Phone with apps

Travel agents can be very expensive. And you can basically do the same with a few travel apps on your smartphone or laptop.

The apps with an asterisk (*) are the ones we use ourself most of the time. In the table of contents below, you’ll find an overview of all the apps listed in this post.

Accomodation

Agoda

Agoda is mainly used in Asia. We’re not using Agoda as we get better deals with our genius accounts (you get this after 5 bookings I think) on booking.com.

Airbnb *

We use AirBnB in Europe.

Booking.com *

We have over 100 bookings on booking.com already, it lets us find cheap accomodation with the necessary comfort.

In the app, we use the filter max 20$ per night (2p) and a minimum rating of 8 and then sort on lowest price first. We then pick the first (thus cheapest) accomodation we like.

This link will show you the exact filters we use on booking.com

Expedia

Personally, we only use Expedia when Google Flights tells us they have the best prices.. 😉

Hostels

We aim to book private rooms most of the time, so we never start our search here. If we don’t find anything on booking we check the hostel sites.

Hostelworld

We aim to book private rooms most of the time, so we never start our search here. If we don’t find anything on booking we check the hostel sites.

Hotel tonight

Last minute hotel bookings, often with steep discounts.

Trivago

You can always doublecheck the hotel you’ve found on Trivago as they’ll search for the cheapest price of a given hotel.

Flights

Flio

The app and website provide you with lots of information about various airports around the world. Wifi, lounges, food, transit info…

Google flights *

Our go to website if we have to book a flight. We especially love the desktop site where you can say for example Brussel to Thailand. After that you can just explore the map and see cheap prices for other destinations like Laos or Indonesia.

Hopper

Hopper tracks flight prices and gives you periodic updates on whether you should buy now or wait.

Kayak

Kayak searches across various travel sites for rental cars, hotels, and flights.

Skyscanner

Comparable to Kayak.

Food & drinks

Foursquare *

We mainly use Foursquare in Europe, but we often try in other continents as well.

Google maps *

Sometimes we check the restaurants nearby on the Google reviews as they give a good idea of the quality.

TripAdvisor

We like the restaurant locator in TripAdvisor, but we don’t always agree on the pricing ($-$$$$) they give a certain restaurant as it greatly depends on one person’s opinion.

Yelp

The American version of FourSquare.

Zomato

The Asian version of FourSquare.

Navigation

Google maps *

We mainly use Google maps to check for distances and traffic, as we rely on tuktuks and buses most of the time. It’s also useful to check bus schedules and departures (but always double check on local websites).

iExit

This app tells you exactly what is at the next highway exit. You can add favourites so the app notifies you when you’re getting near one.

Maps.me

Many people use this map because of the offline mode. We stick to Google maps.

Pokémon Go *

You say what? Check out our blog post on how we use pokemon go on vacation.

Planning

Google trips

If you use many Google products you can easily use the Google Trips app as it’ll gather all information from your Google Calendar, gmail and Google Maps and give you suggestions based on what you’ve booked and visited in the past.

Privacy much? 😉

Instagram *

Search for your destination in the search bar and you’ll find many hidden gems!

Ps. https://instagram.com/bettertraveltogether 🙂

Lonely planet

We personally don’t use the lonely planet website (unless we end up there after a Google Search), but the ‘real books’ will never get old.

You can buy the books on Amazon etc.

Pinterest *

Search for destinations and save what you like to your boards. Don’t forget to save this post. 😉

TripAdvisor *

The best thing about TripAdvisor is the huge community behind it. You’ll find many unbiased reviews. Hotels, hostels, attractions, restaurants.. you name it!

Transport

12go.asia *

A very good starting point to get from point A to B. It’ll show you the available busses etc.

You can then still buy the real ticket in an office nearby as that’s easier if you don’t know the closest pick-up point.

Gasbuddy

USA, Canada and Australia

Gasbuddy helps you find a gas station nearby, including the current prices. They’ll also let you know if you should drive a little further if you can save some money.

Google maps *

We mainly use Google maps to check for distances and traffic, as we rely on tuktuks and buses most of the time. It’s also useful to check bus schedules and departures (but always double check on local websites).

Grab *

We use Grab most of the time, untill we find out what the local tuktuk app is.

PassApp *

Hire local car driver, tuk-tuk and motor in Cambodia.

PickMe Sri Lanka *

Hire local car driver, tuk-tuk and motor in Sri Lanka

Uber *

Biggest advantage of Uber (imo) is that you don’t need local currency to pay the driver. Uber is not that widely used in Asia though.

Waze

Community based app. It’ll show you traffic, but also police stops etc.

Fun & language

Aldiko *

Lets you read eBooks in many different formats (pdf, epub…)

Duolingo *

Whether you want to become fluent in a language or learn a few simple words, Duoling will help you with that!

Google Translate *

We both speak 5 languages, but there hasn’t been a single trip when we didn’t have to use Google Translate. Most of the time we use it for ingredients or dishes.

Netflix *

Binge-watching series and films..

Offline games *

Some examples: 2048, candy crush, sudoku, world flags (good to learn whilst abroad)…

YouTube

Did you know you can download YouTube videos to watch them later?

Random apps

Banking app *

At some borders, they’ll ask you to show your bank account to confirm you have enough money to fund your travel in the country.  

Calculator app *

When there’s a language barrier it’s easier to show a certain number than to explain it with words.

Dropbox *

Let’s you save your files safely in the cloud. We’re paying $99 per year for 1TB of storage, but at least we know anything we save on our desktop is safe forever, even if our laptop gets stolen. Also has an offline mode for things like music or passport photocopies.

Google Fit or steps app *

Turn on the app and don’t think of it again. It’ll show you some cool statistics after your travels.

Google Photos *

Just install it and let it sync on wifi. Thank us later. If your phone gets stolen, broken or corrupt you won’t lose your precious pictures like many people do every year again.

Instabridge *

Need wifi? This app will show you public networks nearby andit will show you the password of certain private networks as well (if the owner or someone else shares it).

Lightroom *

Want to edit your travel photos so they stand out even more? Lightroom is free on mobile!

Sim Toolkit (Android) *

Bought a sim card and don’t recall your new number?

Speedtest *

Not sure which Wi-Fi network to use in your ho(s)tel?

Use this app to check what the down and upload speed is and then use the best network around based on those numbers.

The weather channel *

Works in most locations and shows lots of weather related information.

Tunnelbear *

500Mb free VPN per month.

WhatsApp *

Chances are you already installed WhatsApp, but don’t forget you can (video)call your friends and family with WhatsApp as well!

XE Currency *

Best free currency app. Add the currencies you want when you have internet and it’ll still work when you’re offline!

What is your favourite travel app? Let us know in the comment!

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Sarala
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Wow that’s a comprehensive list! I’ll have to check out a few. The Pokémon Go made me laugh!