Man pointing to phone with the best travel planning apps

The Best Travel Planning Apps You Should Know About in 2024

29 Aug, 2023

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Eva Mitchell

When you first start planning long-term travel, it can be confusing to know which travel apps and websites are reliable, trustworthy, easy to use and are offering fair prices. There are a ton of travel apps and websites out there to use but not all of them are created equal.

With a lot of research and some trial and error, I have compiled a list of the essential travel planning apps and websites that we have found extremely useful and easy to use for planning our travels around Europe in 2023. 

Disclaimer: This post contains links to our preferred travel products and services. When you purchase through these links, your purchases can generate a small profit for us, without any added cost to you. This helps us to continue offering top-notch travel advice and savvy savings tips on how you can make cents of travel. Rest assured, we only share links to products and services that we personally love to use.


Essential Travel Planning Apps and Website: Accommodation

We love! is hands down our preferred accommodation booking platform. The booking process is straightforward and easy whether you are booking via the mobile app or website. You will find honest reviews from other travellers that are extremely helpful when deciding on the best place to book for the night. Bookings are easy to keep a track of on the app. also offers a loyalty program that rewards you with free upgrades and up to 20% off bookings when you reach silver level. When you are travelling for a year, it is likely you will reach silver level quickly, we managed to gain silver level within the first month of bookings. 

Here's a tip:

You can receive a further discount on reservations around the world through an app called Shopback if you are an Australian resident. Shopback is offering up to 9% off reservations made when you click through the Shopback app to before you confirm your accommodation. We have saved hundreds of dollars by using Shopback. is easily the best travel planning app we use to book accommodation and should be at the top of your list to download right now!

Qantas Hotels

If you have a Qantas frequent flyer membership (which is totally free with most points credit card sign up deals in Australia), then Qantas hotels is another accommodation platform worth checking out. Occasionally, Qantas hotels will have incredible deals on accommodation that you will not want to miss. The website is easy to use and there is the possibility to pay with Qantas frequent flyer points if you wish. In my experience, when I have booked accommodation with Qantas hotels, I often find that they will email a discount code for my next accommodation booking. 


How to Book Cheap Flights to Europe using Qantas Points in 2023


Airbnb has had a questionable reputation over the years and unfortunately we have been one of the lucky people to have negative experiences with Airbnb during our travels around Europe. We don’t usually book through Airbnb often as the hassles that can come with it often outweigh the money you may save. At times when we can’t find other suitable accommodation on our usual go-to accommodation websites, we will investigate available options on Airbnb. This tends to be when we need an apartment style accommodation with a washing machine and kitchen to catch up on our life admin tasks, or when there is little option for usual hotels such as the time when we were staying in Vernazza on the Cinque Terre.

Bonus: book your Airbnb via Qantas at no extra cost and you will earn Qantas points for your stay.

 AMEX Travel and Accor Hotels

These two websites are great options for booking accommodation if you have an AMEX credit card. We ordered the AMEX Platinum Card giving us access to some great deals on both websites. 

Trusted Housesitters

Many of you who plan to travel for one whole year will likely have a budget that requires compromises here and there. We have found house sitting via Trusted Housesitters to be a great way to meet new people and adorable pets from all around the world while staying in gorgeous local homes rent free. If you are an animal lover, I would highly recommend signing up to Trusted House Sitters.


How to Write a Standout Trusted Housesitters Profile

 to secure your first house sit in no time!

Essential Travel Planning Apps and Websites: Transport


Skyscanner is the first website I look at when booking flights. It is easy to navigate and great for researching what airlines fly specific routes. You can get a reasonably accurate idea of cheap flight routes. Keep in mind that the prices shown on skyscanner usually exclude baggage costs on budget airlines. Once I find a potential flight option on Skyscanner, I will then check the baggage price on the official airline website. I would always suggest booking directly with the airline as opposed to Skyscanner because on the off chance if something goes wrong, you don’t want to have to deal with the airline via a third company. 


Is trustworthy? Yes! Omio is my favourite website to book regional and international trains around Europe. Omio has an easy-to-use app so you can keep track of the train tickets you have booked. The Omio app and website is published in English, the booking process is straight-forward and they usually have comparable prices to the local train websites, which collectively make Omio one of the best travel apps you should have downloaded. 

If you can’t find a train route on Omio within a country but it is coming up on google maps, it is likely to be a local train. Most local trains will have tickets available to purchase at the station as opposed to online. 

