Here’s a brief post on apps I find useful for being an expat.
Store Files On The Cloud
First, I hardly store any files on my laptop’s hard drive. I use Google Drive and DropBox to store almost all of my files. If I’m doing some work for a client and my laptop goes kaput, at least I can get another laptop and pick up where I left off.
Some of my files are very important or contain sensitive information (i.e. scans of passport, drivers license, VIP contacts, health insurance, visa documents, flight bookings, photocopies of bank/credit cards). For these files, I back these up on an encrypted USB drive. You can either use an utility that comes with your OS, or use a third party software, to encrypt your USB drive. I use an external drive to backup the rest of my computer programs and stored data.
Many of my laptop programs are specific to my business (development platforms for certain programming languages, for example). The above recommendations are the more general applications that are commonly used by most travelers and expats.
Favorite iPhone Apps
I created a list of my favorite mobile apps that have made my life much easier as a traveler. I highly recommend downloading these apps onto your phone before you set off on your journey. Although I link to the iTunes Store for all of these apps, there are also links to their Android counterparts at the Google Play store.
Google Maps — probably the most important app you’ll ever use!
Google Translate — self explanatory.
Google Hangouts — receive calls, texts, and voicemail through your Google Voice number
Airbnb — view your bookings and message your hosts (honestly I like the desktop interface better).
TripIt — streamlines your air / hotel bookings in chronological order with confirmation numbers.
Skyscanner — browse for cheapest air fares, set fare alerts for the route you’re interested in.
XE Currency Converter — pulls exchange rates in real time and converts your input amounts to any other currency.
Kindle — read ebooks on your phone.
Pocket — save articles while surfing online to this app, and read them later offline.
Personal Capital — link your accounts to this and it will tell you how much you’re spending each month.
Tinder — need I explain this one?
Instagram — take photos and post them on your feed while you’re on the go. Very high on the narcissism scale.
Whichever your banks are, download their apps if available.
If I missed anything that you like to use when traveling, please feel free to add them here or on the thread I linked above.