The Internet is a great and powerful resource. Nowadays, with smartphones, Wi-Fi and data, Apple TVs, and tablet devices, you need never be far from the Internet and its help—even while overseas. Before you make your move abroad, consider stocking up on some helpful apps to make your transition to your new home as smooth as possible… Here are the Live and Invest Overseas picks for the Top 10 apps to download for your retire overseas adventure.
1.One of the key expenses of relocating is your flight. Trying to figure out when to hit the purchase button is tricky. Do you buy early to avoid the inevitable increases, or hold out for a last-minute bargain as the airline tries to fill seats? It’s impossible to know when the time is right. At least it was, until Hopper came along. Hopper uses unique algorithms to analyze literally millions of flights, so you can feel confident you’ve made the best decision. Hopper also offers lots of tips for other ways to save money when traveling. Right now Hopper is only available for iPhone.
2. Ever feel overwhelmed by your travel schedule? Long for the days when bookings were made through a travel agent who’d hand you one tidy paper itinerary instead of having to print multiple booking confirmations and contact phone numbers while wrangling electronic boarding passes yourself? If so, it’s Tripit to the rescue. Tripit automatically imports and all of your travel documentation into one easy-to-follow itinerary. Trip itineraries include all the extras too—from maps to weather forecasts to directions.
3. Founded in 1995 as the first online weather service, Weather Underground is ultimate app for weather-junkies. Highly accurate and incredibly localized, Weather Underground uses crowd-sourced data from more than 100,000 people around the world to create its interactive weather and radar maps. There’s plenty of historical data to reference when you are researching your destination, as well as the usual 10-day forecasts and severe weather warnings.
4. Waze is a navigation app that crowdsources real-time data from road users. The extra information means Waze doesn’t just offer up the quickest route, it also alerts you to traffic jams, road works, police check points, and hazards, such as cars broken down on the roadside. You still get GPS mapping, audio directions, and all of the other regular navigation app features, but Waze will also point out the cheapest gas station en route. You can keep an eye on your Waze-using friends too—especially useful if you are waiting at a meet-up point or heading to an event together.
5. Once you arrive at your destination, you’ll find the free app Converter Plus is just what you need. Along with your usual currency and imperial-to-metric conversions, the app offers mortgage, loan, and fuel consumption calculators. You can also add your own unique calculators.
6. Translation apps abound. Some are good, and some not so. Certainly, Google Translate has its detractors. We, however, are won over by the new Conversation Mode, which automatically translates speech to text—the latest version can detect two languages simultaneously. With Google Translate on your smartphone, you could ask your new neighbor, the bank teller, or the mechanic to speak into the phone and quickly have a handle on what’s happening. No, it’s not perfect, and right now it only works with a limited range of languages, but, even as is, this app could be a lifesaver.
7. CudaSign (formerly Sign Now) is an app with a basic function, but it’s an important function alright, especially for those in the process of setting up a new life in a different country. Using CudaSign, you can easily add your signature to electronic papers, such as Word documents and PDFs. It’s easy to use and super-efficient. And if CudaSign good enough for 60% of Fortune 500 companies, it’s good enough for us.
8. The Internet is an amazing thing—email and social media have made it easier than ever to keep up with your loved ones, and yet there is still something special about receiving good old-fashioned snail mail. Download Postagram before you leave for the best of both worlds. Postagram is an app for iPhone and Android that allows you to create postcards of photos you take on your phone, and send them through the post for just 99 cents in the United States, or US$1.99 worldwide. Delivery takes up to 10 days in the United States, Canada, or Europe and up to three weeks for the rest of the world.
9. One of the most popular apps around, WhatsApp allows you to bypass SMS (and SMS charges) and message your friends around the world, anytime, for free. You’ll need Wi-Fi or a data plan for your phone in order to use WhatsApp. Once you are set up, you’ll be able to send text or voice messages, short videos, and audio files. You can create messaging groups with family and friends friends.
10. Chances are you know about Skype by now. The video calling app has changed the way people all over the world keep in touch and do business. With Skype, you really can be in two places at once. You can use your phone, tablet, or computer to give your best friend a tour of your new home, watch your grandchildren practice ballet, or be a (virtual) part of special family events, like birthday parties or graduations. Getting familiar with Skype (and making sure your family is too) is an absolute must before you head abroad.