Traveling is expensive. There’s the airfare, the hotels, and not to mention whatever medical bills you inevitably rack up once Montezuma has its wicked revenge. Let technology help you save the big bucks by embracing these 10 travel apps for globetrotters on a budget.
1. Score last-minute hotel deals
HotelTonight: Free for iOS and Android
If you’re comfortable waiting until the last minute to secure a place to crash for the night, HotelTonight announces a daily digest of deeply discounted top-rated hotel rooms in practically every major city around the globe at noon local time. If you luck out, you could end up in a lavish 5-star spot for a fraction of what most other guests paid.
2. See all your travel bookings in one place
TripIt: Free for iOS and Android
Simply forward your flight, hotel, car rental, and restaurant emails to TripIt and it’ll generate an automatic itinerary, making it incredibly simple to pull up any details on a whim. It’ll even automatically notify you of flight delays or gate changes.
3. Watch how much you're spending
Trail Wallet: Free for iOS
Designed to keep you on-budget throughout your journey, Trail Wallet’s slick interface makes it easy to track your expenses from day-to-day, and ensure you’re allocating enough to make it through to the end of the trip without being forced to busk for loose change.
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4. Skip the expensive cabs
MetrO: Free for iOS
Up there with breaking through the language barrier, deciphering the mass transit system in an unfamiliar place can drive you crazy. Instead of caving in and shelling out for an expensive cab or car, use MetrO to navigate the trains, trams, buses, and subways in over 400 global cities. It doesn’t even require a network connection as long as you’ve installed the city you’re visiting ahead of time.
5. Know the language
Google Translate: Free for iOS and Android
Quit it with the awkward pointing and gesturing to figure out what a particular sign or what that mouthful of a menu item really means. Instead, let Google do the heavy lifting and get instant translations using your keyboard, voice, or camera.
6. Avoid pricey international plans
Skype: Free for iOS and Android
Rather than splurging on an international phone plan, hop on the Skype wagon (if you haven’t already) to talk and text with everyone for next to nothing.
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7. Find free Wi-Fi instantly
Wi-Fi Finder: Free for iOS and Android
Rather than blowing your budget on data overages, fire up Wi-Fi Finder to locate the nearest spot with a free wireless connection.
8. Book the best (and cleanest) hostels
Hostelworld: Free on iOS and Android
If you’re willing to slum it like you did back when you were schlepping across Europe as a doe-eyed undergrad, Hostelworld makes it easy to browse and book hostels, B&Bs, and budget hotels around the world. They also offer a 100% booking guarantee, which is a big relief for anyone familiar with hosteling.
9. Find the cheapest parking
BestParking: Free for iOS and Android
If you’re tooling around in a car in the States, this app will help you find the cheapest and most convenient parking facilities in over 100 cities so you don’t get fleeced by hotels with egregiously steep overnight fees.
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10. Be your own tour guide
Field Trip: Free for iOS and Android
Like having an unobtrusive tour guide in your pocket at all times, this app — which runs in the background — makes it easy to discover hidden gems in cities around the world without doing any work at all. Its aggregated geotagged reviews and explanations for points of interest from a number of publications including Thrillist, Cool Hunting, and Atlas Obscura notify you when you’re passing by something worth checking out.