Here is a list of definite apps to use when traveling with friends. I have a group of girlfriends that I (used to pre-baby) travel everywhere with. Some of the places we went to include Nepal, Tibet, Argentina, Uruguay, Tanzania, Bolivia, and of course wine country trips to BC’s Interior.
There have been some apps that we use over the years to make sure things go smoothly (as smoothly as they can when you are travelling with 3-5 other people). It was difficult paying back each other or keeping track of who paid for what and how to divide it up. Thanks to the invention of smartphones this has gotten infinitely easier (being personal finance geeky, I was the one who usually kept track of purchases on the app).
There are other things that helped with group travel too including Google Maps (the days of arguing over directions are over) and XE Currency (good to know if you’re getting shafted for your US Dollars at the Airport or not).
Here are 5 apps to use when travelling with friends (to make it more stress and drama-free!):
Pay Back App
The PayBack App is one of my favourite travel (or any group activity that involves paying for things) apps. I’m sure there are other similar apps out there (I think a popular one is called Splittr) but this one does the trick for me and has done so for over 5 years. You can create a trip name and then change the currency (there can be multiple currencies used and I believe you can set the currency exchange rate).
Then you can add the expenses and who paid for what. My friends sometimes add expenses not related to the trip (like oh, you still owe me $15 for lunch the other day) and you can add that on to the PayBack App but just include the two people involved instead of the whole group.
The math that this app does is amazing and I have checked the math out and it works!
Just trust the
process PayBack app.
After you input all your expenses, you just press “It’s PayBack Time!” and then it magically tells you who owes who what in the summary. And then you can click another button to have the list emailed to everyone in the group so that they can do their own math in case they don’t trust you and the PayBack app.
It is free on Apple store.
It’s one of my favourite apps to use when traveling with friends.
Not only do I use these apps to use when traveling with friends, I use this app at home too. This is another app that I have been using for years and I love it.
Related: Best US dollar accounts in Canada
It is my go-to app to check how much conversion is since Lonely Planet books sometimes can be outdated with the current currency conversion if you have an edition from a few years ago. If you use your friend as a currency exchange (you know, if your friend is more organized than you and manages to have extra Bolivianos because you blew it on an impulse buy of five alpaca mittens and blankets in different patterns), you can either use the XE currency (which is often the best rate) or the rate that you find at the local money exchange booth.
That way you don’t have to have ‘beef’ about getting a bad rate from your friend or feeling guilty about giving them a bad rate.
You can download it for both Apple and Android from their website for free. There’s a paid version too but I stick to the free version.
Related: CIBC AC Conversion Card Review
For Google Translate, you can get text translations in 59 languages without having to use an Internet connection. This is helpful when you are trying to ask for where the bathroom is or where the local money exchange is, or even when you are trying to haggle for pricing on your five alpaca wool blankets and mittens (best to look up how to say “can I have this for less” before you haggle).
One time I greeted someone “Merry Christmas” in Spanish (Feliz Navidad) when I meant to say “Happy Birthday” (Feliz Cumpleaños) having this to remind me would have made it a little less embarrassing.
You can download this for free on the Apple iTunes store too.
One of the most important apps to use when traveling with friends. I don’t know what life was like before Google Maps. I rely on it so much that sometimes, if I don’t have Google Maps programmed and don’t hear the robotic female voice directing where I should go when driving, I often just go straight, or miss my turn. This happens embarrassingly enough, on many occasions.
For travelling, Google Maps is essential especially if you are driving (on a road trip) and need to get from destination to destination or even if you are doing a walkabout of the city and need to get from one place to another without getting lost.
That being said, Google Maps did direct my husband and me to shady sewage pathway behind a barbed wire fence with chain link fence strewn on the ground on our recent trip to Mexico when we were trying to get to the mall.
You need wifi or Internet to initially program the directions and after that, you don’t need it to continue with the directions. Which is helpful if you’re in a different country and don’t have a roaming package or data while travelling. It can be downloaded on the iTunes store for free.
Sit or Squat
Now lets go to essential apps to use when traveling with friends. This is important for a girl’s trip. Bathrooms are important. Clean bathrooms are also very important so this app gives you ratings on whether the bathroom is clean or you need to squat (lol). Of course, this is app brought to you by Proctor and Gamble and it is a free download from the iTunes store. There are select locations outside of the US that you can use this app in. I have a friend that often needs to use the bathroom she swears by this app since sometimes she has to go at inopportune times or locations while travelling.
Safe journey, bon voyage!
If you’re looking for other apps to download to get ahead, check out my list of 7 best personal finance apps in Canada.
You may also be interested in:
Readers, what are your favourite apps or websites to use for group travel?
GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for blog updates, a free dividend yield spreadsheet, and the free Young Money Bootcamp eCourse.
8 thoughts on “5 Must-Use Apps when Travelling with Friends”
Interesting post. But the real question is which one of those bikini clad young ladies on the pier is you? Tom
@Tom- I could have sworn that one of those ladies was Mrs. DD celebrating the summer, which means no snow shovelling! 🙂
It feels so much easier to have these apps handy when your traveling in a group these days. When I was traveling with friends, we only had flip phones and blackberries and thought that was enough. I use Venmo for exchanging money with friends and family and that would definitely help to have the next time I travel in a group.
Really like the Google translator and currency app, a definite must when traveling abroad.
Lol on the bathroom app! Didn’t think their was app on locating bathrooms and ratings on them. When you gotta go, you want to go one that’s clean.
@Kris- Definitely! My absolute fave is the payback app. I haven’t heard of Venmo or used it.
I feel ancient! I didn’t know anything about any of these Apps. Wonder if I could go back and get money from my kids for our Mexico trip…lol.
@Caroline- haha! That’s why it’s called travelling with friends. Travelling with family = all expenses paid! 🙂
Google maps is great for travelling, especially now that you can download sections of the map for offline use.
We did that during our trip in Portugal. When we had wifi we would download new sections and also save interesting stuff to see. The GPS still works even without data so we always knew exactly where we were, even in those crazy winding streets in Lisbon!
@Owen- Yeah, I love Google Maps for offline use, it is great. It still can be stressful not having data though especially if you are driving and relying on google maps to get you to the destination.