Traveling is expensive, but it is also the best investment you can make in yourself. With the rise of travel among millennials, it is becoming more imperative than ever that you budget your trip before going to avoid unnecessary fees. One way I avoid fees, save money, and finance my trips is through the 10 apps below. Yes, APPS! I cannot stress the importance of these apps and their features. They've helped me save money and kept me UNDER budget! Everyone always asks me how I travel so much for being so young, and, honestly, this is how!
Way is my go-to app for finding airport parking! It can also be used to find restaurants and services for a trip. The parking prices are cheaper than paying to park in person and the app offers numerous discounts! For example, you can use code FANGFIVE on the mobile app during October to get five percent off your next order! (limited time code)
This does not necessarily save money, but is a huge time-saver! Instead of waiting in customs lines for two hours upon returning to the United States, you can have your customs forms and passport already uploaded on the app, and then you get to skip the whole line and just scan your passport and be free to go!
Albert is the money-saving app I use; however, there are others such as Digit that you can also download to keep track of your finances and create savings plans for trips! I regularly get an update from Albert giving me a weekly and monthly update on where my money has been used and what I have been spending it on. This app is great for sticking to your travel budget and it's absolutely free!
4. Airline Apps
From Spirt to Delta, I have a multitude of airlines' apps on my phone that help me keep track of my flights, save time on check-in, and have a paperless boarding pass. I currently have Frontier, Spirt, Delta, Southwest, United, Avianca, Google Flights (bookmarked), and Student Universe. These apps also offer in-app discounts for flights with the airlines, which have actually resulted in my flight back from Puerto Rico being PAID FOR because of promotional opportunities within the app and travel points!
Student Universe is my immediate go-to app for the cheapest flights! Aside from flights, they also offer discounted hostels, adventures, and transportation to and from the airport to your lodging! This is is solely available for STUDENTS! You must be 26 or younger, and sometimes they ask you to have a student email address. With this app, I have gotten roundtrip flights to Spain for $275 to $400! This app has completely broken the "Europe flights are so expensive" stigma for me, and has brought the world closer through cheaper airfare. To book your next trip, here is my referral link; if you book with it you get $20 off your next flight!
The Booking.com app has saved me SO much money! Not only has it saved me money, but it has also allowed me to get PAID for using Booking.com over other travel agency providers. When you create an account, you get exclusive deals, and and participate in promotional bookings that give you money back! This app can book lodging, transport, and activities! I am beyond pleased with the app and normally book at hotels and resorts through this agency! You can use the following code through Oct 15th to get $25 reward to your booking account: https://www.booking.com/s/44_6/garye077 . Also, Booking.com is offering people the opportunity to list their place, so if you want to rent out your space, use this code to get a reward: https://join.booking.com/r/d/10d8597d?lang=en-gb&p=4! So many great opportunities to get money back and book amazing and inexpensive places on your trips!
Similar to Booking.com, Airbnb offers inexpensive prices for places to stay at and adventures to take! The app even offers the option of getting a host (super host) to accompany you on trips and offer suggestions on things to do! This is a go-to app for last-minute weekend trips! When in Costa Rica, I stayed in the nicest Airbnb in Rohrmoser for $25 a night, which included a private modern apartment, a hot tub, pool, gym, and balcony view of the city! This was my first time in an Airbnb as well, and since then I have booked numerous trips with it! For discounted prices on booking your next place, you can use the following link as well: https://www.airbnb.com/c/gabrielr12916?currency=USD
The Hostel World app is an honest lifesaver! When backpacking or doing last-minute trips, especially in Europe, this app can show you the nearest hostel and puts them in order of cheapest to most expensive! I have booked $5-a-night hostels that actually were amazing! I booked one of my favorite hostel chains, Selina, through Hostel World on my trip to Cartagena, Colombia and all throughout Costa Rica!
Compared to taxis, these apps save a ton of money in catching a ride to go to the nearest pub or grocery store! Uber fees are dramatically cheaper in South and Central America as compared to the US, so if you are going there, use the ride-share apps to save money!
WhatsApp is the best way to communicate with friends and family when traveling because it works on wifi and can save you tons of money in international fees! Also, once you leave the US, you will realize WhatsApp is a popular communication choice in the rest of the world, and you can get it whether you have an Android, iPhone, or another type of phone! This app is free and can save you over $200-$300 in international fees (based on a one to two-week comparison).
Overall, these apps have saved me over THOUSANDS of dollars! Everyone always asks me how I can afford to always travel, and the answer is these apps! I have never paid more than $500 for roundtrip airfare, and I have always kept lodging prices below the airfare rate by using these apps. I strongly suggest downloading them so you can start saving as holiday trips and weekend getaways are right around the corner! Good luck for your future travels and start saving!