From navigating public transportation, to planning weekend trips, to creating and sticking to a budget- going abroad can be stressful in so many ways! Thankfully, we live in a world where one small piece of technology can take care of almost anything and most of the information we need is at our fingertips. Here are the 10 best apps to download before going abroad.
1.) Skyscanner: Many students go abroad with the intention of traveling to other countries while away, and for good reason! Travel, especially throughout Europe, tends to be cheaper and easier than anywhere in the world. During my time abroad, I traveled from London to Dublin, Ireland and back again for…. Wait for it…. 19 POUNDS. That is less than $30. Crazy, right? Skyscanner is a handy little tool for anyone with the travel bug. It streamlines the process of finding cheap flights, organizing your options based on airline and price.
2.) GoEuro: Unlike Skyscanner, GoEuro will compare the prices of planes, trains, and buses to determine the cheapest and quickest way to get from place to place. Unfortunately, this one is only available in Europe.
3.) Local public transit apps: While this app will be different country to country, it could be the most helpful tool you have during your time abroad. Navigating public transportation can be overwhelming at times, especially in a large city. Public transportation apps such as CityMapper are a lifesaver. Get from point A to point B in the quickest, most efficient way possible. Do a bit of research before traveling to find out what app is most recommended in your city.
4.) AroundMe: This app will list all the businesses around your location. Find restaurants, hospitals, shops, and everything in between with this handy app. You never know when something unexpected could come up. This app will help you find what you need and route the directions for you.
5.) Foodspotting: While abroad, it is of the utmost importance that you try as many foods as you possibly can. Foodspotting will show you a list of all the restaurants around you, allowing you to narrow your search in a variety of ways. You can also view photos and reviews from other customers to ensure you are making the right decision. Food is key, y’all.
6.) Mint: While the thought of creating a budget may sound dull and irrelevant in comparison to the adventure you’ll have abroad, budgeting your money IS important and this app is designed to help you do just that. Manage your money, keep your accounts balanced and organized, and design a budget to stick to each month. Trust me, your wallet… and your parents, will thank you.
7.) Converter Plus: Convert currency instantly using this app. Not only is it easy to use, it also stays up-to-date with the most recent conversion rates, giving you an accurate rate every time.
8.) Splitwise: Use this app to create lists of who owes who. This is a great app to have if you’re traveling with friends. Many restaurants in Europe will not split your tab, for example. This app ensures that everyone is paid back in full.
9.) Uber: While I would not recommend taking an Uber every day during your time abroad, it is sometimes necessary (late at night, for example, many cities will shut down their public transportation). It’s also helpful to have a backup plan for getting from place to place.
10.) Skype or FaceTime: Again, this one may seem obvious… but who knows. You may be having so much fun while abroad that you forget to keep in touch with your friends and family back home. They miss you, worry about you, and want to hear from you. I made an effort to talk to my friends at least one each week and my parents every few days. Skype and FaceTime make keeping in touch quick and easy!
Natalie is a senior at the University of Kentucky double majoring in Secondary English Education and English with a minor in Psychology. She studied abroad during her junior year in the beautiful London, England at King’s College.