Whether you’re going on a year abroad, a round-the-world trip or just a week’s holiday, here are the top 5 apps that I wouldn’t have been able to live without over these past few months whilst living in Spain. And honestly, you need them too.
This was always, without a doubt, going to be number one on this list. Revolut was recommended to me by a friend before I set off for Spain. In short, it is a debit card which Revolut send you for free, and you top it up as often as you like to exchange your pounds into whatever currency you need through the app. You can then use it like you would use your normal debit card in restaurants, shops and even cash machines – all without paying any exchange fees. It’s even contactless!! You can also request and send money to foreign accounts and they have a support function on the app where you can speak to customer services almost 24/7.
Also recommended to me by a friend, this is not just essential for foreign cities, but works really well in England (especially London) too. Think: GoogleMaps, but instead, it tells you exactly which train/bus/metro to get, exactly where to get off and exactly how long your journey will take and cost. The downsides to this app are that not all cities in the world are lucky to have it yet, and it requires a working Internet connection. Normally, this can be avoided if you screenshot the route just before you set off but otherwise, Maps.me is a similar app which does work offline – it just takes up more memory and you have to download the map of the city you are in beforehand.
This is a must have for any languages student. But even if you have never spoken a word of a foreign language before, this will work for you. Imagine Google Translate but more accurate. WordReference gives you different options for a word, according to the context in which you want to use it. For example, if you were translating tear from English it would say ‘water that falls down your cheek’ or ‘a rip in your clothes’, which Google Translate wouldn’t differentiate between. The one downside of this app is that you cannot translate huge pieces of texts, such as menus. For that, you would need Google Translate, which has a camera feature where you can take a picture of a piece of text and it will (loosely) translate it for you almost instantly. I know, I’m beginning to wonder what the point in my languages degree is at all.
This point actually includes all airline apps. I’ve personally only ever used Easy Jet or Ryan Air but there’s a lot of time to be saved by being able to add your boarding pass to the wallet on your phone – especially if you live in a flat with no printer. It’s super quick and easy, has a lock screen option and even gives you live updates about which gate you’re departing from and if your plane is delayed. So, your only responsibility is to check that your phone is fully charged!
5. Head’s Up
This app was created by Ellen Degeneres and is basically a modern day version of the post-it note game where your friends put a name on your head and you have to guess which famous person/thing you are. Abroad or not, this is just an essential app for everyone. It is definitely worth the 79p investment.
Bag: Zara, Choker: Rock n rose, Belt: Topshop, Jeans: Topshop, Boots: Asos, Coat: Missguided.