5 Apple iPhone Apps for Holiday Escapes

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Thanksgiving may be fresh in the memory, but with Christmas and New Year's Eve just a few weeks away, Americans will be on the move again.

But the traffic jams, crowded airports, extra expenses and delays that often come with traveling during peak season do not have to cause frustration or stress. With all the travel apps available for the Apple (AAPL) iPhone 5, planning ahead and managing travel hiccups has never been so easy.

"The on-the-go convenience of smartphones has facilitated their emergence as an essential companion for travelers," said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile, in a report on smartphone activity between December and February 2011. "We all know how hectic a travel experience can be, but smartphones have really stepped in to meet a variety of needs for travelers, such as coordination of schedules, locations, trip itineraries and transactions. With more than half of all smartphone users now engaging with travel content, there has never been a better opportunity for suppliers and OTAs (Online Travel Agents) to invest in their mobile strategies to provide a great experience and win loyalty from their customers."

TheStreet recommends downloading these five apps to ensure a smooth and sweet holiday escape:

Hotel Tonight

Stuck somewhere unexpectedly? Make the most of it with the last-minute travel app Hotel Tonight , which allows users to book hotel rooms across America, four cities in Canada and London, Dublin, Amsterdam, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Liverpool in Europe for up to a 70% discount.

After selecting a city and neighborhood, users can browse some of the best hotels by viewing price, ratings, reviews and a slideshow images. Reservations made through this easy-to-navigate app are non-refundable.

Because of the increasing competition for hotel booking apps, this free app offers discounts for first-time users. Hotel Tonight is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, but requires iOS 5.0 or later. It is optimized for iPhone 5.

Skype WiFi

Data usage and roaming on smartphones can get expensive when traveling abroad, so this holiday season, stay connected with Skype WiFi .

After registering with Skype by submitting credit card information, users can view the price of the nearest compatible Wi-Fi hotspot, connect and browse the Web, email, upload photos or tap into social networks. Charges apply to the minutes used, not the amount of data used. Users will be prompted to reconnect every 30 minutes.

This free app is compatible with over 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots in hotels, airports, train stations, bars and restaurants around the world. But the compatible network is constantly expanding - in early October, Skype partnered with Wicoms to launch a Wi-Fi network, called Free Skype WiFi, for businesses in the UK and Ireland to purchase and offer free to their patrons.