I don’t know about you, but I love a good deal. I once treated myself to a beautiful lace dress only to see it on sale for 50% off the next day and it ate away at my soul for weeks.
To prevent this from happening, I’m always on the lookout for a way to make my life (which is 99% travel) more affordable. Not only in the financial sense – time is money and saving time is often even more valuable in my eyes.
We millennials are constantly berated for being glued to our phones but guess what? That’s where most of my time and money saving happens. There are hundreds of apps whose sole purpose it is to make your life easier. From streamlining the travel booking process to making sure you never pay a penny in foreign transaction fees, I’ve lined up five of my favourites to share with you.
I’ll start with TraveLibro because it may just be my favourite app find of 2017. As a frequent traveller I often struggle to remember my trips in much detail. But not anymore! Thanks to TraveLibro I’m able to keep track of all my travel memories right as they’re happening.
I did this on my recent trip to Slovenia, you can see my full journey here. Without this app there’s no way I would have remembered the name of that hole-in-the-wall restaurant that serves fresh bread dipped in red wine for breakfast, or my olive oil tasting class in Šmartno.
But the best part is that not only can you record your travels in as much detail as you’d like – you can also access other people’s past journeys. All of mine are here. If you need inspiration for your next trip, TraveLibro is definitely the way to go!
Wouldn’t it be nice if somebody else put together a custom travel itinerary for you? If you already have a personal assistant this app is not for you. But if you don’t you’ll love TripIt!
Once you grant it access, it pulls all upcoming travel data from your email inbox. It then compiles it and presents you with a neat itinerary so you can access all your flights, train journeys and hotel bookings in one place. It also provides important information like check in and check out times or flight duration.
Oh, and you can also save a copy of your travel IDs and important contacts in a password or Touch ID protected folder. It could be a literal life saver.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the Skyscanner app already but I want to share a few tricks you may not be aware of. First of all, the Skyscanner app (as well as the website) lets you set alerts that go off whenever the price of a flight you were looking at changes. That way you won’t have to overpay for your next ticket.
But my favourite function is the ability to search for a flight to “Everywhere”. Once you input your dates the system will give you an overview of the cheapest flights available from your destination. I once found a return ticket to New York for less than £300 – it was cheaper than a trip to Malaga, Spain on those same dates!
I’ll get the bad news out of the way first – LuckyTrip is only available to UK residents at the moment. But they plan to expand and should be available in other countries soon. I really hope they do because I hate not being able to share all that goodness with the world.
So what does this little app do? Oh, it just plans your entire freaking trip! Have I mentioned it’s free? All you have to do is input your closest airport and a budget for your trip, starting at £150.
LuckyTrip will scour the Internet and come back with a short itinerary that includes flights, hotels and a bunch of fun places to visit while you’re there.
I love Monzo more than I love some people. Not terrible people, perfectly nice people – that’s how wonderful this app is. Monzo is a lot more than an app though. It’s a bank account and a debit card that let’s you pay and withdraw cash abroad with no foreign fees!
With my other UK card I have to pay a flat fee of £1.99 every time I want to take money out while travelling. That’s… ludicrous. With my MasterCard debit from Monzo I can withdraw up to £200 every month for free, and with a 3% payment thereafter. But I rarely need to take out more as all card transactions abroad are free, without a limit. Their conversion rate is also a lot better than any I’ve seen in traditional banks.
You don’t even have to be travelling to benefit from having this free card. Whenever you order anything from abroad and have to pay in the local currency, this will make the transaction much cheaper. I frequently do this on PayPal for example.
Money saving tip! If you’d like to save money for travel, I also highly recommend you check out Chip. It’s a smart app that connects to your bank account and puts money aside for you, based on your spending habits. It sounds a little scary but all the money is ringfenced in a Barclays account so you wouldn’t lose it even if something were to happen to the company. I’ve been able to put aside more than £2,000 thanks to Chip’s help.
But that’s not the best part. The best part is the high interest rate you’re able to get through it – up to 5%! You get extra percentage points by referring friends, which is a little annoying but it does work. If you’d like to start at 1% interest rate instead of zero you can use my code: LOJ7WX. I will also get 1% for referring you, so if you’re not comfortable with that don’t use the code. But I see it as a win-win situation. I’m in no way affiliated with Chip, I’m just sharing this app because I think it’s incredible.
What other travel apps would you recommend? Have you used any of the above? Let me know in a comment below, I love hearing from you!
Disclaimer: This post was kindly sponsored by TraveLibro, but I’d exalt their virtues even if I wasn’t collaborating with them. In other words – all opinions are mine, as always.