Trail Wallet 3.0: Making Travel Budgeting More Fun

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We’re excited to announce the launch of Trail Wallet 3, now available in the App Store!

Trail Wallet has been keeping travellers on budget for over two years, starting from very humble beginnings and evolving into something that provides a good chunk of our monthly income and boasts over 23,000 downloads and 172 reviews worldwide with an average rating of 4.4 stars. Which is nuts, you guys!

A comparison of the summary screen of Trail Wallet from 1.0 to 3.0

The evolution of Trail Wallet, from 1.0 to 3.0

Throughout its life, Trail Wallet has had a wafer thin hint of personality (it was only waa-fer thin). The little messages that appear on the summary screen were part of the app from day one, and my original vision was to have a cartoon banker praising or admonishing your budgeting prowess (depending on your financial management) mostly because I find budgeting tedious and I like cartoons and I thought if budgeting had cartoons, maybe it would be less tedious because logic.

Of course, there turned out to be many more important features to add first (not to mention many important bug fixes) and so this idea was pushed further and further down the to-do list, where it stayed buried for many thousands of hours until it was rediscovered by a pair of hobbits out fishing on the river…

New Themes

Screenshots of the three new Trail Wallet themes in grey, red, and blue

Cut to now, where I’m very excited to present the new Trail Wallet themes!

This version introduces a range of new characters and themes that allow you to customise the app to suit your mood. Don’t like Erica’s snarky comments? Check out Gus, the Agreeable Dragon who is supportive however much damage you do to your budget. Want to be kept in line? Then Sir Reginald Greenworthy, the conservative London Banker, or TW-2603 Mk II, a robot who hates going over budget, will help keep you on track (or at least shout at you when you go off the rails).

I realise I’m at risk of alienating users and potential customers who don’t believe that vivid colour schemes, incompetent cartoon dragons, and budgeting should ever meet and to those people I can only say:

I am but a spec in history, appearing for the briefest of moments upon this rock that will continue to swing around a fortuitous ball of continual nuclear reactions for many millions of years long after I have permanently disappeared again. I spend most of my infinitesimal time here trying to come to terms with my own mammalian consciousness and the resultant realisation of just how incredibly improbable I am in this vast, cold nothingness whilst simultaneously trying to exert some form of control over my unconscious reptilian emotional responses to events and behaviours that I, ultimately, have little control over.

Creating apps is one of the many ways in which I deal with these continual feelings brought on by our sometimes touching and often comic attempts to deal with the impossible task of truly knowing ourselves while the universe continues on its inevitable and unalterable course to thermodynamic equilibrium.

The point is, perhaps having a purple dragon mixed in with your travel finances isn’t entirely a bad thing. You know, in the big scheme of things.

I am happy that I am slowly finding my way, discovering what I value and putting things out into the world that reflect those values—even if those values include mashing together travel budgeting, snarky robots and dumb but lovable dragons—and it feels good to stick my name to my own little slice of ridiculousness that, hopefully, contains a modicom of usefulness too.

We’re considering sharing the dirty financial secrets of our time as app developers (spoiler: it’s not all champagne and yachts—more like box wine and leaky kayaks) but, suffice to say, we couldn’t live on the app income alone. To continue developing Trail Wallet (which takes up the vast majority of my time) we need to increase our income, so we’re making these themes available as one-time In App Purchases—buy each one separately ($0.99), or all three at a discount ($1.99).

Do it. Do it now. The future of Trail Wallet literally depends on it.

New Features

The Trail Wallet 3.0 summary, history, and pie chart screens

If you decide that the themes aren’t for you (poor ol’ Gus), then you’ll be pleased to note that there’s a whole ton of new features and updates and bug fixes and improvements which will be available to everyone for free:

