Our Favorite Travel App

A few years ago, Judy had the opportunity to attend the (short-lived) Vegas version of the legendary technology conference South by Southwest, and it was a fantastic event. One of the best presentations was by Sam Shank, who is the CEO of an app we had never heard about until that point: HotelTonight. Sam spoke about some interesting graphics elements in HotelTonight and how they came up with their simple, yet powerful logo. Sam seemed like a nice guy, and Judy immediately thought about approaching him with the question: do you have international versions of your app? If not, do you want them? We can help! Approaching him took some courage, but he was very friendly and open, and turns out they were already working with our client and friends over at Smartling (who provide the awesome technology for multilingual apps) and their team of freelance translators, so we weren't going to pursue that lead, but we decided to check out the app.  Turns out it's fantastic!

It's available for all major platforms (we use the Android version), and the design is every design geek's dream: sleek, pretty, functional. Basically, it works like this: you can book tens of thousands of hotels around the world (unsold inventory), either for the same night or up to seven nights out. We wondered who waited until the last minute to book at hotel, and turns out a lot of people do. We used it when Judy and her hubby were stuck in a very subpar hotel in South Dakota and needed to find another one ASAP: HotelTonight delivered. We used it in Athens, Greece, when the entire city was inexplicably booked out, but HotelTonight came to the rescue. When we arrived, the hotel had no record of the reservation, though, but it got resolved and we received a HotelTonight credit for our trouble. Since then, we've used HotelTonight dozens of times in a variety of countries, including Hungary, and we have been very pleased. The only downside is that you cannot select bed type -- it's automatically assigned to you, but the deals we have found (up to 60% off the hotel rack rate) are so amazing it's worth it. 

We also love the clever copywriting and hotel descriptions (which can be notoriously boring on other sites and apps). Our favorite recent score: $120 a night for the Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco on a trip with our dad. Our clients also love the fact that we use HotelTonight to get good deals when travel is billed to them. So there you go: that's an overview of our favorite travel app. And for the record: they are so not paying us for this post. On a final note, one of our dear colleagues is translating the app into German; we can't wait to see it.


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The entrepreneurial linguists and translating twins blog about the business of translation from Las Vegas and Vienna.

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