Top 10 Websites (or Apps) I Live by When Traveling
During this adult gap year, I am traveling LIGHT. But that doesn't mean I’m not plugged in and fully functional while on the go! Here are my top 10 websites (or apps) that I use on repeat.
I LOVE this app. You can create a trip with custom label, invite all the members of your travel group and start filling in the costs. All the expenses are visible to the whole group, and everyone can add their own. You can select multiple currencies, making that Scandinavia trip even easier to convert. You can select specific members for payment of each item, splitting expenses unevenly when needed. It’s the app I have LIVED by to budget my daily expenses. I keep track of each country and my spending as I go, so I always know where I’m in in my monthly budget. It’s a lifesaver! I’ve written a blog about my 3 favorite budgeting apps here if you’d like more info.
I’m going to cheat here a little bit, because these are 3-in-1 – Google Maps, Google Flights and Google Translate. Google Maps is probably the one I use the most day-to-day. I don’t know how we would have navigated the old Medina in Marrakech or drive around Ireland (on the wrong side of the road) without it! I know some people like Apple Maps or whatever and to each their own, but I have noticed that Google Maps appears to be more accurate, at least in the small towns and places with limited phone services. Google Translate has this awesome feature on the app that allows you to scan a picture (like a restaurant menu) and it automatically translate the words into your native language. THANK YOU GOOGLE TRANSLATE! This has saved me from ordering some very questionable items… and properly scheduling a bikini wax when in Austria… just saying! 😊 Lastly, Google Flights is a great way to find cheap flights. I usually use the site to look for deals, especially if I want to take a trip but not sure where or when. I can search for different destinations easily and the map is a great way to see my options. I’ve provided more insight in this post.
3. What’s App
If you are traveling outside the U.S., then What’s App is the perfect communication app. It uses data (or Wi-Fi) instead of phone minutes so you can easily keep up with family and friends back home, as well as communicate with all your new local friends. I have used What’s App countless times to arrange activities, share photos with others in a group adventure or call my Uber driver.
After using Google Flights to find a trip I want to take, I usually head to Skyscanner to find the cheapest deal. I have found (especially in Europe) that they search and find the best flights for the best price. I have the app for quick searches in a flash. If you are travelling extensively on low-cost carriers, it’s also a help to have those apps as well. I use Ryanair, EasyJet and Wizz Airlines a bunch and their apps make it easy (and sometimes necessary) to check-in and purchase last-minute tickets.
5. Accommodation Apps (Booking & Hostelworld)
Did you know you can get discounts on Booking.com with your mobile app? Being loyal to one hotel booking site pays off, and I have become Genius Level 3 on Booking.com with all my stays in the last 6 months. If I’m looking for a hostel, I also use Hostelworld, which allows me to book with free cancellation.
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I love to read! And I’m so grateful that my local library on the Libby app allows me to continue downloading new books while I travel. Remember, it can really drain your data, so make sure you’re connected to Wi-Fi before downloading. If you haven’t already used this app, head to your local library and sign up! Most are using Libby or Overdrive for electronic books. You can use your Kindle, iPad or cell phone. To keep my devices low, I use my cell phone. You can check-out 10 books, including audiobooks at a time for free.
7. My Banking App
This one’s kind of a given, but it’s important to have access to your banking accounts while you travel. Make sure you have set up autopays where you can, so you don’t forget to pay your bills.
8. My Credit Card App
Same as my banking app, I keep my credit card apps on my phone for easy access. I have even set up text for each charge I make so I can easily track my spending (and currency conversion). Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you can’t stay on top of your spending.
Almost every travel blog I write includes a free walking tour from GuruWalk. I love this site! I downloaded their app to make booking tours in each city THAT much easier. You can easily search for your city and date and explore all the options. Booking is easy and the app allows the tour guide to easily message the group with any updates. You can leave reviews to help others pick their next tour. It’s a great way to get to know a new city and the guides always have a suggestion or two on the best eats or local bars.
10. Bedtime Fan
I can’t believe I’ve become a sound machine girl. If you have travelled with me before this year, then you know how badly I made fun of these machines… but you know after sleeping in a few dozen hostels with people coming and going at all hours of the day and night, even this heavy sleeper needed a way to stay asleep. My Bedtime Fan App is the perfect solution. It’s free and doesn’t take up any extra space in your suitcase – because it’s on your phone :0 sleep tight!