Traveler's Test

7 free travel tools you may not be using (other than Couchsurfing)

7 free travel tools you may not be using (other than Couchsurfing)

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We all know about Couchsurfing. Some of us have even tried it and survived to tell the tale (and some of us have even met our future proofreader through the website, but that’s another story to be told some other time). There are, however, many more online options that can help you enrich your travels without breaking the bank. How many of these have you personally tested?

Meet locals: Global Greeter Network

Global Greeter Network is my favorite way to find a local guide to show you around for free and answer all the questions you might have about the place you’re visiting. The network now includes more than 150 cities all over the world, and it’s continually growing. Unlike many other similar services, Global Greeter Network is not tip-based; it’s completely free.

Meet locals: MeetUp

MeetUp is a platform where everyone can create or join a meeting in their current location. These are social events ranging from yoga classes to book clubs, mindfulness practices, outdoor sports and language exchanges. The events themselves can be free or paid, but don’t worry – this is specified in the meetup description. If you don’t find any meetup that suits you, just create your own!

Offline navigation: Google Maps

Since Google Maps released its offline version, travelers’ lives have changed forever. No longer do you need to use expensive data roaming to find your way in a foreign city! Of course, one of the main drawbacks of the app is that the downloadable files are huge (usually several hundred megabytes) and take up large chunks of your phone’s memory. You can find full instructions on how to download and use offline maps here.

Offline navigation:

In some countries (Thailand for example), Google Maps doesn’t support offline navigation. That’s when you need to find a substitute, and the perfect substitute is This app requires way less phone storage space than Google Maps and has proven to be incredibly accurate (like that one time when it guided us through a secret passageway in a floating market – it was so well-hidden that we didn’t even realize we were supposed to buy tickets).

Meditation: Calm

Calm is a leading meditation app that offers enough free stuff to keep your spirituality high on the road. Choose from the list of meditation melodies, and download your favorites for those moments when (gasp!) you don’t have internet access. The app also features a few guided meditations, timed meditations and sleep stories. The handy calendar makes it easy for you to catch up if you miss a meditation session.

Find the cheapest flights, regardless of the dates and destinations: Kiwi

Sometimes you simply have a little extra cash and no preferences for where and when you want to go. is the perfect tool for these situations – you can set your outgoing destination and dates (or not!), and Kiwi will find you the cheapest flights to anywhere in the world.

Find cheap flights and error fares: Secret Flying

Of all the error fare services I’ve tested, Secret Flying has proven to be one of the best. On its Facebook page, it posts flight deals and worldwide error fares several times a day. Just hit the “See first” option on Facebook to make sure you don’t miss a good deal. There’s also a search bar on the website, which allows you to search by destination or date.

>>> Read more: How to travel for free (without feeling like a tramp)

Pin it for free and return later, when you’re wondering “what was that website for meeting locals…?”: