The best apps to travel for free or low-cost (2024)

The best apps to travel for free or low-cost (2024)

Traveling for free, or almost free is possible, it is a challenge and an adventure at the same time. In this article, we bring you the best backpacker apps and services to help you find free accommodation, meet locals, and not get lost in a foreign country.


© Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is without a doubt the very first and oldest app that is wise to have for anyone who wants to travel around the world and spend a minimum of money. It's like Airbnb, with the difference that the accommodation is provided by people for free. But you will ask, is the service itself paid? Yes, for a monthly or yearly subscription you will have to pay $2.39 and $14.29 respectively, but still this is a relatively small amount, and by gaining access you have the ability to contact thousands of private hosts around the world and ask them for an overnight stay for one or more days. In addition, staying in a private house or apartment with the owners is the best way to get to know a new city or region from the inside. Unfortunately, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic pandemic, not all hosts are as open as before to new guests, but still worth a try. Our advice: if you are going on a trip, plan your itinerary as far in advance as possible and write to the hosts weeks or even a couple of months in advance, as many simply do not check their account often or also need to plan ahead. You can also join the community of hosts and receive guests at your home to help others travel as cheaply as possible. You can use Сouchsurfing webpage, as well as applications for Android and iOS.

© is a new platform that bills itself as a completely free, non-commercial alternative to Couchsurfing. Created by volunteers who share the values of free hosting. At the moment, the project team has more than 40 volunteers who are developing the service, which is currently at the beta testing stage. You can take part and try out its features, as well as leave your feedback to the creators.


© BeWelcome

BeWelcome is another completely free online housing search service. This platform was created by the French non-profit organization BeVolunteer. You just need to register on the platform to either become a host or look for accommodation. As with other free hosting services, here they leave comments after their experiences, so it is important to take care of your reputation and get good opinions. The platform is available in numerous languages, including English.


© Workaway

What if you are not just traveling, but stay longer in some place and help the locals in their projects and work for them in exchange for shelter and food? For example, you could find your hosts at a wonderful family winery in Tuscany or a permaculture farm somewhere in Germany. This is what the Workaway platform was created for, where hosts around the world post ads with information on what kind and what time of the year they need help. With the help of this service, you can not only live for free in another country, but also master crafts, technologies and ways of life. Just like on Couchserfing, here you can connect with other travelers and find fellow travelers in your destination. Workaway is a huge community of people whose values are sustainable development and ecology, the development of family farms and the revival of traditional industries, the restoration of heritage monuments, life close to the wild, ecology. The subscription to the service is paid (US$ 49 for an individual account and US$ 59 for a couple account per year), but if you want to have a unique experience, learn about other cultures and meet really interesting people, it's worth it.


© BlaBlaCar

When it comes to traveling in Europe, the cheapest way to travel long distances between cities and countries is the carpooling app BlaBlaCar  for Android and iOS. Drivers post announcements of their trips and passengers book trips at an affordable price. The main idea is to facilitate travel and amortize the cost of fuel for car owners. For example, you can travel from one European country for 20-40 euros, which is much cheaper than a train. Blackar is not available in the US, however, there was information that a Canadian similar app Poparide has plans to launch in a neighboring country, but so far there has been no specific information about launch dates.


© LikeALokal

You don't want to be a typical tourist who gets ripped off for exorbitant prices, and even for poor service? LikeALocal is a guide to dozens of cities around the world, based on the experience and advice of locals who know the best and cheapest places. Here you will find local gastronomy, cheap cafes, bars and events where you can get a feel for the local life and get to know the locals.

WiFi Map - free wifi networks finder

© WiFi Map

WiFi Map is an application for iOS and Android with a map of Wi-Fi hotspots in 70 countries around the world. It was created based on information about Wi-Fi networks shared by local community members. Using the application, you can easily find available Wi-Fi networks in the area where you are on the map. The app also has a built-in VPN for more private and secure internet access. The disadvantage of this is that in order to receive network passwords you will most likely have to purchase a paid subscription, but you can try and decide for yourself whether this service is useful to you.


© Groupon

Groupon is a coupon app that helps you get discounts on goods and services not only in your country, but also when you travel abroad. Digital coupons are placed by hotels, restaurants, shops, tour desks for travel products, tourist excursions and various other services. You can use Groupon browser version, as well as applications for Android and iOS.


© Tandem

Tandem is a language exchange platform available as Android and iOS app. If you have arrived in a new country and want to start understanding the local language a little, then look for your Tandem match. It's also a great way to meet the locals.

Of course, you can use specialized Facebook groups where expats meet locals and help each other. Or get Tinder or another dating app (because you can find friends on it too). There are a huge number of ways to meet new people and the choice is yours. The main thing is to be   active and curious.

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