Phones have become increasingly important in today’s society, and not just in America. While you’re abroad, it could be very helpful to know which apps to use for various reasons. To help sort through them, we’ve compiled a useful list, divided into categories!
To connect with friends, both back home and in your new city:
- Facebook Messenger – Almost everyone has Facebook! As long as you have Wi-Fi wherever you are (or a data plan), you can keep in touch with people back home, AND connect with your new friends abroad.
- Snapchat – Snapchat is also a great way to keep up with what your friends at home are doing. Just be careful not to use it too much–it may increase the chances of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
To help with planning your trip and keeping track of your itinerary:
- The app to whatever airline you’re using – I flew British Airways when I went to England, and having their app was so convenient! Instead of worrying about having a paper boarding pass to keep track of, I just needed my phone. You can also keep up with flight delays and cancellations this way.
- TripIt – This app syncs with your email, so every ticket you purchase and event you sign up for saves to the app to create a personalized itinerary.
To get around once you’re in your host city:
- AroundMe – This app generates a list of companies/events/buildings that are in the area.
- Maps.me – Navigate through the area without the use of WiFi. You just have to download the area you are in before you go offline.
- Citymapper – This will give you information about public transportation in the city you are in. It will give you directions to stops, your destination, and how long the wait time will be.
- Any public transportation apps near you – Some taxi companies have apps that allow you to request a taxi right on the app, and then notifies you when it arrives! Airports and bus/train stations may also have apps you can download.
- Uber – Most major cities abroad have Uber, but check to make sure yours does before relying on this.
To keep up-to-date with safety and wellness information:
- OSAC – This is the official app for the U.S. Department of State.
- TravWell – Here you can keep track of any vaccinations you need, any risks around you, etc.
- Can I Eat This? – The title is self-explanatory: this app lets you know if certain foods in your host country may make you sick.
To make traveling around outside of your host country easier:
- Currency Converter
- My TSA – You can see how long lines are, whether flights are delayed, and more with this helpful travel app!
- Border Wait Time
- Mobile Passport App – This one only works when you’re entering the U.S. again, but it’s still worth it to skip the lines!
Other helpful things to download:
- Offline games to play when you’re waiting in places without wifi
- WiFi Finder