  1. By far the biggest feature request of 2014, category breakdowns!
  2. iPhone 6 and 6 plus support for you Big Phone Lovers.
  3. Finally—after two long, hard years of dealing with the awful iPhone simulation mode—the 10% of you that use Trail Wallet on the iPad can now enjoy native iPad support. Trail Wallet is a universal app. Woot!
  4. A completely redesigned summary screen with animated chart showing the previous five day’s spending (tap on a day to see that day’s total), as well as the daily and trip budget remaining (tap on the progress view to see your trip budget)
  5. Improved pie chart, including support for different currencies (tap the centre of the chart to change) and daily average per category.
  6. Improved export and sharing of budget data.
  7. Optional automatic deletion of all amounts spread over multiple days.
  8. Improved currency search—you can now search by currency code as well as country name. Which is interesting as well as useful. You can see how many countries use the USD as their main currency (it’s quite a lot).
  9. Improved accessibility support, including support for dynamic type and VoiceOver because Trail Wallet should be easy for everyone.

If you already own Trail Wallet, have automatic updates enabled and are running iOS 8, you might already have this shiny new version on your iDevice. If not, have a look in the App Store app and see if it’s there.

I hope you like it!

New Video

As part of the big 3-point-Oh launch, I’ve put together a new video that runs through the basic functionality of the app if you’re new to The Wallet:


I’d like to say a special thanks to our testers who provided invaluable feedback during development: Zab Scoon, Jenny Krones, FW North, and Greg Winker.

You should go and check out their websites because they were amazingly helpful and helped make the app infinitely better.

Finally, thank you. Yes, you. Reading this. Right now.

Creating apps has been one of the most enjoyable and challenging things I’ve ever done and I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported us by buying the app, rating it on the App Store, cheering us on from the sidelines, writing about it, mentioning it in comments, and recommending it to their friends.

It’s a privilege to be able to do this and I wouldn’t be here without your support.

As always, if you have any comments or issues or suggestions, then feel free to get in touch over at Voyage Travel Apps.

With much love,


P.S. No, unfortunately there won’t be an Android version any time soon (see the section about box wine and leaky kayaks). Sorry.

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28 Comments (3 pingbacks)

  1. I’m about to embark on a year long trip ATW. I bought your app and really like it. I’m still learning it, but I haven’t even left yet and it’s helpful. I was thinking I’d have to buy Excel and make a spreadsheet but this saves me from doing that. It’s pretty handy! Thanks!


  2. Oh my gosh! I’ve been wanting your app for a long time and now see it’s not available for Android. Looks like I will have to dig out my old iPhone and update it. For this app I’m sure the effort will be worth it. Keep up the good work!


  3. I have encountered this before and I have to agree that this is really one powerful travel budget app. I think that it can even be used for other purposes other than travel.


  4. I’ve always loved this app and relied on it since version 1. I’ve never been great at budgeting and such, but this one was intuitive and slick and looked great. and this latest update looks awesome. Can’t wait to try it out! Also, any chance of putting this into Notification Center widget for fast entry?


  5. Hi Erin and Simon,
    Just wanted to finally leave a note and tell you how much we love the Trail Wallet app. We have actually been using it now for almost half a year, from the very beginning of our travels. I remember trying other apps at first, and struggling with things like not being able to use multiple currencies, which as you know, is a big problem for countries that have unofficial currencies or those overlapping days when you spend money in different currencies in multiple countries.
    I had stumbled upon you guys’ blog previously (yay Kerala houseboats) but when we first found the Trail Wallet app, I had no idea it was created by you guys. All I knew was that it was better than anything else out there and we bought the full version right away and have been using it ever since. One random day I googled Trail Wallet and realized it was from you guys! That’s when it clicked – of course it was built by long-term, experienced travelers because no one else would understand our needs.
    We love the app, we use it everyday, and we will never be able to go back to keeping track of our expenses via spreadsheets or other old-fashioned ways. Congrats on the new version – it looks great! The category breakdowns are wonderful because we used to calculate ourselves based on the percentages shown in the app for our budget summaries. Now we don’t have to! So thanks for that. The chart of past five days’ expense is also good as it makes us think twice when we see one day that’s way higher than the others.
    All in all, thanks for your great work on Trail Wallet. I hope you know that all of your hard work is making travelers’ lives easier all over the world. I do apologize for the super long comment – I had to tell the whole story and clearly I should have been leaving comments months ago.
    Thank you!!


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