How to save money on your travel adventure?
Staying on top of all your expenses while on the move can be a tough business. Not only is it hard to know exactly how much to budget when travelling somewhere you have never been before, once you have arrived back home it can be awkward trying to work out what was spent and where. Was that big outgoing the meal you had on the third night or the coat you bought the next afternoon? Did that fifth mojito really cost €15 or was that the round of beers you ordered just after? Did you get a good deal when you took money out of the cash machine or were you charged an excessive fee? All may have been clear at the time, however a few weeks later you realise you have suddenly forgotten all of your purchases, and find yourself $2000 worse off that you were at the start. Travel cost and planning platforms help travellers keep on top of their expenses, set budgets and track purchases, all from the convenience of a smartphone or desktop. Offering easy-to-use functions, aesthetic layouts and blogs featuring useful articles for staying abreast of your finances, you will never again be left wondering how cheap that beer in the middle of Barcelona was.
With this in mind, we have put together a complete list featuring a selection of the four most useful travel cost and planning platforms, from desktop sites to smartphone and tablet applications. Forget trying to work out what’s what on your bank statement following a trip, with this list you’ll be able to create budgets, keep track of expenses and plan for future travels. This list contains only the most genuine and helpful platforms for all things money-related that was put together by taking into account a range of factors to ensure that only the best were selected. Each one was thoroughly assessed, with each review containing a brief summary of the service, its highlights, what makes it unique and its potential drawbacks, while the pros and cons of each one are listed in an easy-to-read set of bullet points below each review. There are hundreds of platforms out there, all promising to offer help with traveler finances, however we’ve chosen only the top four that most suitably fit our criteria, considering a number of factors outlined below.
Which website to use to travel on a budget and save more?
As is the case with many of the sites and apps we review, user interface and how easy the platform is to navigate was an essential and primary part of the review process, regardless of the service being offered. A good, user-friendly interface with simple aesthetic is an obvious, yet usually underrated, aspect of many platforms, and something that can ultimately influence the entire experience for customers looking to manage their budgets and plan trips. While a platform may offer a vast array of options and added features, an overcrowded and confusing homepage can make using even the platform’s most simple functions difficult to do. Frequently, the best platforms are those with a simple, minimalistic aesthetic that make no attempt to over complicate the service offered by adding too many added features, while they also seem to be the ones with the quickest loading speeds. Those that have an abundance of pop-up adverts and promotions can also make searching for information a more stressful experience than it ought to be. Therefore, we made sure that when reviewing the various traveler finances platforms, we considered the overall usability and how easy it was to find what you were looking for before going on to assess any other factors.
Unless you are from an EU country travelling within the EU, data roaming charges when away will inevitably become a concern for those keeping a close eye on their budget, as they have the potential quickly add up and become considerably expensive. This means that any mobile application or website that requires internet connection to function becomes largely defunct when on the move, while waiting to gain access to free Wi-Fi can be awkward when travelling somewhere more remote than a city. Therefore, those platforms that offer the ability to download their content so that it can be accessed in an offline mode are infinitely useful to travellers and ultimately come out on top of those that require continual connection. Not only do they save on data roaming charges, they also preserve your phone battery, as using 3G use quickly drains it when activated. Tripcoin is an example of a budgeting app that allows its users to continue accessing all its content with or without internet. This means that if you find yourself needing to track certain expenses, yet cannot get to a good connection, you won’t have a problem. For that reason, we tried to ensure that the platforms we included in the list offered the ability to download its content for offline use.
Another feature that was worth considering when reviewing the platforms was whether the travel cost and planning services offered a blog. Blogs can be great resources for providing useful articles on money-related topics, from destination guides to general tips for budget-conscious travellers. ‘Budget Your Trip’ is a good example of a platform that provides a blog full of helpful articles on how to track and manage your budget when travelling, be it to Berlin or Bangkok. They offer useful tips, suggestions for making savings, and other great advice for making you into a more savvy traveller, regardless of whether you’re on a huge budget or counting every penning. Splitwise, meanwhile, provide a feedback and helpdesk section that also offers useful articles on a whole host of related topics, divided up into categories to help you quickly find what you’re looking for. Therefore, when reviewing the various traveler finances platforms, we ensured that we assessed the presence of a blog as this would make the service more comprehensive.
Lastly, we looked at whether the platforms had in place an email notification system to alert their customers on updates in their budget situations. Alerts sent straight to your inbox can be a great feature as they mean you are consistently up to date, regardless of whether you remember to open the app or visit the website to check. Splitwise, again, is an example of a platform that has precisely this feature in place. The platform will send a notification directly to your inbox if you are overdue on paying someone back, helping you keep on top of all your IOUs while away and avoiding any embarrassing encounters later on down the line. Email notifications that alert you as to any suspicious behaviour or to tell you that you are going over budget can also be essential tools. Clearly, this is a very useful and simple feature to have included, yet can end up saving users time and trouble, as well as money, meaning they were factored into our review process when compiling the list.
Overall, this list provides a selection of the four most useful travel cost and planning platforms, painstakingly chosen from hundreds of similar services. Keeping on top of your budget while away is not an easy task, however it can be made significantly simpler by these various services that can be downloaded and kept within arms reach via smartphone applications. Track expenses, work out budgets, plan trips, discover city guides and more, all by simply referring to this carefully curated list, narrowed down for your convenience. We have taken into account the aforementioned factors to provide you with only the most genuine and useful platforms for all money-related matters, meaning you won’t have to worry about going over budget ever again.