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When you travel how do you keep track of your budget? Do you find yourself searching for email confirmations when you check in?
When travelling long term, we need to keep careful track of our budget and with hundreds of reservations, we have to be able to quickly find what we are looking for. Today we are going to share the 4 best travel apps that we use every day that make travel easier for us. They will keep your documents and reservations organized, allow you to easily record your travel costs, interact with others in a foreign language and help you navigate around a new destination.
Have you ever checked into a hotel or flight and they want to see your confirmation and you can’t find them through your emails? Or you arrive in a new city and can’t remember what hotel you booked? Trip It was developed by long term travellers and is one of the best travel apps out there. It is an app that organizes all your travel details in one place so they are easy to find. The premise is incredibly simple and once again, takes no time at all.
Download the FREE app at the itunes or Google Play store and setup any upcoming trips you have. Once you book a hotel, flight, tour, or transportation and receive an email confirmation, you simply forward that email to a Trip It email address and it will automatically add it to your electronic itinerary. You can also manually add trip details that you don’t have email confirmations for. Best of all, you can share your itineraries, so both Paul and I can access our reservations on our phones. We can even send a copy to our families so they know our flight and accommodation details.
When we check in at a hotel or for a flight, we simply go into the Trip It app and our reservation information is right there under today’s date. No more scrolling through emails to find the reservation! And we can access all our travel plans offline!
There are many other features of Trip It that we haven’t dived into yet. Some of the other great things the app does for you:
- send plans to your calendar or to friends
- find places close to where you are staying and gives you neighborhood safety info
- allows you to rate flights
The paid version (Trip It Pro), $49/year, opens up even more features:
- seat, fare and points tracker
- real time flight status alerts and airport security wait times
- terminal and gate reminders, baggage claim info, connecting flight info
As budget travellers, we NEED to keep track of what we spend each day. When we first started travelling that meant a small notebook to record every expenditure. Thankfully, technology has made this ritual so much simpler. Over the last few years, we have used the Trail Wallet app to record every cent we spend when we are travelling. We can then quickly compare how we are doing against our budget, see which categories we are going over budget on and make adjustments. We can see clear and attractive pie graphs of our costs and ….
It is data instantly in our hands and it takes no time at all to do. Whenever we spent money, Paul pulls out his phone and enters the amount and category in a few seconds. He can enter them in the local currency and it will convert it to our currency (CAD). He can even easily split costs that are spread over a number of days (like a rental car). You can export the data into Excel for even more analysis, which allowed us to quickly calculate and break down our weekly costs for our weekly updates on our most recent travels.
Having spent the last month in Mexico, this was an app that we used every day. We wish our Spanish was better, but the reality is that we often have difficulty understanding and trying to express ourselves. In its very basic operation, you can translate phrases or sentences, and it will even play the translation or display it as a flashcard. We would regularly converse with people by passing the phone back and forth using Google Translate. Its more advanced features allow you to use your smart phone camera to read signs instantly, which we used regularly as well at museums and around town. The translations aren’t perfect and sometimes we got a good laugh at how something was translated, but overall, it was invaluable in Mexico.
I know this is an app that every one is very familiar with, but I still want to mention it because it
is the best travel app. When we were in China and Google is blocked, we realized just how reliant we are on it. We couldn’t figure out how to get anywhere and had to resort to using paper maps again.
We have become so reliant on Google Maps, but no where is it more useful then when travelling. It helps us get everywhere we want to go, makes sure the taxi is taking us in the right direction, helps us find a supermarket or pharmacy and more. When we are travelling now we almost always purchase a local SIM card with data, but even if we don’t, we will often map a route while we have WIFI that we can use even when we are offline.
Other Apps We Use Regularly
- Facetime/Skype to keep in touch with friends and family at home
- Educational apps are an important tool we use when roadschooling
- Library apps that allow us to download books from the library onto our e-readers
We would love to hear what apps you use when you travel? Let us know in the comments below.
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