Studying abroad? Is it your first time overseas? Are you nervous? Well don’t be. If anything, you should be pumped for the amount of knowledge you’ll gain, memories you’ll make, and friendships you’ll create. But, if you feel like a bundle of nerves and are worried about getting around and communicating with your loved ones, maybe this will help.
Here are 5 essential types of travel apps that will make your time abroad easy as pie:
1. Currency Converter
Any application will do, but maybe try one that doesn’t require cellular service or WiFi. Remember, unless you have the ultimate cell phone carrier (non-existent) and international travel is included in your cellular plan, you will have to pay fees for your time abroad. Make sure you check with your carrier before you leave to not only check your plan for such perks, but to initiate a plan if needed. Just think, you won’t have to memorize currency exchanges. It’s simple, just open the app and convert. Need a suggestion? Try XE Currency Converter.
Again, applications that incorporate the offline feature are your best friend. Whether your underground on the tube or find yourself in a place with bad cellular service, this will come in handy. City Maps is one of many great applications that enables the user to download an offline map of the destination in advance. It’s easy and tells you how to navigate any form of transportation. Download this baby and I doubt anyone will mistake you as a tourist.
Attention all foodies, shoppers, sightseers, and party goers. Want to eat like a local, shop like a local, see and do like a local? Well, the app Like a Local is for you (see what I did there?). This application warrants the user to peruse suggestions from none other than the locals themselves. While scrolling through the app, read the reviews and find out about the best shops, markets, and restaurants around town. Don’t be in the dark, be in the loop. Another great application is Yelp — it’s personally one of my go-to’s and I am sure you heard of it. When in doubt, Yelp will help you out.
If you’re like me and would rather skip paying international data fees all together (I couldn’t, but maybe you can), then these communication applications are a must-have while abroad. Skype is great, especially for a face-to-face conversation. Viber does everything, whether it be audio and video calls, or just messaging. When picking a communication app, lookout for any hidden fees. If there are, it might be best to work with your phone carrier.
Unless you’re going to the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, or Australia, you will need to know how to speak languages other than English. Lucky for you, translators have become easily accessible through the internet and phone applications. I personally recommend learning some basic words and phrases before you leave rather than relying solely on a translator. Knowing some of the language goes along way when communicating with the locals — it is not only respectful, but saves a lot of time in the end.
I hope one or two — if not all — of these applications helps you, like they have helped me, during your travels. Even if your trip is in the distant future, download them today to see what works best for you. Bon voyage!
This post was contributed by Breyanna Johnson, who spent her summer studying abroad with AIFS on a Study & Travel (Multi-Destination) Fashion Marketing and Merchandising program.