While investing in travel is one of the best ways to invest in yourself, let’s not deny that vacationing could be expensive. Here are a few apps that can help you save money on your next trip. By Karan Kaushik
From taxis and flights to hotels and food, and of course shopping, a trip could leave a big hole in your pocket. But, if you are wise enough, travel is only as expensive as you allow it to be. Thanks to technology, over the last decade or so, a lot of helpful apps have sprung up to make our lives easier. We can use these apps to our advantage by saving money on hotel and flight bookings and lowering the other expenses.
Travel apps to save money on trips
This popular flight search engine helps travellers find cheap flights, hotels, and cars for rent from over 1200 travel providers. The metasearch engine and travel agency is based out of Edinburg, Scotland. Its website and app are available in over 30 languages and as many as 100 million travellers use their services every month.
Kayak helps you find cheap hotels and accommodations across the world with its hotel search. You can also compare hotels from their wide network of connected travel websites. You can find the price that suits your vacation budget. The app also allows you to access mobile-only deals, view your vacation details on the go, and search hundreds of travel websites with a single tap. The app also provides some serious travel offers. Kayak even has special mobile rates and app-only deals that will help you save a lot of money. They’ll also notify you on your phone when the prices for your next trip drop, offering you the best possible price.
Carpooling has become a great way to make new connections, save the environment from extra carbon emissions, and most importantly, save your hard-earned money. BlaBlaCar is one of the leading community-based travel networks that enable more than 90 million users to share a ride across 22 markets. The app uses technology to fill empty seats on the road and connect travellers who wish to carpool or travel by bus. All you need to do is sign up, make an account and provide your basic details. Once done, you can start booking or publishing rides on their app or website.
Airbnb needs no introduction. The platform has revolutionised the lodging market by helping travellers skip the hefty tariffs that hotels charge. Airbnb is keeping a check on hotel rates and offering additional rooms in as many as 191 countries. It has 4 million listings, which is way higher than what your usual hotel brands would ever be able to offer. Founded in 2008, Airbnb is perfect for peak seasons when hotels are usually packed to full capacity and their tariffs skyrocket. The app not only helps you arrange budget-friendly accommodation on your trip but also gives people a chance to feel at home in a new country or city.
Having travel partners automatically helps one cut down on travel expenditure to a large extent. But what if one does not have someone to travel with? This is where Travel Buddy comes in. This recently-launched app helps you interact with fellow travellers. You can also post travel stories, like, comment, and bookmark travel stories posted by others, and enquire about your travel partners. The travel social network is based on the idea of creating a crowd-sourced platform for travellers, who can share tips, advice, and suggestions about places, experiences, and itineraries with their travel buddies. Sounds fun, right?
Hostels are a great way to save money. While the concept is still quite new to Indian travellers, hostels have been helping backpackers and budget vacationers explore countries like Europe for quite some time now. Hostelworld’s app and website help you book from thousands of hostels across the world. You can check out their up-to-the-minute hostel reviews, view pictures, and get details about every hostel. The app offers confirmed reservations at a selection of youth hostels, independent hostels, and international hostels in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, South America, and Oceania. They have a network of 36,000 properties in 178 countries.
Being organised on a vacation could be a task for you and your party-loving friends. Splitwise is a RI-based platform that makes it easier for you and your travel mains to split bills. They organise your shared expenses in a transparent manner. Splitwise makes your journeys easier and helps you save money by helping you split expenses with your friends. The app stores user data in the cloud so that they can access it on their iPhones, Android smartphones, and computers. This helps travellers be fair to each other while dividing their shares. They also offer a fairness calculator so that you and your travel partners don’t end up in a bitter tussle about money matters by the end of your trip.
It helps on international trips to have the latest exchange rates at your disposal at any given time. XE Currency does exactly that. The app helps you avoid getting overcharged abroad or making mistakes that may end up proving costly, quite literally. The app even works offline. The XE Rate Alert feature will also notify you when a currency hits a specific rate. Moreover, it has a travel expenses calculator which assists you in tracking your expenses and making purchases in multiple currencies.
Formerly known as TransferWise, Wise is a money transfer app. With a robust network of 10 million people and businesses across 170 countries. Wise helps travellers send, spend, convert, and receive money internationally. With Wise by your side, you don’t need to stress about running out of cash on your international trips. They are way more affordable than most leading banks, and a lot quicker too. Most travellers use the app to convert their home currency to foreign currency at cheaper rates. A full Wise account will also let you have a debit card that will allow you to take money out abroad sans any extra fees up to a monthly limit.
Trail Wallet is another incredibly useful app for budget-conscious vacationers. The app helps its users track their daily travel budget and expenses. It supports more than 200 local currencies, daily budget targets, spending categories, and more. The app has been designed by Simon Fairbairn and Erin McNeaney of Never Ending Voyage, who have been full-time travellers since 2010. The app is fast and helps you focus on the fun bits of your holiday by helping you track your expenses. Glory be to Fairbairn and McNeaney!