As more apps continue to be created and refined, traveling without breaking the bank is becoming simpler, more accessible, and less stressful than ever. Gone are the days of poorly managed vacation expenses, sky-high roaming charges, and offensive flight rates.
These days all you need to streamline costs is a smartphone or tablet. In the midst of all the budget-minded travel apps available on the market today, here are five necessities for the discerning, money-minded traveler.
Think of Expensify as your umbrella app. Simply sync your credit cards and other financial accounts to the app, and it will record your transactions, review your spending behavior, and alert you of areas where you can cut costs. (Android, iOS, Blackberry; free)
GasBuddy is crucial for roadtrippers. When you see your tank getting low, type in your zip code or city, and the app will alert you to the nearest gas stations based on price or location. Filling up and staying within budget has never been so easy. (Android, iOS, Windows, Blackberry; free)
Though Kayak’s app can currently only be used for researching flights, not booking them (you must jump over to an Internet browser to do this), its search options, prices, and other amenities are unparalleled. Make reservations on the go, or count on cheaper options if you’re flexible with your travel dates. Stranded at the airport? Use the “Airports” tab to check out exactly what amenities are available nearby. (Android, iOS, Windows, Blackberry; free)
Free Wi-Fi Finder
This might seem out of place, but think about it—how many times have you paid to access the Internet? Bought a latte in trade for some Wi-Fi time? Online access can be difficult to find if you don’t know where to look, but with the Free Wi-Fi Finder you will never need to spend your money uselessly again. (Android, iOS; free)
It’s the small fees that add up quickly, and that’s the brilliance of WhatsApp Messenger, a particularly useful tool for international travelers. Avoid excess texting fees when traveling outside the US by asking anyone you plan to text with to download WhatsAppMessenger, then do so yourself. Afterward, no matter where you go, you can message back and forth (photos and audio included) for free! (Android, iOS, Windows, Blackberry, Nokia; free for the first year, then $.99)
About Author: Andrea Fisher is an online marketer and content specialist for 4tv. She has been published in a variety of publications, including the Chicago Tribune and Business Insider.Catch more of her thoughts at @andreafisher007.