Planning an amazing vacation with a budget might seem difficult, but there are actually many ways to travel without breaking the bank. With the rise of smartphone apps, planning a vacation on a budget is easier than ever. Here’s a list of the best apps for traveling on a budget that will help you with packing to planning to the plane ride home, and everything in between.
There are a lot of apps that help you track down cheap flights, but SkyScanner takes the cake for us. This app makes it easy to plan your destination around your budget, rather than the other way around. With the “everywhere” search option, users can enter their city and find the cheapest destinations available from any airport. If you’re looking to book a vacation on a budget, SkyScanner is a great place to start.
You have your destination set, your flight booked, and now all you need to do is figure out what to do when you get there. That’s where Trip Advisor comes in. With this app you can search through the best user reviewed attractions, dining, and entertainment, as well as compare prices and book tickets and accommodations. Trip Advisor is an all-in-one travel planner, and an absolute must if you’re looking to get the best value from any vacation.
While packing may not be the most exciting part of a vacation, packing smart and efficiently can make your trip run more smoothly and give you a better experience overall. Plus, there’s nothing worse than getting to your destination and realizing you’ve forgotten something important. Avoid paying the airport and gift shop premiums for forgotten items with Packing Pro. This app lets you as well as track what you’ve already packed and set alarms for last minute add-ons.
Accommodations can often be the most expensive parts of booking travel, but AirBnb gives you the opportunity to stay in private residences, often at a much lower price than traditional hotel lodging. Depending on the size of your party and your budget, you can choose to rent an entire house or apartment, a single private room, or share a space with other travelers. If you are looking for an even more unique experience, you can often find non-traditional lodging options like a private sailboat, a treehouse, or even a covered wagon!
If you’re planning an epic road trip, the GasBuddy app is a must. With this app, you can search gas stations by stations by location and compare prices to find the best deal in the area. While it may not seem like a big deal to save a few cents per gallon, the savings really add up over time and make a huge impact in your travel expenses.
The Couchsurfing app works much like AirBnb, except it’s completely free! On this app, you can search for hosts all over the world offering free accommodations, typically on a couch–though some offer private rooms as well. While this may not be the most luxury way to travel, it’s a great way to meet new people and make lasting friendships during your trip.
Booking a city tour can be expensive and often requires a lot of planning ahead–but not anymore! Travel writer Rick Steves serves as your personal tour guide with this app, offering walking audio tours of major European cities like London, Paris, Berlin, and more. Each of these self-guided tours sets you on track to visit popular sites in the city and takes you through the history associated with each stop. If you’re headed to Europe, this is a great, FREE way to get to know the city you’re in.
Rome2Rio is an app that helps you search and book any type of travel that will get you from Point A to Point B, anywhere in the world. Whether it’s by train, bus, ferry, or a flight, you’ll get several options for travel so you can compare prices and book tickets straight from the app.
The hardest part of traveling on a budget is making sure you don’t go over budget, especially when you’re trying to relax and enjoy your vacation, Tripcoin is an app where you can easily track your travel expenses and know exactly where your money is going. The app will put all your expenses into easy-to-read reports, and even offers a built-in currency converter so you don’t have to do the math for yourself.
When it comes to travel, time is money. If you’re traveling by car, you can save time (and maybe even a speeding ticket or two) with the Waze app. This app gives you user-reported information about traffic, accidents, construction, and even police speed traps, so you can get the most up-to-date information about the road ahead. The app also recently added a Carpool option where you can find people headed the same way so you can split the gas and shave off some expenses from your trip!
Now that you know how to travel on a budget, the only thing to plan is your destination! Check out our past travel guides for some serious vacation inspiration.