These are ten of the best travel websites and apps for backpackers and budget travellers that you may want to look at before heading off on your next adventure. While by no means an exhaustive list, these tools will help you do everything from locate the cheapest flights and beds to keep you informed on the ever changing Covid-19 travel restrictions across the world.
10 of the best Travel Websites & Apps for Backpackers and Budget Travellers
The best of the flight comparison websites, it searches almost every major airline and travel site to find the cheapest fares. It’s great for quickly finding the cheapest way to get from A to B but also excellent if you haven’t got a set destination in mind. Search “New York to anywhere in March” and it’ll let you know where you can get to and for how much – an excellent tool for flexible travellers hoping to locate dirt cheap flights.
Use the Worldpackers website or app to find volunteering or work placements on the road in exchange for free accommodation, food and hopefully great experiences. There are thousands of opportunities around the world and it’s a fun way to travel whilst gaining new skills, meeting new people and spending less money. Use the promocode ‘MYFUNKYTRAVELWP’ for a sign-up discount.
While increasingly you can book hostels on more regular hotel booking sites and apps these days, if it’s a hostel you’re after, Hostelworld is generally still your best port of call. It has beds that can be booked in virtually every country in the world and literally hundreds of different options in some of the most popular destinations. You can easily read the reviews and ratings to get a feel for what the best choice may be.
Worldee is a great new way to document your travels and get inspired by the adventures of other travellers. It works as an online travel diary where you can upload photos, tag them to locations and preserve your travel experiences in a more authentic way. You can also browse through the itineraries of others as you plan your next trip or the next stage of your journey. You can download the Worldee App via the Apple Appstore or Google Play.
Whether you’re looking for somewhere to stay, a place to eat or something to do, TripAdvisor is still the place to go if you’re seeking a bit of inspiration. You can quickly find the most popular activities, restaurants and bars in any given location and set about making plans for the day or evening ahead.
Kayak’s website is another where you can find some useful tools for locating good deals on flights, trains and car rentals but right now its most useful feature is the travel restrictions map. With a few clicks you can enter where you are from and find out which countries you can enter without restrictions, which ones require tests or quarantine periods and which ones are not currently letting people of your nationality in. You should always double check through the official government channels but it’s a very useful first port of call for planning a trip during the age of Covid-19.
These days, Google Maps is perhaps the ultimate travel app for backpackers. It will help you to find that hostel, bar or beach you are trying to get to (download city/regional maps in advance if you won’t have data in the country you’re visiting). In the space of a decade, it has become the essential app for anyone trying to get around in a new place. Google Maps is also a great way to research budget restaurants, bars, museums and more in your vicinity with their review system quite easy to navigate.
You don’t have to be a train geek to appreciate Seat61, although it probably helps. If there’s a trainline recently opened in Uzbekistan, then the man in seat 61 will probably know about it. The site features extensive information on train travel all over the world and tips on getting rail passes and tickets. There are also useful pictures and reports from long distance train journeys that give you an insight into how exactly you will end up travelling. Did you know how to travel from London to Singapore by train? Well you do now, thank you man in seat 61!
Airbnb is another travel company that has just grown and grown over the past ten years or so to become one of the go-to apps for anyone booking accommodation. The concept of booking a room in somebody’s home would have seemed pretty strange to many people as recently as the 2000’s but millions more people have their first Airbnb experience each year and it’s also an easy way to book entire properties.
Wwoofing! This has become something of a phenomenon with some travellers and many people use the site to explore our planet on limited funds. It’s essentially a network offering volunteering opportunities on organic farms all over the world. In return for your help, you get accommodation and food, as well as a chance to learn about organic farming.
This article was last updated in August 2021