Omio does show a handful of bus and flight routes however, I generally prefer to book these through alternative websites as Omio only displays limited route options that are usually more expensive than what is available on alternative websites. 

Book your next train trip through Europe at is another fantastic website I use to compare modes of transport available and gain a rough idea of prices. I find to be a fantastic starting point for figuring out what transport options are available and will fit into our budget. Similarly to Skyscanner, we only use as an investigative tool and usually book directly through the companies we find on

Start planning your trip with

couple running in Sahara Desert


Flixbus is my go-to travel planning app for booking buses around Europe. We have used Flixbus multiple times through Italy, Turkey and Eastern Europe and have found every journey quick and comfortable. Most Flixbuses have aircon, WIFI, a toilet, baggage storage under the bus and comfy seats.

There is a helpful Flixbus app you can download to keep a track of your bookings. Another useful feature on the Flixbus app is access to live updates on the whereabouts of your bus. This feature allows you to see exactly where your bus is, if it’s running late and updates you on your location as you get closer to your destination. Flixbus is 100% the best travel planning app to use for booking buses regionally and internationally around Europe. 

Book your next bus ride at


Ferryhopper is the easiest way to book ferries in Europe. We used Ferryhopper for all of our ferry bookings around the Greek Islands. The website makes it simple to compare prices and times of the different ferries available. On the day of your ferry trip, you can track where the ferry is and if it is going to arrive on time by using the live update feature on the Ferryhopper app. For peace of mind you can also check the location of your ferry using the marine tracker website, all you need to do is enter the name of the ferry which will be written on your Ferryhopper booking. 

Set sail on your European ferry adventure with Ferryhopper.


Italy’s main train transport provider is Trenitalia. You can book your train tickets directly through Trenitalia instead of secondary apps such as Omio. I booked the odd train ticket directly through Trenitalia’s website however I find so much easier to book with and track my bookings. I have also had issues with Trenitalia’s website not loading results and not translating the information into English. 

There is the option to purchase Trenitalia train tickets at the many ticket machines located in the train terminals. We did this a few times around Italy for shorter train rides like when we trained from Bari to Ostuni however, I would always recommend booking longer train rides in advance to ensure seat availability.

Book your train tickets at

AMEX Travel

If you have an AMEX credit card, AMEX Travel is another great option you can use to book accommodation or flights. AMEX travel has a reasonable range of accommodation options available and the best part is that you will accumulate AMEX points for each booking. Most AMEX credit cards will come with travel credit that you can redeem by booking through AMEX travel. We used our $450 travel credit to book flights between Greece and Turkey. 

Check out AMEX Travel here.

Here's a tip:

We applied for an AMEX Platinum Credit Card in Australia before we left on our world-wide journey as part of our points hacking plan. Points hacking has saved us $1000's on flights during our year of travel. Check out our 'Complete Guide To Start Point Hacking in Australia 2023' to find out how you too can earn points to travel cheaply! 

A couple standing in front of a hire car at a beach in Europe


Sometimes you will need a car to access more remote corners of the world or areas that lack public transport links. Everyone knows you can rent a car through a dodgy car rental agency that costs a fortune BUT did you know there is an alternative? Amovens is a car sharing app that can be used across many countries in Europe.

Instead of renting a car from a company, you privately rent a car via the Amovens app from a local. And the best part is that it is generally a whole lot cheaper than rental car companies. We used Amovens in Austria for a day trip out to Halstatt and again in Spain for our two and a half week house sit. Many cars are pet-friendly which has been useful for us when we house sit dogs and the insurance excess can be reduced to $0.

Don’t let the ridiculous price of rental cars prevent you from exploring those hard to reach places, just sign up for Amovens


Essential Travel Planning Apps and Websites: Activities


Tim and I have joined Guruwalk tours through Florence, Rome, Naples and Budapest and have absolutely loved every single tour we have taken so far with Guruwalk. Guruwalk is the best travel planning app for free walking tours around Europe and has hundreds to choose from depending on what you would like to learn. Even though the tours are advertised as ‘free’, you are expected to tip your tour guide a minimum of 10 euro per person, which is fantastic value considering the effort and top-notch information they provide during their tours. 

