Travelling is exciting, but it can be expensive, especially if you're out and about during peak, in-demand season. But the good news is, these four apps can help save you money by identifying the most cost-effective deals, help you get freebies, and even find a few unexpected treats.
OFX Money Transfer
Being in a different country means using a different currency. It also means you'll be exchanging your loonies & toonies for local cash frequently
If you're new to travelling internationally, exchanging Canadian money for local currency at the first exchange place you see will probably seem like a good idea. But many of these small currency exchange places - especially those in high-traffic tourist areas - charge additional high fees to complete the transaction.
To save money, download the OFX Money Transfer app. It's free to use and provides real-time rates for both Canadian and global currencies. Once you know what the current exchange rate is you can search for agencies, banks, and even shops, for the best exchange rate.
OFX Currency Converter also has a handy calculator feature that is great for helping you make price-tag comparisons when shopping.
WhatsApp is ideal for keeping in touch with friends and family at home without incurring expensive international data rates. This free app works over WiFi and allows you to message and call other WhatsApp users as much or as little as you like, without any additional charges
Facebook Messenger will also do this, but you have to be friends with the person you want to message. This can present an extra challenge: you may not always want the person your messaging to have access to your Facebook feed, especially if you need to touch base with work.
Skip the expensive tour packages and think of Google Maps as your personal tour guide, instead. It's a great way to get around and can help you decide when you really need to hire a taxi, rickshaw, or Uber versus when you can make the short walk yourself. Using Google Maps also has the added benefit of helping you blend into the local scenery a little better. You'll look more like you belong if you aren't struggling to refold a paper map.
Not sure where your next destination will be? Looking for the cheapest places to fly? Know your destination but want to know the most affordable dates to travel? Meet Skyscanner, your new best friend. This easy to use app makes decision-making a snap. Simply type in your desired destination and choose "Cheapest Month" for the date field. Skyscanner does the rest. It aggregates travel deals through third-party booking platforms; sorts through the results and displays the best available prices.
Looking for inexpensive places to fly? Select "Everywhere" in the "To" field, and Skyscanner lists global excursions that won't break the bank. You might end up travelling someplace you wouldn't previously have considered exploring.
Using a Travel Credit Card For Freebies and Upgrades
By using a travel rewards credit card, you'll build-up points that you can then use for discounts on airline bookings. You can also use credit card rewards for perks like free or fee-reduced car or truck rentals, room bookings, and accommodation upgrades. The best thing is you don't have to make special purchases - you'll pick up points every time you use the card on regular everyday items and payments.
Isn't there someplace you're dreaming of seeing? Find and compare the best Canadian travel credit cards with Rates.ca and start collecting rewards towards your dream vacation today.