The 10 Best Free Apps and Websites for Better Travel in 2017
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A new year is definitely upon us. I mean it's March already, can you believe it? So far this year I've been to Norway and Corey and I both travelled allllll the wayyyyyy backkkkk to Samoa (it really is a far, far away land). Now we've booked flights to Sweden for next weekend and I figured it was a good time to let all my millions (read: 0) followers know what I use to help me book travels, stay on budget and find great places to eat at. These apps aren't for show, I use them all the time and if I'm at a computer I use the website versions too. The best bit is they are all free, so you can spend that $1.99 on ... ok $1.99 won't buy you much these days but put it in your ninja turtles piggy bank.
"Well, duh", I hear you say, but the title of this post is BEST apps and websites, not most obscure. Airbnb has upped their game recently so not only can you find super unique Airbnb stays, you can also book experiences in your destination (or even your hometown) with locals. Try mingling at the market in France or mix cocktails with a mixologist in San Francisco. Accommodation; check! Things to do; check!
App: Apple or Android | Website: airbnb.com
I just did a whole guide on getting around Europe using Blablacar because I loved it that much. It saved us a whole bunch of money and we got to see so much of the places we were travelling through. Basic gist: you pay for a seat on someone else's road trip to get you from A to B. It's budget friendly and quicker than buses and trains. Go from London to Manchester for £14 or Paris to London for £19.50 and meet new people as well.
App: Apple or Android | Website: blablacar.co.uk
This is another one I've raved about previously because it's so damn useful. The only reason I didn't get completely and utterly lost in London is because of this app! It gives you all your public transport options (including buses, trains, trams, biking, walking and sometimes even jetpack) and you can ask it to give you options based on when you want to leave or arrive somewhere. It's not just for London either, they have heaps of major cities like Sao Paulo, Melbourne and Vancouver. If you're connected to the internet and open the app it'll switch to the city you're currently in if it's available.
App: Apple or Android | Website: citymapper.com
This is my favourite app/website to book hostels because comparing all your options is so easy. Sort by price, rating or look at the map view to see where they're all located. They have a booking guarantee (they cough up 50 bucks if you have problems with your booking) and they don't charge any booking fees. They have hostels in over 170 countries so why not try searching for a hostel in Amsterdam or Budapest.
App: Apple or Android | Website: hostelworld.com
This is the first app I turn to when trying to figure out trip details. Rome2rio will get you from A to B quicker than you can say VAAYYCAYYY! It compares all your options (plane, train, bus, bike, drive, rideshare, etc) so you can see what's quickest, cheapest or easiest. You can also see your previous searches when offline which is super handy when you're wifi-less.
Get cheap flights with Skyscanner. The reason I love using them in particular for my Europe trips is I can search London (all airports) to Everwhere and it shows me all the cheapest flights either for selected dates or for entire months. Makes it super easy to get budget flights and you might end up somewhere you'd never think to go otherwise! So far all my Euro flights have been booked via the Skyscanner app or website. You can also use it for hotels and car hire but I haven't personally.
App: Apple or Android | Website: skyscanner.net
I use TripAdvisor to find hotels where I'm going and places to eat nearby when I'm already there. I love being able to see other people's reviews and photos of food.. it makes it much less likely you'll be disappointed with the place you pick to rest your head or fill your tummy. I also use it as a first base for finding the best things to do in a city/area. If you want some travel inspiration, just look to their Traveler's Choice Awards and see everything from the Top 25 Museums to the Top 10 Destinations on the Rise.
App: Apple or Android | Website: tripadvisor.com
If you're looking for an app that'll keep your itinerary sorted and help stop you from missing your flights then TripCase belongs on your phone. Simply forward your bookings (flights/accommodation/tours) to firstname.lastname@example.org and they add it all into your account. You can see a timeline of your trip and they send you updates with changes to your flight departure and gate info. It's really handy to have all your information in one place so you don't have to scroll through your emails like a maniac.
App: Apple or Android | Website: tripcase.com
If you want to keep track of your spending while on holidays this is the app to do it. You can change currencies and keep an eye on your budget with handy charts and daily budget limits. They support 150+ currencies and you can use it offline. It's definitely the best free app you'll find for this kind of budgeting and the more money you save, the more croissants you can eat in Paris, now that's worth budgeting for.
App: Apple or Android (N/A but try Trabee Pocket) | Website: causania.com/tripcoinapp
When I'm not using TripAdvisor to find places to eat I'm using Yelp. Yes, two apps for finding food because a girls gotta eat. Am I right? Of course, I am. Search for restaurants, nightlife, home services or delivery and sort by price and distance and whether or not a place is even open at the same time your stomach is rumbling because nothing is more annoying than thinking you've found the perfect place to grab a bite to eat only to get there and see a 'closed' sign. Don't make yourself suffer - use the app...or website.
And there you have it. Ten delightful, super helpful, easy to use apps/websites that will help you start travelling or help you while you're travelling. They will be the superstar apps of your phone I promise (just don't tell that to Instagram). If you have any apps or websites that are KILLER and should've been on this list please let me know in the comments.. or just leave any comment at all so I'm a little less lonely.