From budgeting apps to flight hacking apps, these essential tools will help you to save money and stay ahead in your travels to become a savvy traveller!
Apps are invaluable tools in today’s age – from scoring the best travel deals to planning itineraries, it’s essential that you use the right apps for your travels. That’s why we’ve curated a list of popular and must-have travel apps that every traveller should download in 2020:
1. Skiplagged: “Hidden City” Flight Deals
Flight-scanning apps like Expedia, Skyscanner, and Momondo are great, but Skiplagged takes cheap flight deals to another level. On Skiplagged (iOS/Android), you can toggle a “Hidden City” option to show you flights where you get off at a layover rather than the final destination.
For example, you want to fly from New York to Los Angeles but the airfares are too expensive. However, when you toggle the “Hidden City” option, there’s actually a cheap flight from New York to Las Vegas with two layovers: New York -> North Carolina -> Los Angeles -> Las Vegas.
You proceed to purchase the flights and depart from New York, layover in North Carolina, fly to Los Angeles, and forfeit the flight to Las Vegas with zero penalty. Awesome, isn’t it?
Of course, there are caveats. It’s best to travel with carry-on luggage only, because:
- If your flights are with the same airline: Your luggage may end up at your final destination before you do. Also, if you skip one flight, the airline might cancel your other flights in the itinerary. You also risk getting blacklisted by the airline if you do this too often!
- If your flights are with different airlines: You run the risk of losing your luggage because of multiple check-ins.
If you’re savvy and travel light, this is a great travel hack to save money!
2. TripIt: Organise Your Itineraries
It’s annoying to keep track of itineraries in each destination, especially if you’re not a very organised person. That’s why TripIt (iOS/Android) helps to organise your itineraries into one, easy-to-navigate app.
- Send all your itineraries to a specified TripIt email.
- TripIt will receive that email and automatically sorts all your itineraries for you into one single itinerary.
- Save it to your calendar or send it to whoever you wish to inform.
If you look at the screenshots above, I actually uploaded an entire travel itinerary for my Australia trip in 2019 and I was surprised that I hadn’t found this sooner. No more saving PDFs or desperately trying to find a particular booking email!
3. HotelTonight: Insane Last-Minute Room Deals
Stranded in a foreign country without a place to stay? Hotels often have empty rooms and they’re constantly looking to boost their occupancy rates. That’s why HotelTonight (iOS/Android) is able to provide you with cheap, last-minute accommodation.
Plus, HotelTonight rewards you for booking rooms at the last minute. Look at this nearly half price deal on a 5-star hotel… It really pays to be late sometimes!
4. GlobeTips: Calculate Tips
We don’t have a tipping culture in Singapore, because our service charge is always added to the final bill with the exact amount. In other countries though, tipping is common.
Unlike Singapore, service staff in other countries are not paid hourly and tips make up most of their earnings. It can be quite a culture shock to some of us, and myself included.
Instead of stressing over the acceptable amount to tip, GlobeTips (iOS only) has a tipping calculator based on the country you’re in. What a lifesaver! You can even scan the receipt to retrieve the bill amount directly.
5. SplitWise: Calculate Bill Splits
I’ve never liked calculating bill splits – I operate on the mantra that I’ll pay for this outing’s bill and the other person pays for the next. But hey, in this current economy, we ought to keep track of our expenses better.
Enter SplitWise (iOS/Android), a magic app that automatically sorts and calculates how much you owe, after you key in the expenses between you and your travel pals. There’s even PayPal integration if your friends have an account too!
6. AirHelp: Check Your Rights to Claim
AirHelp (iOS/Android), as it’s aptly named, aims to help you with whatever travel inconvenience you face on your flight. Just enter your flight details, the nature of your disruption, and AirHelp will tell you if you’re eligible for compensation or not!
Traditionally, you’ll have to go through multiple forms, calls, emails, and waiting time with airlines and insurance companies. It’s almost as if they want to make the inconvenience even more inconvenient.
AirHelp eliminates all of that by showing you a clean and simple UI, with a process that’s easy to complete. Whether it’s delayed or lost luggage, flight delays, cancellations, boarding denials or even personal injuries as a result of the flight, AirHelp will be able to evaluate for you.
7. PackPoint: Smart Packing List
Packing is time consuming, especially for someone like me. I usually pack with a paper list at least two weeks in advance. Why the long buffer time? It’s because I tend to miss out some stuff, like forgetting to write ‘cotton pads’, despite having already written ‘toner’ on the list.
If you’re like me, you’ll want to say “paper is the way of the dodo” and use PackPoint (iOS/Android) once and for all. The minute you start up the app, it asks you if you’re male or female and that’s very important because men and women have wildly different packing lists!
After entering your destination and duration of the trip, PackPoint will show you the weather forecast so you’ll know what kind of clothes you’ll need to pack. It’ll also ask you what kind of activities you want to do and generate a packing list from that!
8. Roadtrippers: Road Trip Recommendations
If you’re bored of driving and want to use your legs a little, it even shows you a bunch of things to do, restaurants, and points of interests nearby!
9. Meetup: Meet Travel Pals
Travelling is special because you open up to new cultures, experiences, and conversations. One great way to do that is to meet like-minded people while travelling!
Meetup (iOS/Android), as its name implies, helps you meet locals and take part in activities organised by them! You can choose from a list of topics that interest you and Meetup will pull out a list of events and activities that you can sign up for and meet people at your location.
10. YouTrip: Pay in 150+ Currencies Worldwide with No Fees
What’s a travel app recommendation article without YouTrip? 🤭 For the uninitiated, YouTrip is a multi-currency mobile wallet that comes with a physical Mastercard. YouTrip (iOS/Android) allows you to pay in 150+ currencies worldwide with the best exchange rates. Best part? No fees. Ever.
Even when you’re not travelling, YouTrip helps you to save money too. I have a monthly World of Warcraft subscription that costs US$14.99. I used to pay around S$22 a month with my bank-issued debit card but now that I have the YouTrip card, I just pay a little over S$20. Just imagine how much you can save when everything adds up!
There’s also an in-built currency exchange feature which I use all the time. If I’m planning to travel to Australia next month and the exchange rates are looking good today, I can exchange the Singapore Dollars in my YouTrip wallet to Australian Dollars and store it in advance. Travel money will never be the same again.
Enjoy a travel experience with no fees worldwide!