World Trip 🌍 - Tooling

· 9 min read

Tips 👏

  • Bring a SIM Card Remover to easily change SIM.
  • Download all the apps before leaving since good Wi-Fi is rare.
  • Set-up your VPN on your phone and try-it-out as early as you can.

⏱ Duration

It took us around a month to sort-out our tooling, in parallel with the other steps.

Accounts 💵

To handle the money during our trip, we decided to open a joint account with Monzo. While other banks offered the same product, we went with Monzo for the following:

  • Free, and come with a mastercard for each
  • Very easy to move money between accounts
  • Small fees on international payments and withdrawals
  • Reliable customer service with 24/7 chat within the app
  • Free app to check your spendings in real time, perfect to log expenses
  • Real-time notifications for every payment, help to double check for fraud
  • Possibility to create pots to save money and avoid having all the cash on the main account

Both of us already being customer with them, that was just logical. We simply created a pot (kind of saving account) for the trip and moved all our money in. Everyday, we were moving a bit of money from the pot to the joint account for free, ensuring to not have all of it accessible on the debit card in case of fraud or stolen card.

We don’t have any affiliate with them, but we highly recommend it since it’s very modern and bloody simple to use. Note that if you’re alone, you can still use the pots without a joint account.


The main drawback was the withdrawals limit. While we could withdraw as much as needed, we only had 200£/month free of fees. After what, we paid 3% of charge which turned out to be very expensive, specially in the many cash-only countries. The best would have been to also get a Revolut card. While they do more or less the same (200£/month free and then 2% fees), alternating with 4 cards would have make us save a lot.

Pictures 📸

During our trip, we knew obviously we would took a lot of pictures. We are not professionals, so we left only with our IPhones as cameras. After a month, our devices storage exploded, meaning no more pictures. We started by deleting older ones to free some space, but that was far from ideal. The best option we found was to upgrade our ICloud allowance to 50GB. Super easy and not that expensive for what it is.

Dropbox also offers a similar service, but since it’s not Apple it’s working as good as ICloud. While it’s having a wider range of service included in the package, we still preferred the ICloud storage service.

Apps 💾

Here’s the list of free apps we found super useful while travelling (again, no affiliate):

  • Netflix: Perfect for rainy days.
  • Gmail: Superbe email client, fast and reliable.
  • Trip Advisor: Great to find things to do around.
  • Express VPN: The best VPN we found for China.
  • XCurrency: Offline and up-to-date currency rates.
  • Monzo: Perfect for managing the money (see above).
  • Messenger: Great for online video calls and catch-up.
  • TravelSpend: Log and budget your expenses day by day.
  • WhatsApp: Essencial for communication in South America.
  • Free offline map of the world, including trail paths.
  • FourSquare: Perfect to find the best restaurants in a very easy way.
  • AirBnB and The best to find cheap accommodations.
  • Flight Radar 24: Ideal to check your flight status just with the flight number.
  • Facebook: Besides keeping in touch with your friends, useful for the groups.
  • Google Sheets: Great for planning and budgeting, comes with offline version.

We also installed the apps of all the airlines we travelled with, to track our flights and manage our bookings.


Budget Tracking 💸

Once finalizing the budget per country for our trip, we searched for a simple way to log our expenses day by day, to give us an overview on how we were doing budget-wise. We found the best was a t-mix of TravelSpend and Google Sheets.

The free app TravelSpend allowed us to log all of our expenses in a very simple way. It let us select a category, price, date and currency, and added it into the backlog. To use it we just created a trip, with a date and a total budget and the app pretty much took care of the rest. Just by opening it, we knew how much we already spent and how much we had left to use in the country.

However, we found two main problems to it. First, the synchronisation was completely broken, meaning only one of us could take care of it, even if that was a premium feature (we had to upgrade to get that). Secondly, while it was generating nice charts and graphics, the insights were very confusing.