5 Essential Travel Apps that Will Save You Money and Make Travel Easier

These are our 5 Essential Travel Apps which we use on a daily basis and have helped us save money. When you’ve been travelling for 10 months straight with no intention of stopping any time soon, budget is everything!

It’s no secret that we live in a smart phone crazy world. Everyone lusts after the latest and greatest iPhone and Samsung releases and of course the applications that come along with them. Apps are a huge market with hundreds of new apps being released everyday, but which ones are the best and more importantly which ones can help save you money?

1. Trail Wallet

Essential Travel Apps: trail-wallet-ad-550x400

This app helps you to log every single dollar you spend and stay on track with your budget with great simplicity. No one wants to have to go home prematurely because they ran short on cash. Use this app to track your daily spend and that will never happen.

It supports most world currencies so you can put in the amount spent in the local currency and it will accurately tally it in your home currency. It even updates the days Rate of Exchange for you. Another great feature is the pie chart, every expenditure goes under it’s own category and through the pie chart you can see exactly where your money is going every month.

Trail Wallet was launched in 2010 by travel bloggers Erin and Simon of Never Ending Voyage, and is an app we use religiously!

Cost: $1.99
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/trail-wallet-travel-budget/id547171665?mt=8

2. Google Translate

Essential Travel Apps: Google-Translate-Banner1A lifesaver of an app if you are travelling to places where English is not the first language. Google translate allows you to choose which languages you wish to instantly translate and offers either text or voice input.

If you can gesture a foreigner to speak into the device, it will translate their voice automatically (so long as you have a 3G or wifi connection). This is a great feature once you can convince someone to participate!

This app is easy to use and it’s quite amazing when you find yourself having an entire conversation with someone purely through google translate – which we did in Western China!

TOP TIP: If you’ll have no internet access whilst out and about, you can add some important phrases in advance. Use you hotel wifi and add phrases to do with booking train/bus tickets, or explanations for asking directions to a certain place.

Cost: Free
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ph/app/google-translate/id414706506?mt=8
Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.translate&hl=en

3. Kindle

The Kindle app is a key tool for travelling light! No longer do you need to carry around heavy paper back travel guides and reading books, you can have it all available to you in this one convenient app. Essential Travel Apps: kindle

Kindle is linked to Amazon.com (and all international Amazon sites) so you will need an Amazon account to download books. Once you do, the literary world is your oyster.

Did you also know that Amazon kindle offers many books for free and I’m not just talking about the classics. There is a bevy of authors out there, all trying to get noticed. They often offer free promotions to entice people to download their book. We’ve seen everything from cook books to self help guides, biographies, fiction and non fiction stories and even travel guides all FREE! You can even score a couple of Lonely Planet guides.

Cost: Free
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kindle-read-books-ebooks-magazines/id302584613?mt=8
Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.amazon.kindle

4. Skyscanner

Essential Travel Apps: skyscanner-flight-appsOur number one flight booking app choice.

Easy to use, Skyscanner conveniently sources prices not only direct from the airlines but companies like Expedia, Budgetair, CheapOair etc. so you get the best flight prices all in one place. Rather than having to have a million browser windows open to compare all the different companies, it’s all here.

Skyscanner also has hotel and car hire options so you can source your entire trip from one app.

Something to note: Skyscanner does not sell flights directly so once you decide to book you’re automatically transferred to the airline or travel supplier’s website to make the booking directly. There are no additional fees to pay to Skyscanner.

Cost: Free

5. Skype

The best way to keep in touch with family and friends for Free! Essential Travel Apps: skype-rainbow
Many people have heard of Skype and use it regularly, however we continue to run into people who don’t utilise this fantastic app.

Have the ability to speak to your family from anywhere in the world for free, all you need is an internet connection.

The video chat option is especially comforting if you happen to be travelling long term. It’s nice for all the mums out there to see their baby is safe and sound and eating properly.

Family aside, Skype is also being utilised more and more by companies as a means of contact. Having trouble with getting money out of an ATM machine? Think that your bank account might be blocked? Find out if your bank offers Skype! That way you can Skype them directly, did we mention, for free. You won’t have to worry about sending an email, that possibly won’t be answered for days, or sitting on hold to an expensive helpline number while you have no money and starve on the streets of a foreign country.

Cost: Free
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ph/app/skype-for-iphone/id304878510?mt=8
Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.skype.raider


We can’t live without these 5 Essential Travel Apps. They’ve helped us immensely in the past 10 months while travelling around Asia. Even better, most are FREE!

Which essential travel apps can you not live without? Leave a comment below and let us know.


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  • Deia @ Nomad Wallet

    February 2, 2014

    Nice list! Having a conversation through Google Translate sounds awesome — I have to try that someday!

    I’m also a big fan of Skype and Skyscanner. Another one I can’t live without is WhatsApp. And if you want to learn a language, DuoLingo is awesome.

    • Tom Williams

      February 4, 2014

      We have had a few people recommend WhatsApp to us…will have to check it out! Always interested in new languages thanks for the suggestion.

  • Bee

    February 11, 2014

    We use all these apps! Been using Trail wallet for past 7 months, it’s fantastic and so easy once you make it a habit to add in all your daily expenses!
    Google Translate is good but we found it was pretty useless in Vietnamese, having conversations was hard, it would only translate single words correctly.
    One app we’d recommend to others is Pocket. Bit tricky to start off, read the instructions with concentration, but once up and running its fab – so quick & easy – it saves web pages for you to read offline/keep for later. I always fill up pocket with interesting articles & blog posts before a long journey, or if I know I need directions/maps/city info outside of wifi.
    Great post 🙂