The Best Apps For Travelers And Expats

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-Maps-icon

Link for Android Phones

Google Translate — self explanatory. 

Google-Translate-icon

Link for Android Phones

Google Drive and DropBox — pull up your files on your iPhone or laptop from anywhere. 

Google-Drive-iconDropbox-icon

Link for Android Phones: Google Drive, DropBox

Google Hangouts — receive calls, texts, and voicemail through your Google Voice number

goolge-hangouts-icon

Link for Android Phones

Uber, Lyft, and Grab — get all three, and use whichever is the most popular or the cheapest in your location. 

Uber_IconLyft_iconGrab-icon

Links for Android Phones: Uber, Lyft, and Grab

Airbnb — view your bookings and message your hosts (honestly I like the desktop interface better). 

Airbnb-icon

Link for Android Phones

TripIt — streamlines your air / hotel bookings in chronological order with confirmation numbers. 

TripIt_icon

Link for Android Phones

Skyscanner — browse for cheapest air fares, set fare alerts for the route you’re interested in. 

Skyscanner-icon

Link for Android Phones

XE Currency Converter — pulls exchange rates in real time and converts your input amounts to any other currency. 

CurrencyConverter-icon

Link for Android Phones

Kindle — read ebooks on your phone.

Kindle-icon

Link for Android Phones

Pocket — save articles while surfing online to this app, and read them later offline.

Pocket-icon

Link for Android Phones

Personal Capital — link your accounts to this and it will tell you how much you’re spending each month.

PersonalCapital-icon

Link for Android Phones

Tinder — need I explain this one?

Tinder-icon

Link for Android Phones

Instagram — take photos and post them on your feed while you’re on the go. Very high on the narcissism scale.

Instagram-icon

Link for Android Phones

Messaging Apps

Skype, Viber, Line, WhatsApp, Skout, Badoo, WeChat, QQ Messenger

Skype-iconViber-iconLINE-iconwhatsapp-iconSkout-iconBadoo-iconWechat-iconQQ-icon

Links for Android PhonesSkype, Viber, Line, WhatsApp, Skout, Badoo, WeChat, QQ Messenger

Banking apps

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.

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