top apps for saving cash when you travel

Top Apps for saving money when you travel

Do you go into a flat spin when, on holiday, you have no idea as to whether your smart phone or tablet is linked into the local free local wifi or you are using your expensive (and often limited) data roaming capacity?  After some research, we have come up with some fantastic apps (well, we found a great article by Donna Ferguson from The Times (London)Ten of the best apps for saving cash when you travel – and have recreated it below with our own comments (of course!)…  Note, as mentioned, this is London/UK centric but there are certainly some great tips here.


This works just like a real sat-nav, providing you with voice-guided navigation all over the world. If you connect to the internet, it will optimise your route to avoid traffic, but it also works offline, using GPS, meaning you won’t have to pay roaming charges.

We have used this app very successfully!  Comparable to our Tom Tom purchase.  We also use Google Maps but that is limited as it only runs when you are connected to the internet.

Wifi Map

This enables you to find public places nearby offering free wifi and even shows you the passwords.  you can read user reviews on the quality of the wifi and local amenities.  Upgarde to the “pro” version of GBP3.99 to get offline maps with GPS

(Am not sure if they have this in Australia, but that would be very cool!)


Allows you to search for discounts on local tours and attractions in a wide range of locations.  The app also lists official prices and tour schedules, giving a detailed overview of each along with user reviews.

For frequent holiday makers, sign up to the Viator newsletter for specials and deals which will allow you to save even more on your tours and holiday adventures.

XE Currency

Convert any world currency using live mid-market currency rates, so that you can see whether you’re getting ripped off when you exchange money at the airport.  You can also use the handy calculator on the app, which has achieved and impressive five-star rating from users on iTunes, to convert any price in any currency into AUD and vice versa.

Great app for our international travellers.

Onavo Extend

Dreading a huge phone bill due to data roaming charges? This highly rated app will save you money.  It runs continuously in the background, reducing the amount of data you download on to your phone from cellular networks by compressing images and text while you are browsing.  This means you’ll get leaner, faster version of the internet that consumes less data.

This app sounds awesome and I am definitely going to try it.


This popular app enables you to avoid paying through the nose to send and receive text and photo messages while overseas. Instead of incurring charges from your mobile phone provider you can use WhatssApp to exchange text messages, photos, voice messages and videos over the internet with other WhatsApp users.  Make sure the people you want to keep in touch with have also downloaded the app.

We find this app SO much better than its rival, Messenger (through Facebook).  Many people don’t want to go through the rigmarole of signing up to Facebook so this is a much simpler way and is excellent, particularly for group conversations.  Very easy to use and I would highly recommend this one.  Love it!


Forgot to pack that must read novel?  Download the Kindle app and you can download e-books, newspapers and magazines from Amazon and read them on your device.  Go to “Bestsellers in Kindle eBooks” and click on the “Top 100 free” tab to find popular free eBooks on Amazon or download free classics from Project Gutenburg.

Who knew?  Another one for a quiet day relaxing in one of the many places for reading at La Maison Pacifique.   The hanging chair is luring me closer….  (although another favourite spot is the replica le Corbussier lounger in the main bedroom)…

BBC iPlayer and iPlayer Radio

Why pay for a film or an audiobook when you can download one from the BBC for free, before you leave the UK?  There are two separate iplayer apps – one for TV and one for radio – which allows you to legally download BBC programmes and podcasts, and keep them on your device for up to 30 days.  You can also download films and audiobooks.

OK, so this one is UK-centric but it would be worth looking into whether a similar capacity is available in Australia.  I’ll leave that one to you to investigate, but feel free to update me on what you find!


A cheap, effective way to stay in touch with loved ones back home, this app enables you to make free video and voice calls using an internet connection.

I find this is excellent when travelling abroad as you can also make international calls at a MUCH lower cost than using your mobile phone or any other phone connection.  Brilliant app.

Oh – and don’t forget that the Northern Rivers/Tweed Coast area of NSW is the perfect location for your holiday – be it you are a local or visiting from afar…

….Have we convinced you yet that your Casuarina NSW holiday could be your best ever at any time of the year?  All you have to do now is book!  Northern Rivers area NSW (including Kingscliff, Casuarina, Pottsville and Cabarita Beach) is the perfect spot – and its location is ideal – 1/2 way between the Gold Coast and Byron BayPatrolled beaches line the coast.  We even have CarlaLisa, Pete and Spida’s top tips on things to do in Kingscliff! You can even book a picnic or high tea with Teaspoon High Tea Events!  Check out our blog and news, location and attractions and what’s on and markets for more great tips and things to do on your Northern Rivers holidays!

Happy holidays – dream about what is possible; believe you can do it; make the most of your leave; plan, book and enjoy your holiday; then dream about where you will go next!  It is your turn!

Would you like to book or find out more about us?

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Until next time – enjoy your day wherever you are from La Maison Pacifique “The Peaceful House” and your boutique designer luxury holiday home vacation rental in Casuarina, New South Wales, Australia – half way between the Gold Coast QLD and Byron Bay NSW, Australia.

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Di Hendy
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