The invention of Smartphones has made travelling infinitely easier. You can have all of your travel details right in the palm of your hand, track your spending and book your accommodations/flights in seconds. How awesome is that?! In this post we’ll give you a list of our favourite free travel apps to make your next vacation smooth sailing.
The best travel budget app out there, Trail Wallet lets you track your expenses over the course of your trip. You can set your daily budget, enter your expenses in the local currency and then see how much you’ve spent at the end of your trip in your own currency. They even have handy categories to sort your expenses and produce a nice little graph.
What is 100 Thai Baht in Canadian Dollars? No need to remember the rate anymore – XE Currency is to the rescue! This handy app will allow you to compare tons of different currencies from around the world, even when you’re offline! To get the most recent exchange rate you’ll have to be connected, but the app will save the latest rate to your phone when you do so. Since exchange rates don’t change drastically over the course of one day (most of the time), we’ve found this to be a great tool to convert local prices to our own currency when we’re shopping around.
Not sure what to do or where to eat? The TripAdvisor app is our favourite tool for finding tours, activities and restaurant recommendations when travelling. As an added bonus, if you’re feeling lazy and don’t want to venture too far from your hotel for dinner, the app has a handy “near me now” feature that will show all the restaurants closest to you. We also love that all reviews on TripAdvisor are written by fellow travellers and thus give you a great first hand account of what you can expect.
We pretty much exclusively use Airbnb to book accommodations when we travel. Having the app makes getting our booking details and communicating with our host just that much easier! As well, we use the app to book our accommodations when we don’t have easy access to a computer.
One of the most useful travel tools out there, we use Google Maps on a daily basis when we’re on the road. Every morning, once we’ve set a rough itinerary for our day, we take screenshots of maps of the area we plan to visit as well as directions to and from our hotel/attractions. This way we never have to worry about using data and always have a map of the area on hand to follow or show locals when we get lost. It’s also great to get a sense of the size of the city you’ll be visiting and where the various sites are located.
This app only works in cities where Uber is present, and is one of the best ways to get around when it is. With the exception of public transportation, Uber beats the price of all other modes of transportation. We love that the app will be able to use your location to tell your driver where to pick you up, so if you don’t know the address it’s not a problem. As well, you can also see your driver’s ETA so you’ll know when to come outside. Last but not least, there is zero money exchange involved. Everything is done by credit card through the app, which means no tipping! As a bonus, you can also split the fair directly on the app with your travel buddies, so no more pesky IOUs!
A great alternative to texting when you’re abroad. We use this app instead of purchasing an international phone plan. It runs on wifi and looks exactly like a text so it’s perfect for quickly checking in with friends and family at home!
A total godsend when you can’t seem to find any free wifi, Skype Wifi will connect you to pretty much any wifi hotspot for a really low rate. It’s great for emergency situations when you just need to quickly connect but don’t want to incur huge roaming fees on your phone. Just be sure to add credit to your Skype account before you leave your home country!
The best app for getting deals on awesome activities and restaurants. Checkout Groupon when you’re in the mood for something different. We’ve gotten cool deals on here for activities such as ziplining and walking tours!
The best tool out there in our opinion for keeping in touch with loved ones at home. You can either connect with them for a video/audio chat (just make sure you both have the app) or call your friend/family member’s phone directly through the app. Amazing sorcery! You’ll have to make sure you load credit onto your Skype account before your leave your home country, but we have found that Skype offers the best rate for phone calls. The only catch is that you’ll need to be connected to wifi to do this, but we haven’t had any problems with dropped calls.
Why carry around a bunch of cards in your wallet when you could have them on your phone? We’re all about travelling light, and our wallet is no exception! Instead of lugging around a bulky wallet full of gift cards, loyalty cards, etc. that you probably won’t use when on the road, we load them all onto the trusty UGO Wallet app. So if we ever need them for some reason, they are all one click away.
Don’t let your credit card get declined while your abroad, check your banking regularly with your bank’s mobile banking app! These are especially great if you’ll be travelling long term as they will allow you to pay your credit card and other bills directly from your phone, accept/send e-transfers and check your account balance. Our bank even allows us to deposit checks through the mobile app by taking a picture of it! We’ve put the Scotiabank app here as an example, but most banks have their own app.
What are your favourite travel apps?
Any missing on our list?
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