Advertiser Disclosure
X

Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which MoneyCrashers.com may receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they appear on category pages. MoneyCrashers.com does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers, although best efforts are made to include a comprehensive list of offers regardless of compensation. Advertiser partners include American Express, Chase, U.S. Bank, and Barclaycard, among others.

By

Views

14.6K

Dig Deeper

23,575FansLike
19,228FollowersFollow
37,091FollowersFollow

Become a Money Crasher!
Join our community.

7 Free Travel Apps to Save You Money When Planning a Vacation

Views

14.6K

There’s no doubt that part of the fun of a vacation is planning it, and in the Internet age, vacation planning means having access to comparison sites, traveler reviews, and helpful hints that can make your next trip the best you’ve ever had.

While you can surf the web-based versions of a lot of money-saving travel apps, having quick access to everything you need on your phone or tablet while you tour can be an amazing advantage. And best of all, many apps that can help you save money on your trip are 100% free.

Best Free Money-Saving Travel Apps

1. KAYAK

Sign up for an account at Simple by 7/31/19 4:59 PM PT and get up to a $500 bonus and 2.02% APY (with qualified activities).

I’ve used the KAYAK website in the past and, honestly, I didn’t think it was all that special. After all, it compares prices for airfare and hotels just like many other sites.

However, when it comes to booking hotels, the KAYAK app is definitely the star of the show. It shows room prices through multiple booking sites (including KAYAK) and gives a snapshot of user reviews all from a single intuitive interface. Like other booking engines, it has features including a map view and a range of filters by which to sort results.

While I don’t recommend booking a hotel based on price alone, it definitely can give you a good idea of the lodging options in your price range. KAYAK also helps you find car rentals, alternative travel dates, and flight and airport information.

2. Triposo

Triposo is an app that acts as a virtual guide for your vacation. Input where you’re going, your interests, and your overall budget, and the app helps you create an itinerary that also takes weather and attractions into consideration.

I especially loved using this app to find local entertainment. While staying in Kaanapali, I opened Triposo, selected “Nightlife,” and set the budget  to less than $100. In no time, it used my location to find an awesome show nearby. In addition to shows, the app can find cultural outings, such as museums and art galleries, children’s entertainment options, and restaurants based on your preferences.

3. TripAdvisor

You can’t beat real reviews from real people when booking a vacation, and the TripAdvisor app is great for seeing what other travelers have said about activities, restaurants, services, and hotels virtually everywhere.

For example, while booking a room at a resort in Maui, I noticed that some rooms were deeply discounted. However, when I checked the reviews on TripAdvisor, I found a comment from a traveler who had been there just a week prior explaining that the discounted rooms were being remodeled, creating noise and inconvenience. That was not the luxury experience I wanted, so I skipped the discount and upgraded to a better room.

One important rule of thumb for using TripAdvisor: Look for average reviews – those that are too negative or too positive are often hard to trust.

4. Urbanspoon

While you can expect to pay a bit more for food while on vacation, check the Urbanspoon app before dining to save a few bucks. It organizes all of the restaurants in your location, provides menus, reviews, and a general price range for each.

It’s also helpful in planning meals. For example, if you want to splurge on an expensive restaurant, but reign it in the next morning for breakfast, Urbanspoon can help you find a luxury dining experience and a cheap bagel or donut shop to fuel up at in the morning.

Surf Web Based Version

5. GasBuddy

At home, you probably know where to go to save money on gas, but when traveling, it can be difficult. The last thing you want to do after locating the best-priced car rental is blow your budget keeping it filled with gas.

There are plenty of apps to help you find the best gas prices, but I find GasBuddy to be the best to locate the cheapest fuel. You can even input your location prior to your trip and plan ahead by budgeting gas funds based on local prices.

6. Waze

Speaking of rental cars, I would have been lost – literally – without my Waze app. I don’t love the Google Maps GPS that comes stock on my phone. Luckily, Waze is like Google Maps on steroids. Not only does it allow you to navigate around unfamiliar territory, but it offers turn-by-turn assistance. This can save you a ton of gas money, as it prevents you from driving around aimlessly while lost. Waze also connects you to other users, who can notify you of time-wasters ahead, such as construction, accidents, and even police speed traps.

Just be careful when using the app – because Waze requires the use of location services, it can zap your battery pretty quickly. Use it only when you have a charger handy.

7. WiFi Finder

If you’re traveling within the United States, you should be able to access data on your cell phone without extra charges. However, if you’re outside of the States or your cell phone provider charges hefty roaming fees, switch off your data service and use WiFi instead. The Wi-Fi Finder app is genius for locating places that offer both free and for-fee WiFi, along with comprehensive maps. Even if you’re not being charged extra to use your data plan, it’s nice to know when you can switch off your phone and use your tablet or computer instead.

Final Word

After planning an entire vacation using my tablet and smartphone alone, I’m converted. Not only do travel apps make the planning stages super easy, but they allow you to have data, itineraries, reviews, and maps in real-time at your disposal while on vacation, reducing stress and unnecessary expenditures.

What are your favorite travel-related apps?

Jacqueline Curtis
Jacqueline Curtis is an experienced style expert, and she focuses on getting high fashion on a tight budget. She writes for several online publications and specializes in fashion, finance, health and fitness, and parenting. Jae grew up in Toronto, Canada, but now resides in Utah with her husband, two kids, and prized shoe collection.

Next Up on
Money Crashers

Amazon Prime Day Coming Soon

Amazon Prime Day 2019: How to Get the Best Deals

What is Amazon Prime Day? It's a day-long (or longer) extravaganza of exclusive deals for Amazon Prime members. During this sales-fest, the world’s biggest retailer will slash prices on a wide variety of items — some of them by as much as 50%. To get the most out of Prime Day, it pays to plan ahead — researching deals, deciding what to buy, and keeping track of when sales pop up. By preparing for Prime Day in advance, you can get the most for your money with minimal hassle.
Six Figure Income Jobs

11 High Paying Six-Figure Jobs Without a College Degree

While many aspire to go to college after high school, not everyone can, or should, head straight to university. Family issues, a lack of...

Latest on
Money Crashers

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

See why 218,388 people subscribe to our newsletter.

What Do You Want To Do
With Your Money?

Make
Money

Explore

Manage
Money

Explore

Save
Money

Explore

Borrow
Money

Explore

Protect
Money

Explore

Invest
Money

Explore