Keeping on budget on your gap year can be difficult. Here are a few of the best apps on the market at the moment to help you keep your bank balance steady on the road and maybe save you a bit of money too.
This article was originally written in 2016 and has been updated first in 2018 and now for January 2022 to reflect changes in the market and new and evolving apps.
The way travellers interact with services and providers has changed a lot in recent years with apps and social media becoming increasingly prevalent, and many of these apps are making the logistics of budgeting for your travel much easier.
With that in mind, here are some of the best travel managing apps available on the market at the moment.
This is an old one but essential, and proves that sometimes the most simplest thing is the most useful. If you are jumping from country to country and need to work out what currency is worth what at the drop of a hat, XE is your go to universal app. XE is available on Android and Apple.
Skyscanner has been one of the go to sites for cheap flight searches for a long time, and it’s app is just a common standard for when you want to search for a last minute internal flight while you are travelling or just want to get some inspiration and prices for your next trip. The app has some decent filters which make it very easy to navigate and use, and it is also useful for getting an idea for accomodation prices when you arrive in a new place to give you a baseline for negotiation.
Similar to Skyscanner but with more options, Kayak is a great app for travelling independently on a budget. If you need to find a last minute flight, hotel, whatever, then this app can help you explore all the deals that best suit your needs, and then you simply pick the price that suits you. Even if you don’t book through them you can use it to research average prices.
Allowing you to breakdown expenses by trip or by month, Trail Wallet allows you to set daily limits for your trip and add expenses on the fly to ensure you keep your budget on track. You can organize your expenses by trip or by month, set a daily budget, and add expenses easily by scanning reciepts. One problem though, it is only available on Apple at the time of writing.
If you don’t own an iPhone and still want a good budget tracking app, then Travelspend is a good option. It is quick and easy to use, lets you add photos and keep track of your daily spending and reciepts, automatically converts everything to your home currency which makes things a little easier for you and best of all works offline.
If you find yourself landing in a city after a delay and it is too late to walk around looking for a hostel or hotel to stay in, Hotel Tonight gives you amazing last-minute discounts on empty hotel rooms. You can search by city or by location (such as nearest to your hotel or train station), check out reviews, see what discounts you can get and book there and then. It’s not one to use all of the time but can give you some great discounts for those times you find yourself stuck.
A budget app built for travel, TrabeePocket is made for the globetrotter on a budget. What makes TrabeePocket so useful is its built-in currency converters for planning your daily budget anywhere. Pro users of this app can create .csv exports, convert multiple currencies, and create expense reports. TrabeePocket is available on both iOS and Android platforms.
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