As an Expat, connecting with home can be difficult. Ensuring that you have access to Skype, FaceTime or some other video chat service can help you remain connected to your family and friends back home. Regardless of where you are, an internet connection is all you need to “drop in” for family dinner or catch up with Grandma.
2) Skype Online
In a category of its own, Skype Online offers something entirely different from your standard video chatting application. With Skype Online, you can “rent” a local phone number in whichever country your travels take you to. This service is available on a monthly basis, as well as on a year-long timeframe. Using an internet provider, calls can be “forwarded” to your local phone number, saving you money on data or other fees from your standard mobile phone provider.
As an avid reader and active traveler, it has always been very difficult to accommodate my love of reading with my love of moving around. The Kindle, or any e-reader, makes this is a much easier feat. It also gives you handy access to tour guides, travel books, and more without requiring an internet connection. These e-readers are often smaller than a paperback novel, and even weigh less than your standard book.
4) Duolingo App
A language and translation app, Duolingo can help you learn a new language quickly and easily, all from the palm of your hand. Learn more than one if you feel adventurous! Their website claims that 34 hours on the app is equivalent to one semester at a postsecondary institution studying a new language. Their techniques have undergone extensive peer reviewed research. This app, plus immersion in your desired language, should have you speaking like a pro in no time.
5) Liana App
Liana is an application designed for Expats, by Expats! This handy app helps Expatriates connect in their landed countries, all around the world. It’s completely free to use, including free chat and SMS capabilities. The map feature shows Expats near you who are also looking to connect. Connecting with other Expats in the country can make adjustment and settlement easier, quicker, and less stressful.
6) Currency Conversion App
The value of the loonie is important to everyone, but keeping up with how much your paycheque might be worth back home can be difficult. There are any number of free currency conversion applications that can help you convert the cash you might need to send back home - or the amount of cash you might need to ask Mom & Dad to send to you!
7) Viator App
Viator’s tagline is “travel with an insider,” - everything every Expat wants! This app offers tours and travel experiences for even the most seasoned traveler. It offers 24/7 technical support online, and features thousands of hand-picked guided tours or outrageous experiences, all offered at reasonable prices. See everything there is to see in your new home without getting scammed, confused, or lost.
Canada Post’s brilliant E-Post box means you can access some of your mail at home from the comfort of your laptop anywhere around the world. Even some insurance companies are taking advantage of the E-Post system, and can send your documents to you electronically. Never miss that crucial bill or piece of mail. Signing up with E-Post is free, and while not every organization is a participant, the list is continually growing.
9) Google Maps
Every traveler needs a map app - why go anywhere but the classic Google Maps application? One of the most unappreciated features of this map and GPS app is its route planner. Participating major cities have uploaded their public transit and on-foot travel information to Google, allowing you to plan your route from your apartment or hotel to that doctor’s office you’re looking for with ease.