apps

7 Apps to Help You Travel on a Budget ...

Jenny O'Hara

7 Apps to Help You Travel on a Budget ...

Who wouldn’t like to find a few apps to help you travel on a budget? I take my iPhone everywhere with me because it is seriously the most useful device ever! My husband and I love, love, LOVE to travel, but we spent a fortune on our wedding last year so we’re beyond short on cash right now. It’s true that we could give up our adventures for a while, but why do that when you can find cheap and easy ways to travel instead? Use these apps to help you travel on a budget so that you can explore this wonderful world we live in!

1 Airbnb

Airbnb itunes.apple.com
Price: Free

I’m going to start out with my absolute favorite of all of the apps to help you travel on a budget, Airbnb. You can find an extremely reasonably priced room, cabin, cottage, apartment or an entire house (or in some cases a yacht or a whole island!!) essentially anywhere you would want to go! When I downloaded this app I searched for rates around my favorite places. Ever since I was little, my entire family has loved renting a house every few years on Brantingham Lake in the Adirondacks, so that was my first search. Not only did I find a house comparable to the one we stayed in two years ago for about $600 less per week, I found an entire ISLAND complete with two cabins and a pontoon boat that you can rent for $250 per night! If you’ve read my other articles, chances are you already know of my love for Portland, OR, so that was my next search. I found a yacht you can rent for $50 per night! You can’t even get a hotel room here in upstate New York for $50 per night, so I am pretty amazed by that! Essentially, this app allows people with spare living areas and sleeping quarters to advertise to travelers who can book their rooms. Many of them will give you a huge discount if you want to stay for a month or more, but generally the minimum stay is 2 or 3 nights. There are locations all over the world, check out a few of the cottages in Ireland; you’ll fall in love instantly! You can filter your results to only show one room for rent or an entire home to yourself. You can also select the highest you are willing to pay and how many travelers will be in your party. The best part (other than the low price), is that many of the property owners are more than willing to be your tour guide around the city or serve you breakfast or dinner if you choose!

2 Couch Surfing

Couch Surfing itunes.apple.com
Price: Free

If you’re low on cash, couch surfing is the way to go. For those of you unfamiliar with the idea of couch surfing, it is a way of traveling by spending the night in someone’s home with them (as opposed to the Airbnb method where you can get a place to yourself). Many of these people will let you stay with them for free, some ask you to float them a few bucks. You could either be sleeping on a couch, an air mattress, the floor or in a spare room. Sure it’s not an ideal sleeping arrangement, but you get to meet really interesting people while you travel and you get a roof over your head for little or no money! I was surprised when I started investigating this app, I live in the middle of nowhere so I didn’t expect there to be any beds available anywhere around me, but there are TONS! I stopped counting at 50! People on the app range from college kids to the elderly, all of whom would like to open their door (and sofa bed) to you! Give it a shot!

3 WeHostels

WeHostels itunes.apple.com
Price: Free

Honestly, my first introduction to a “Hostel” was when I watched the horror movie with the same name. I didn’t even realize there were hostels here in the states. My husband traveled extensively after high school, he has been all over the US and all over Europe, so he has stayed in plenty of hostels, but I never have. You are essentially getting a hotel room that you potentially have to share with other people. Sometimes, if you’re traveling as a couple or a group, you can get a private room, but more often you will be staying in a room with a few sets of bunk beds and sharing it with other travelers. After researching a bit and playing around with the WeHostels app, I feel much more willing to stay in one when I travel. This app gives you a list of all of the hostels in the area you’re traveling to as well as their prices and their terms. Some only accept students 18-29 years old, others have no age restrictions. You will also be able to see details about food and the rooms as well as pictures of the place.

4 HostelWorld

HostelWorld itunes.apple.com
Price: Free

This is another hostel app, it is similar to WeHostels, but it isn’t exactly the same. While WeHostels lists every available place for you to choose from, HostelWorld only lists the highest rated hostels in the location you choose and includes low-priced hotels as well. The average price of the places you will find using this app are a bit higher than with the other one, but if you’re reluctant to try the hostels and are looking to be sure you pick the absolute best from the bunch, you might want to check out this app.

5 BookIt

BookIt itunes.apple.com
Price: Free
I love to travel internationally, but it’s pricey! With the BookIt app you can find amazing deals to exotic destinations. You can easily shave off a few hundred dollars on your trip by using this app. While I haven’t booked a trip through the app, I have used their website several times without any issues and I love it! If you are looking to just get away for a while and you don’t have any set destination, browse through their packaged deals, they have daily and monthly sales to certain places that include airfare and accommodations. Another tip- search online for their promo codes (check Retailmenot.com); I can almost always find 10-20% off codes or even the occasional $20 off.

6 SideCar Ride

SideCar Ride itunes.apple.com
Price: Free

Renting a car while you’re on vacation can be extremely expensive, so I like to do away with it altogether. Normally if we’re going to wander around we’ll walk or take a cab, but as you may know, cabs can end up costing more money than the rental would have! SideCar Ride is an amazing app that allows you to catch a ride with a local! You enter your pick up and drop off locations and they match you with a driver! If it’s a long drive, it’s nice to give them some cash and the app even gives you a suggestion as to just how much you should give, but it’ll be cheaper than a taxi by a long shot! Taking a cab from here to my friend Crystal’s house costs $7. SideCar Ride’s suggested donation amount is $1! That’s $6 saved right there! $12 if you count the ride back!

7 SkyScanner

SkyScanner itunes.apple.com
Price: Free

Last, but certainly not least, is SkyScanner. For YEARS I have been wishing for a website that would just show me the cheapest possible flights to anywhere instead of making me choose my destination. Sometimes it’s not about the destination; it’s about getting the heck out of wherever you are now! This app does everything I could possibly want! You enter what airport you want to leave from and you can input a destination or you can choose “everywhere.” You can input dates or choose “any.” Then it lets you see a graph for every month and it shows you the price of airfare for every day of the year! That way you can just choose the cheapest flight to the cheapest place and make your plans! Or if you have a destination in mind, but no set date, you can browse through the calendar of prices to see which dates offer the best deals and plan your trip around that information!

I sincerely hope that these apps help you travel on a budget. I know it’s hard but it is possible! It can be done! If you utilize several of these apps at once, you can travel, stay, and get around for hardly any money at all! What travel apps do you use to cut costs?