A walking tour is the perfect activity to do on your first day in a location to help you get your bearings in a new city and to better understand the area. Most tour guides will offer multiple recommendations of places to eat (that are not tourist traps), must-sees and things to do in the local area at the end of each tour. We have found these recommendations invaluable in making our experience in each city so much richer.

My favourite local recommendation that a Guruwalk tour guide provided us with was to grab a coffee at Oblate Cafeteria in Florence. This lesser-known café within a library cafeteria serves up an unforgettable view of the iconic Florence Cathedral without the overpriced drinks that usually accompany such a location. 


GetYourGuide is packed full of fun activities for all budgets. We have found booking activities through GetYourGuide to be straight-forward, with clear communication regarding the logistics of the activities. GetYourGuide has such an extensive range of activities available world-wide. 

Check out the full range of GetYourGuide activities here.


Best Travel Planning Apps and Websites: Luggage Storage

Radical Storage

Don’t let your luggage hold you back and stop you from experiencing a location to the fullest. Download Radical Storage, it is a luggage storage app that has come in super handy for us at such an affordable price. You may be wondering how exactly does radical storage work?

Well, essentially a bunch of businesses around the world who have an available lockable space sign up to the Radical Storage App to offer the space for you to store your luggage for a small charge. These businesses range from shops, hotels, restaurants and more. When you want to book in a baggage storage location, you can access the Radical Storage app and book any of these businesses, there are reviews for your reference and open hours of each business. Most bookings through Radical storage charge roughly 5 euros per bag per day.  

Learn from Us:

Radical storage has allowed us to do things we otherwise may not have been able to as easily. For example, we left our big bags in Florence while we cycled through the Tuscan Hills with our essentials only. In Pisa, Italy, we briefly stopped to explore the iconic Leaning Tower, opting to wander around hands-free thanks to Radical Storage, before resuming our train journey. Using Radical Storage meant we were able to leave our bags near the train station, see everything we wanted to see, then pick up our bags a few hours later before moving onto our final destination.

There are other luggage storage drop offs around Europe however I prefer Radical Storage because it gives me peace of mind to be able to prebook our luggage storage, preventing any time wasting when we arrive at our destination. I also appreciate that Radical Storage charge per item, no matter the size, which suits us well as usually we have two large suitcases that would otherwise not fit in other restricted luggage storage lockers. 

Best Travel Planning Apps and Websites: Online Security

Surfshark VPN

I can’t stress how important it is to install a VPN before you travel! A VPN will ensure you are connected to safe Wi-Fi networks, protecting your information from hackers and scammers that are lurking in the world wide web. When you travel the world, it’s likely you will find yourself constantly utilising free Wi-Fi networks so it’s best to be safe than sorry. Surfshark VPN is the only VPN to offer a flat service charge for as many devices as you like, which is great for us as we have Surfshark installed on 4 devices between us. 

Find out more about Surfshark here.

Best Travel Planning Apps and Websites: Currency Converter

XE Currency Converter

XE currency converter is the most accurate, up-to-date currency converter you can use. Just download the app on your phone so you can quickly check the price of anything travel related. The XE currency converter app is great for both planning your travels and while you are on the road.

Bonus: you can access the app without an internet connection. 

This simple list of the best travel planning apps and websites is what I wish was available to us before we started planning our year of travel. I have only included travel apps and websites that we have experience using during our travels and that we have found to be the most trustworthy, reliable and easy to use, making our lives on the road stress-free. 


3 Simple Steps to Start Planning One Year of Travel

Feel free to drop a comment below if you found this list useful or if you have any questions about how any of the best travel planning apps and websites work? We would love to hear from you! 

Safe Travels 😊

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A word from the authors

Eva and Tim are the creators behind this world-class travel finance blog.

In 2021 they decided to travel the world for an entire year and begun implementing savings strategies to achieve their goal of long-term travel. By May 2023, they quit their jobs to embark on their year-long adventure, sharing their invaluable practical and achievable savings, planning and travel tips they learnt along the way/with the aim to help others Make Cents of Travel.

You can find Eva & Tim on Tiktok, Facebook and Instagram as Make Cents of Travel.

About Us

Hello, Hola, Ciao! We are Tim & Eva, a couple of kiwis who have spent the last few years saving for and planning our epic year-long adventure around the world. Our goal is to inspire fellow wanderlust souls (just like you!) to Make Cents Of Travel by sharing our experiences and strategies we used to turn our dream of long-term travel into a reality.


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