10 APPS TO DOWNLOAD TO SURVIVE BEING ABROAD



Being in another country for the first time can be daunting. You have no idea where you are and want to make the most out of your trip. Luckily for us in the 21st century, there are so many apps nowadays to help you survive your trip abroad. Here are the apps I have used (and will use again soon!) to survive being abroad. Come along for the ride!


FTC: This post is not sponsored. I am not affiliated with any of the apps mentioned. All opinions are my own.

1. CityMapper


You. Need. CityMapper. Not only do you get a map of the city you're in, you get accurate travel times with various modes of transportation. Want to rent a bike in Amsterdam? You can get travel times and directions from point A to point B by bike. Want to take the Tube in London? CityMapper will tell you which Tubes to take and how long your journey will last to get to your destination. Studying abroad, but going on holiday for a weekend? No worries -- you can easily switch between locations! CityMapper is FREE on the App Store. (Yay!)



2. Notes / PackingPro


If you're like me (forgetful), one of these apps will help you make sure you a) pack everything you need for your trip, and b) bring everything home with you. If you're a more seasoned traveler, you might prefer Notes to write down your staple items and KEEP IT for future travels. I prefer to use the Notes app because it forces me to sit down and think of things I'll need. I have a chronic illness, so my packing list looks a bit different from some others' lists.


However, if you struggle with this, you might enjoy PackingPro! It's $2.99 on the App Store, but it has lists already made on the app for you to use to go through and pack with. You essentially go on the app, type in where you're going, how many adults/children are going, and other factors that will impact packing and it curates a packing list specifically for your trip. You can even customize your packing list to best suit your needs!


Whichever avenue you choose, both apps will help keep you organized and packing efficiently.


3. Wallet


This app is one of the most overlooked apps on the iPhone. It is AMAZING. I recently invested in earbuds that won't break every two months (shoutout to my AirPods) and was able to download my appointment QR code to the Wallet app. I decided to do it for kicks and giggles, but realized how useful the app is when I scrolled through my old Wallet entries and found boarding passes from weekend holidays. If you like to go paperless, you need to put Wallet on your phone's homepage before traveling! You can use Wallet for domestic flights, as well as train rides (hi, Eurostar).


Wallet is also great for those of you who might want to activate Apple Pay! I personally don't see myself using Apple Pay, but I love being able to keep my boarding passes right on my phone. No paper, no fuss, no forgetting... it's all right there!



4. Your banking apps


Seems standard, but having the ability to do mobile banking from any country is essential! You can easily make credit card payments, transfers between your bank’s accounts, and keep up to date on your finances from your phone. When I studied abroad, I would book my trips and immediately paid them off. This ensured that I had enough credit left for daily expenses. (It also raised my credit score and got me a TON of points... perks!) 10 out of 10, would recommend having your bank's app(s) on your phone.


5. Facebook Messenger / WhatsApp


If you aren't looking to pay an arm and a leg on international phone plans, you should definitely consider downloading either Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp to be able to communicate from people at home. As long as you have WiFi connection, you'll be able to keep in touch with family and friends back home, even if it's simply letting them know when your flight has landed. I did this with my Mom when I studied abroad so that she could stay in touch with me. I'll be doing this again when I move abroad soon! Both of these apps are free on the App Store.


6. XE Currency


Trying to figure out the exchange rate between currencies? XE Currency is a free app on the App Store that allows you to do so! XE Currency updates every 60 seconds to give you the most up-to-date exchange rate possible. This app definitely comes in handy when going abroad because you'll know how much everything will really cost you in your own currency. You can also send money on this app, but I don't think most people use this app for money transfers. Lucky for you, this app is free on the App Store!


7. Google Translate


Depending on where you're going and whether or not you speak the language, you might find yourself needing Google Translate. While Google Translate isn't exactly the most accurate source for translations, it will help give you a general idea of what is on a map, sign, or advertisement. You should learn some basics before you go, but just in case, Google Translate is free on the App Store.


8. Yelp


Looking for the best restaurants, hotels, shops, and attractions in the area where you're traveling? Yelp is available in many different countries and is the hub for reviews. Not only could Yelp help you plan your trip, it can help with last-minute spontaneous travel decisions like where to eat or what to see. Thousands of people write Yelp reviews every day, meaning you're likely to get a pretty accurate idea of what to expect in these different places. Yelp is free on the App Store!


9. Uber


Depending on when you decide to travel and where, Uber might not be operating due to COVID-19. However, if you know Uber is operating and you'd prefer a more private mode of transportation rather than public transportation options, Uber will be your best bet. It is available in many different countries and allows people to track your route and location while you're on your journey, meaning you'll have peace of mind. It's easy to pay and tip your driver through the app. Uber is free on the App Store.


Yes, this IS a screenshot of a pointless Uber ride. You get the idea. :)


10. Spotify


This might sound silly, but I need music when I travel (and in my daily life). I have designated travel playlists on my Spotify account that I carefully curate before I leave. I will absolutely use this while I fly. I also have to listen to music to fall asleep, so I use it every night. Spotify is a must-have for me personally. It's free on the App Store, but they have different plan options, including a free plan with six free song skips a day!


If you'd like to follow my playlist I'm curating for my upcoming move, you can scan this code on the Spotify app to listen:



These apps will for SURE be on my phone when I move. They're essential to being/living abroad. I can't see myself moving without these apps! Thanks for coming along for the ride. x


FTC: This post is not sponsored. I am not affiliated with any of the apps mentioned. All opinions are my own.

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