For travelers and digital nomads who frequently move between countries, currency changes can be confusing at the best of times. Between hundreds of US dollars, thousands of Japanese yen and millions of Vietnamese dong (and that’s just one example), keeping track of your spending poses a potential challenge, even for the most financially fit voyager.
To make things easier, we’ve compiled five of the best travel expense trackers who aren’t keen on doing the mental gymnastics that come with manually converting each and every travel expense.
Trail Wallet was conceived by full-time travelers Simon Fairbairn and Erin McNeaney as a way to ease their travel budgeting woes. It scores highly amongst users for its succinct interface and ease of use. You can see everything you need to know about your travel budgets on one detailed summary screen while inputting your expenses is a cinch.
As with most trackers, you can add costs to various pre-existing categories, or add your own. Conversions from any one of the 200-odd currencies listed on the app are dead-on accurate, as rates are updated whenever you’re connected. Getting started is as simple as setting a budget for your trip (you can choose from a daily limit or a ‘trip’ limit) and entering your expenses.
Although you’ll likely need to shell out the $4.99 for this app (you only get 25 free entries), it’s well worth the price if you’re looking for an easy way to organize your finances on the road.
Although perhaps not as aesthetically pleasing as other expense trackers on this list, Toshl Finance is fantastic for travelers looking to reign in their spending. With a strong focus on budgeting, this app is more about travel money management, although expense tracking is by no means an arduous experience.
Not inclined to use the app? No problem – Toshl provides a web client, too. Multi-currency support is a boon for travelers, and integration with credit cards and PayPal is another welcome addition in an app that deserves your attention. A paid option (which allows you to export your data) starts from $2.99 monthly.
Monefy excels at simplicity; something which is not something we can say for all finance apps. The slick UI makes data clear and easily digestible, and tracking takes only three taps from the home screen.
It’s possible to sync your expenses on multiple devices using Google Drive, although there isn’t a web client if you want more control and customization over your expense categories. This is by no means an all-rounder, but more a barebones money app that does multi-currency tracking particularly well.
Mint is perhaps the most ‘robust’ app on this list with iPhone, iPad and even Apple Watch integration. It’ll link to your credit cards and bank accounts, with an accompanying web client to give you an expanded view of your spending.
What’s great about Mint is that it sends you weekly spending summaries so you can see just how thrifty (or extravagant) you’ve been. It ticks the multi-currency box, and although it isn’t strictly tailored towards travelers, its comprehensive feature set and top-notch app support make it a worthy contender.
“A budgeting app that you’ll actually want to use” is how one reviewer rates Spendee. With a gorgeously simple UI, it’s hard to disagree. The stand-out feature for travel budgeting is the ‘Shared Wallets.’ This makes tracking group expenses child’s play – how often have you been traveling with a partner or group only to have one person foot everybody else’s bill?
It even works for multiple currencies, one more reason to give this expense a tracker a look if you’re traveling. One downside of Spendee is that you won’t find a desktop client, but you do get paid options for both Android and iOS, starting from $2.99 monthly.
Creating a travel budget is one thing, but sticking to it is another. These five apps help you to easily track what you’re spending, do the conversions for you, and by telling you how much you’ve spent, take the headache out of budgeting across multiple currencies. That’s all to say, they keep you efficient on the go. After all, proper budgeting is as much a part of travel planning as packing.
Written by Stuart Hendricks