Are you constantly stumped by currency conversions? Wish your maps app worked even when your data is turned off? Consider these eight apps to download before going abroad. They’ll make your life infinitely easier as you make your way around the world!
Whatsapp, Skype, Viber
Whatsapp and Viber allow you to message and call anyone who has the app anywhere in the world when you’re connected to Wifi. I’ve found the messaging and call quality to be slightly better on Whatsapp, but I’ve used Viber with good results too. I usually have my close friends and family download one of these apps before I leave on a trip so that I can stay in touch with them easily while I’m gone. If your family is tech-averse, you may be able to convince them to download Skype, which offers similar services and also allows you to call them on mobile and landline numbers directly (subscription required).
This app is my best friend when I’m abroad! XE Currency helps you easily and quickly convert so you always know exactly how much you’re spending. It also has a nifty feature that let’s you analyze your exchange fees, so you can check if you’re getting ripped off based on current market trends.
When you don’t have Wifi, you don’t have access to your maps. CityMaps2Go lets you download maps directly to your device in advance (i.e. via your hotel Wifi before you head out to explore for the day) and reference them throughout the day without having to constantly go seek Wifi connections to figure out where you are and where you need to go. Maps are available for every major city, and the app also provides mini-guides for exploring each city by your interests.
Whether you’re spontaneously planning your trip as you go along, or your hotel reservations fell through at the last minute, Hotel Tonight is there for you! Enter your location and the app will provide a list of last minute hotel deals. You can only select dates up to seven days out, and you can chose from Basic, Solid, Hip, Charming and Luxe accommodations.
If you’re planning your trip as you go (one of the best ways to travel!), Hopper will help you track when airfares are lowest so that you get the best price to your next destination.
TripIt connects to your email and snags any upcoming itineraries in your inbox, and organizes them all in one place. It’s so helpful when you’ve made multiple hotel reservations or have multiple destinations in one trip. All of your important info, including confirmation numbers, will be in one place whenever you need it.
When you’ve turned your data off for a big international trip, Wi-Fi Finder will quickly become your new best friend. Use it to determine where Wifi can be found (and where it’s free!). I usually pull out this app in the morning before I leave my hotel and check where I can find Wifi in the area I’m exploring that day. That way, when lunch rolls around, I already know which cafes I can eat at while uploading my latest Instagrams. 🙂
One of the most confusing things for Americans abroad is adjusting to the metric system. I find myself spending quite a bit of time trying to convert metric to Imperial/Standard units. Amount makes it super easy, though. You can convert everything from temperature, to currency, to distance with this app, so it’s great to have on-hand!
What’s the #1 app you never leave home without? Let me know in the comments below!