“Make this easy for me.”

That should be a familiar refrain for anyone in the hospitality industry. The modern traveler and hotel guest wants ease, convenience and speed. That means a car waiting at the airport, real-time flight notifications and same-day hotel bookings.

The following travel apps have saved me time and time again, and all hotels would do well to take a note from their playbooks.

1. TripIt  This is the app I use the most, and it may be the most useful, intuitive travel app on the market. Simply book a flight, forward the confirmation email and TripIt takes care of the rest. Access vital details, get real-time flight alerts and price-change notifications, and collaborate on a shared trip with travel companions.

2. Uber  You’ve probably heard of Uber by now, and with good reason. The transportation industry was long overdue for a shakeup, and Uber has quickly become a standard part of every trip I take. Getting around a city has never been so painless, plus the emailed receipts are fantastic for expense reports.

3. Hotel Tonight  We’ve covered flying and driving, but what about sleeping? Hotel Tonight makes booking a room as simple as possible — the way it should be. Select your city, choose a hotel type (Hip, Luxe, Solid and Basic) and enjoy your unbeatable rate.

4. Foursquare  Believe it or not, there’s no better app to discover what’s around you and what’s worth checking out. Yelp used to be my go-to resource, but now I open Foursquare whenever I want to discover something great at home or on the road.

5. Hipmunk  With so many travel sites vying for your attention and business, where do you even start? Hipmunk has an intuitive grid view that displays potential fares and makes it easy to find the right one. Plus, in a stroke of empathetic genius, the developers added the option to sort flights by level of “agony.” 

*Bonus: Postagram  File this one under “nonessential but still great.” Simply put, it’s a postcard for the smartphone generation. Snap a great photo, select a lucky contact and a physical “Postagram” will be delivered to their mailbox. Tech changes every day, but everybody still loves getting mail. – See more at: http://www.hotelsmag.com/Industry/Blogs/Details/46770#sthash.nhLcO1i7.dpuf

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