app is easy to navigate and you can sort results by what is important to you so if you simply have to have a four star, then it's easy to filter the ones available and sort them by price, deals, location or review score.
For those with a Booking.com account, the app will prefill in your details for faster booking and once booked, the confirmation will be available offline in the app meaning one less document to remember when you're packing. There are 800,000 properties to look through and millions of hotel and room photos, as well as reviews from over 50 million guests so you should find at least one that tickles your fancy.
Booking.com also offers a no cancellation, pay later option on some hotel rooms, which comes in handy if you are desperate to book it but don't quite have all the cash till you get there.
Skyscanner is all about the flights rather than the hotels so it will help you get somewhere but then you'll need another app to make sure you have a roof over your head. The Skyscanner app allows you to search, compare and book flights without having to trawl through endless airline sites or apps.
It is available in over 30 languages and there are millions of flights and flight paths available to search through for free, making it nice and easy to find the perfect one for you. You can filter by journey duration, number of stops, airline, travel class, departure and arrival times, and Skyscanner also has a colour-coded chart and calendar to highlight cheaper days and months to travel.
Logging in to an account will sync your recent searches across your smartphone, tablet and desktop, and you can also get price alerts so you'll know if a particular trop you have been looking for drops in price.
TripAdvisor Hotels Flights
You might be one of those people who needs someone else to tell you something is great before you'll try it and for that, the TripAdvisor Hotels Flights app is perfect. It offers over 225 million reviews and opinions and it will help you find the lowest airfare and best hotels so if you aren't fussy what airline you travel, you could find some brilliant deals.
You will also be able to find restaurants and things to do wherever you are so if you are stuck for sight seeing ideas when you are there, this app can help you out.
Restaurants can be filtered by price, food type and rating, and you can add your own reviews and photos once you've been to help others.
Expedia Hotels & Flights
Similar to the TripAdvisor Hotels Flights app, the Expedia Hotels & Flights app will let you find hotel deals and flight deals, saving you up to 40% on the hotel deals when you use your mobile. You can see reviews and sort by them, or you can filter by price and deals when it comes to finding your perfect hotel.
For flights, you can sort by price, duration or time, and you'll be able to search by airport name, city or code.
The Expedia Hotels & Flights app also has an itinerary feature that will allow you to see upcoming trips that you book in the app and on the web, just in case you want to keep checking to build your excitement.
Airbnb is the app for those that want to stay in a more interesting place on their holiday than the average hotel. It allows you to book one-of-a-kind accommodation in more than 34,000 cities with over 450,000 listings to choose from.
It means you might be able to find a loft apartment in New York or a cool basement apartment to rent for your holiday, rather than a double room or family room in the cheapest or plushest hotel you can find. You'll be able to access your itinerary from the app, as well as message your host and get directions.
Airbnb will allow you to add the legendary properties, holiday homes and apartments you find to a wish list so you can share them with your friends and family for your next trip.
The Hotels.com app is similar to Bookings.com and will help you find a hotel for your perfect holiday, but it can't give you a hand with the flights part. There are over hundreds of thousands of hotels across 200 countries for you to search through.
Just like Booking.com, you can filter your results by price, deals or reviews so if you want a cheap option or a hotel with great reviews, you'll be able to find it quickly.
By signing in to your Hotels.com account, you'll be able to book and access your past, current and future reservations, even when you aren't online.
If you want the whole package, the Kayak app is what you need as it compares hundreds of travel sites to find you the best deal it can. It will let you compare hotels, flights and cars, allowing you to search for the best deals and then book them.
There is also a flight tracker and itinerary management feature so you can check exactly where you are supposed to be and when, plus you will be able to manage your itinerary too.
Kayak will also let you look up baggage fees airline numbers and airport information so the overweight baggage price might come as less of a shock, and it has a price alert feature so you can see when the flights to your dream destination drop.