Best Apps For The Thrifty Traveller
If there's two things that frequent travellers love, it's mobile apps that make their globe-trotting life easier, and saving money so that they can travel even more. We've talked about mobile apps on Rise Gear before, but these are the cream of the crop when it comes to keep some cash so you spend more, go farther, stay longer or even buy some new luggage
! Here, we break down 5 of our favourite mobile apps for the most money savvy travellers.
As much as saving money is the ultimate goal for a thrifty traveller, sometimes this comes at the expense of convenience. That cheap hotel may be so far from a city's bustling centre, that the money you saved may get eaten up by taxi fare, and that discounted flight may come with a 16-hour layover in the middle of nowhere. Hipmunk does the perfect balancing act in the palm of your hand, rating flight and hotel finds by "agony" and "ecstasy", letting you choose what the better tradeoff is: convenience or money. From mapping hotels closer to the city centre or letting you know which flights have Wi-Fi, this app gives you all the extra information you need to make the right choice.
Somewhere, there's a would-be traveller who has to cancel their trip for one reason or another. While most airlines offer some flexibility with saving airfare credits for another time, hotel reservations are a lot trickier when you need to cancel. What might have been bad news turns out to be great news because with Roomer, you can search for and book unwanted hotel rooms. Typically offered at a discount, this helps you save some dough, as well as help the other person recoup some of their cash. Everyone wins. The site also has discounts directly from hotel chains, so there's endless deals to choose from.
There's lots of theories about the best times to travel, and different regions have different peak seasons and lulls that make it cheaper to head there. Hopper does all that work for you, sifting through tons of airfares and predicting the most affordable departure and return dates. It gives you up to the minute updates on price drops and predicted rises so you can take advantage of the lowest price by booking directly through the app before its too late.
WiFi is pretty much available all over the world, but you may not always know where to find it. In North America, you can bank on a Starbucks on every corner for your data fix, but in other parts of the globe that might not work. WiFiMapper works by crowdsourcing reviews & other information and combining it with Foursquare to let you know where the connections are located, like inside a shopping mall or a small coffee shop and if, for example, using it requires you to purchase an espresso as well. It also shows you the strength of the signals so you can choose the best one.
While North America has a plethora of free public restrooms in malls, restaurants and public transit, in other part of the world it's not so easy. Much of Europe charges a few dollars to use public restrooms, if they're available at all. Russia's subway system recently installed its very first public washroom in one of its 197 stations, just to show you how uncommon it is. Flush will show you the closest facilities in your area, if you need to be a purchasing customer to use it or if there's a fee (sometimes, there's both!). It also specifies if it has disabled access. Listing over 100,000 restrooms all over the world, you can also read ratings and reviews so you can avoid a nasty surprise; as well as add your own feedback. This app even work offline!
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