Best Free Travel Expense Tracker Apps

  • Post Category:Finances / Tips

I’ve compared the best free travel expense tracker apps so you can budget your trip properly! These are specific apps that help you with travel expenses while you’re on the road.

The basics that are included in all of the apps:

  • Can add separate trips
  • Has expenses in local currency
  • Enough categories to make sense of expense breakdown
  • Can change the date and time of the transaction
  • Working free version that allows for the basic functions needed to tracking expenses
  • Available offline
  • Backups available with account login

On my trip I used TrabeePocket having not done a thorough enough search. It was good, but I felt like it was a bit plain-looking and didn’t have a pie chart breakdown overview of my expenses (and I’m a visual gal). I want the best for other travelers, so this post is to help you choose! Here’s the lowdown:

Free Travel Expense Tracker Apps Reviewed

TrabeePocket

Pros

Cons

  • Enter an expense by either cash or credit card
  • Change the default payment type
  • Add a custom cover photo to each trip (default stock photos provided)
  • Add start and end dates for the trip, which can also be changed later
  • Add a photo and note to each expense
  • See home country currency of total spent on the homepage
  • Set a budget maximum in the local currency
  • Change the day and time the expense occurred
  • 6 good enough pre-set categories (meal, shopping, sightseeing, transport, lodge, other)
  • Possible to add money you receive
  • See total spending and remaining balance at the bottom of the screen
  • Set up exchange rate either automatically (with internet connection) or manually
  • Upgrade to see pie chart breakdown of category expenses
  • Upgrade to export data
  • Upgrade to add new category
  • Upgrade to see exchange per expense into your home currency
  • Upgrade to enter expenses in multiple currencies
  • No colour-coding, so very plain to look at (could be a good thing)
  • Have to remember to manually enter information (no reminders)
  • More of a “pro” if upgrading, only $2.39 CAD forever

TrabeePocket is missing reports and stats in the free version (which is cheaply fixed with their Pro account), but it’s so simple and distraction-free that entering expenses takes no time at all.

Travel Spend

Pros

Cons

  • Distribute an expense over a number of days if paying at one time (ex: accommodation)
  • Change the day and time of the expense
  • Many expense categories (15)
  • Breakdown of stats:
    • daily budget, daily average spend, total to date, and surplus (remaining budget)
    • pie chart of expenses by category
  • Enter expenses by either the local currency or your home currency and it summarizes in your home currency
  • Reminders to input expenses
  • After manually adding the country in the first expense, it auto-populates after
  • Only cash payment available in free version as an expense method; upgrade for credit card
  • Upgrade to add a specific place to an expense and see these plotted on a map
  • Upgrade to add photos to an expense
  • Upgrade to add new category
  • Upgrade to add income
  • Upgrade to add a friend so you can keep track of who paid for what
  • Upgrade to export data
  • Ads distract in free version
  • Lifetime upgrade expensive at $42 CAD; 3 subscriptions available between $1.5-5 per month

Travel Spend is missing the nice-to-haves but it’s beautiful to look at and has lots of categories.

Trip Expense Manager

Pros

Cons

  • Many default expense categories (10) and can add your own
  • Change the day and time of the expense
  • Enter expenses in any currency – must manually input exchange rate to local currency
  • Pie chart and bar chart breakdown of expenses by category, person, or date
  • See total expenses by category, person, or date with total at the top
  • Add details about the trip, including more than one description and places to visit
  • Automatically choses a cover photo based on your trip location; can manually add your own
  • Export data without paying
  • Add people to split costs with
  • Expense summary chart
  • Older, less responsive interface
  • Cost splitting is always 50-50, cannot change (but can enter how much each person paid for an item)
  • Enter only the start date of a trip; no end date
  • Unable to set a budget for each trip
  • Messy look with bottom screen banner ads

The Trip Expense Manager is missing a few key items but has a few nice features to balance it out.

Travel Money

Pros

Cons

  • Listed expense breakdown with percentages
  • Stats include total spent, number of transactions, trip length, average per day, and today’s expenses, which
  • Unequal splitting of expenses with others possible, shows debts owed
  • 9 default categories, free to add more
  • Input expense in any currency (defaults available or else manually add exchange rate)
  • Both local and home currencies shown on transactions
  • Share the trip with another person with the same app by sharing and scanning a QR code
  • Download data in PDF and csv via the envelope icon
  • No visual breakdown of categorical expenses
  • Visually less appealing
  • No photo can be added to an expense
  • Unable to set a budget for each trip

Travel Money is missing a key feature and not as visually appealing, but smart in its features and simplicity.

Mint

Pros

Cons

  • Syncs with your bank accounts and credit cards
  • Automatically adds transactions if done with a card
  • Mobile and desktop versions
  • Can add your own categories but only on the desktop version
  • Add tags and notes to each transaction
  • Pie chart of expenses in the past month
  • Bar graph of spending and income in the past few months
  • Set budgets for each category you choose and see expenses per budget in bar graphs
  • Notifies you when you go over budget
  • Have an overview of all your accounts (if you choose to link them all)
  • Unable to create separate trips*
  • No foreign currency option to use for transaction
  • More of a daily living budget app than one for travel expense tracking
  • No data export tool

An exception to the guidelines I listed at the beginning, Mint has a few inconveniences, like creating custom categories only on the desktop version. However, I love the visuals and the connection with my other accounts. Its biggest drawback is not being able to create specific trips with reports just for those., which is a major travel expense tracker feature.

Other Notable Mentions:

Trip Wallet

  • Special mention as it’s only for one operating system; not included in final choice
  • Cannot give the pros and cons because I couldn’t review it but it’s recommended by everyone, including the well-known travel
    blogger Nomadic Matt.
  • Get Trail Wallet

Tripcoin

  • Recommended by Lonely Planet
  • Special mention as it’s only for one operating system; not included in final choice
  • Get Tripcoin

Splitwise

  • If traveling with friends, keep track of who
    owes who what – no more gathering up small change or asking for split bills!
    (which isn’t a thing in Asia anyway)
  • I used this and it’s pretty great~
  • Get Splitwise

Leap

  • An app that calculates a general budget for you before leaving for your trip.
  • Budgets your costs in advance by total and per day, according to your spending preferences (somewhat generic settings you control).
  • There’s a “gear” section where you can “shop” for items you need and account for that in your overall budget.
  • Manually add extra expenses you foresee occurring, like an organized day trip. Where you get that information, I have no idea…kidding, take a look at my cost breakdown for each country I visited.
  • Get Leap

And the winner is...

Well, you get to decide! That’s the whole point of the pros
and cons for you, so you can choose which one has the features you prefer.

Personally, I would choose the free version of Travel Spend. I dislike being unable to add photos to my expenses (helps me remember my meals!), but it has powerful reports and a budget to compare to. It’s the best bang for zero bucks! (If I had an Apple phone, I would definitely consider/do research on Trail Wallet and Tripcoin)

Nope, no affiliate links here, people! I’m not big enough (yet) to be able to do that~

Note: except for Trabee Pocket, these are all made up numbers I input to test the apps. The Mint photos came from the Google Play store.

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