Travel Apps are essential when backpacking on any budget. I couldn’t have survived my 5 months backpacking around Southeast Asia without some of these Travel Apps. They certainly made life on the road much easier and stress free.
Without further ado, let me introduce you to my favourite 10 Travel Apps that I used religiously.
Hopper was one of the first travel apps that I used. It was absolutely great before I booked my first flight into Bangkok for the start of my travels. I used it to save a few different flight options from UK airports to airports all over Southeast Asia. What’s spectacular about Hopper is that it gives advice on whether you should book the flight now, or if there might be a better price within a few weeks/months. This is what sets Hopper apart from other Flight Booking Apps. It shows you the cheapest days to fly on and what the price is likely to drop to in coming weeks. This made it perfect for me to get the best budget option for my flight out to Southeast Asia and I would strongly recommend using it to get the best deals.
Booking.com is fantastic for any type of accommodation and it definitely has the largest catalogue. Whether you’re looking for a hostel, tent on the beach, luxury hotel or boutique hotel, Booking.com has got you covered. The app is really easy to use and allows you to see on a map exactly where the accommodation is if you’re looking for a specific location. Furthermore it’s super easy to book accommodation and you can even add the hotel and location to your calendar app seamlessly. Sounds good doesn’t it? Any backpacker or traveller 100% needs this app to survive life on the road.
Agoda was my most used App for booking accommodation whilst backpacking. Of all the accommodation Travel Apps that I had on my phone, Agoda always came back the cheapest and was therefore the most convenient to use. What is also great, is the fact that the more you use the app, the more often you receive deals and money off bookings. I did have one mishap with Agoda which really stressed me out. However, in Agoda’s defence they were very apologetic and offered me some money back to make future bookings. This did encourage me to continue using the app and restored my faith in using Agoda. Especially considering it was always the cheapest. If you have found a hotel or hostel that you like, I would definitely recommend searching for it on Agoda as 9 times out of 10 it will be cheaper.
I can’t tell you what a difference this App made to my travel experience. I was actually recommended this Travel App by a number of people and I don’t know how people can travel without it. Basically, Maps.me allows you to pre download maps for different countries/regions that you can then access offline without using any mobile data. It shows up popular tourist spots, beaches, road names, hotels and much more. If you have this app, you will never ever get lost and I can guarantee you will see much more for using it. If you’re feeling brave enough to rent a car or motorbike whilst traveling then you can also use this app as a satnav. Maps.me took me to many exciting places and traveling wouldn’t have been as straight forward without it. It’s also useful to use when using taxi’s to make sure they’re going the right way and not trying to rip you off by taking you the long way round (it happens believe me).
For the entire of my 5 months backpacking around Southeast Asia I budgeted everything that I spent. This included accommodation, meals, tips, travel, gifts, clothes, drinks and all the rest of it. The app is great because you can set a daily budget and make sure that you stick to it by reviewing your progress. It’s also really useful to see what areas you are spending the most money
Skyscanner is the best of the flight Travel Apps because I believe it covers the most airlines. It also has a great option called ‘explore’. This allows you to explore flights all over the world or in one specific country and find the cheapest flights. For example when we were in Indonesia we wanted to know the cheapest way to fly back to the UK and sky scanner showed us that the cheapest flights were from Kuala Lumpur.
Air Asia has some of the cheapest internal flights on the market. That’s what made Air Asia one of our most popular Travel Apps. We used domestic flights whilst in Thailand and Indonesia which made it easier to island hop. Some of Air Asia’s flights are ridiculously cheap, especially if you only have carry on luggage, otherwise there is a small fee to be added for checking in luggage.
Air BnB is a great app if you want to rent something nice but affordable. It’s also fantastic if you want to book somewhere as a group since you can rent entire houses, apartments, holiday homes etc at a very fair price. Although air BnB wasn’t one of our most regularly used apps it’s perfect for big cities such as Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur since many business owners have apartments and rooms their, available to rent. I would advise booking in advance if you are using Air BnB, since for some accommodation you need to message the owners to check eligibility and availability. This doesn’t make it the best last minute accommodation app however you should definitely consider having a look at it.
Grab & Uber
I am putting these two apps under the same heading because as far as Travel Apps go they are pretty much the same. Both Grab & Uber are super reasonable taxi services and they saved our lives many times, more specifically in Indonesia and Malaysia. Almost all hotels and hostels have wifi so if you are planning a trip out, this makes it really easy to order a taxi from the comfort of your hotel room whilst you’re getting ready. We used Grab many times for airport runs and as an alternative to public transport. The best part is that they both have ridiculously good offers that make your fare unbeatable in price. Sometimes we paid pence for a ride due to a good discount.
- Make sure you compare prices between the two because they can vary, especially at peak times.
- If the price is too expensive, kill a bit of time until traffic calms down and try again. You won’t believe the difference 5/10 minutes can make to the cost.
- Always check for discount codes and offers
- If you are using Agoda to book accommodation then you MUST link your Agoda account to Grab, because you get some fantastic discounts.
That completes my 10 Essential Travel Apps for iPhone. There are plenty of suitable apps out there for backpackers but these are the ones that were most helpful for me. I hope they’re helpful for you too.
Let me know where you are travelling to next in the comments.
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