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The 16 Best Apps for Expats: Moving and Living Abroad

This article will focus on the 16 essential apps for expats, moving, and living abroad that every expat should have!

From getting around a new city to learning a new language, you will shift from being an expat living abroad to becoming a local in no time.

But with so many apps being released each day, how do you find the most essential apps for moving or living abroad?

Check my list of the essential apps for life abroad that every Expat should download before departure.  

16 Essential Apps for Expats Who Are Moving and Living Abroad (iOS and Android)

All the apps listed below are ones I’ve personally used throughout my years of living abroad and they have made my life abroad immeasurably easier.

I hope you find a few that you like so that moving abroad can be as amazing as you want it to be!

apps on an iPhone for living and moving abroad
Photo from Unsplash

1. Nord VPN

NordVPN is a must-have app for traveling and living abroad. Imagine being able to stream all your favorite programs or Netflix series anywhere in the world?

Yes, with Nord VPN you can!

Nord VPN is amazing at protecting your privacy and anonymity online, it’s very fast and has a huge number of server locations, meaning that your internet traffic will go through an encrypted tunnel that nobody will see into.

You will safely browse online (even at airports or cafes), securely use your online banking, and you will be able to unblock many different websites.

Nord VPN is surely one of the most essential apps for traveling and living abroad!

2. BetterHelp

BetterHelp is a great app for expats living abroad and dealing with some of the most common mental health problems, or being overwhelmed by a new place and lifestyle.

This great online therapy app will match you with a therapist that could potentially identify with your values, circumstances, and background.

All you need to begin is a quick intake form to complete and you can start scheduling phone, video, or live sessions with your therapist. 

Try BetterHelp today!

I‘ve lived abroad for many years and love helping others find work abroad and figure out their “Move Abroad Plan.” Check out my class below to get you started ASAP!

learn how to find work abroad, process visas, & more!

3. TransferWise

If you need or want to send money internationally at minimum rates, TransferWise is my go-to app. It allows you to connect your credit or debit card to easily send or receive money across the world.

Whether you need to pay friends or send funds to family, TransferWise can help you with all that. Read more about sending money abroad in my blog article.

Try TransferWise out now for yourself! I use it to pay my student loans while I’m abroad. 

4. N26

N26 is a digital bank operating across different European countries and the US, and one of the most essential apps for traveling and living abroad.

N26 does change the way you manage your money thanks to its excellent features and different banking options. It offers many benefits, commission-free withdrawals, wire transfers, fantastic customer service and so much more!

Sign up for N26 with my referral code and see how easy banking can be!

5. Whatsapp  

Probably one of the most famous and essential apps for traveling. Whatsapp is an absolute must if you move abroad.

Whatapp application on an iPhone
Photo from Unsplash

It allows you to keep your old phone number and communicate with anyone around the world who uses it too. It’s absolutely free and all you need is data or an internet connection.

You can text, call or video call with your friends, family, colleagues, or even potential employers!

6. Skype

One of the reasons why I love Skype is that its credit gives you loads of minutes to call anywhere in the world.

You can top up your account with $5, $10, or any amount you want, and international calls cost as cheap as $0.01/minute!

It’s surely one of the most essential apps for traveling and will be very useful if you need to make many landline calls before you get a proper phone contract. 

7. Google Voice

This amazing and essential app for traveling and living abroad is an easy and affordable telephone service that works both on smartphones and the web.

With Google Voice, you can opt for calls for personal or business use, and immediately start making domestic and international calls, or sending messages.

This great app is free but you may need to pay a small fee for some of the international calls. 

8. Duolingo

Are you moving abroad to Spain, but feel like you still need to practice your Spanish? Duolingo’s got your back!

I absolutely love it, it’s free and easy to use, making your language learning a fun and enjoyable experience. Nothing will ever replace an actual language practice with locals, but everyone needs to start somewhere.

Get ready to speak a local language with this great essential app for traveling like a local! 

move abroad starter kit

9. CityMaps2Go

An interactive app that allows you to discover the hotspots in major cities with guides, photos, and reviews.

You can pick and save the places you would like to visit and the best part is that this essential app for traveling also works offline!

Get ready for your move abroad and start exploring new places like a local! 

10. Skyscanner

Did you know you can fly anywhere in Europe for dirt cheap? Or that you can search for the most affordable flights literally anywhere?

find cheap Ryanair flights on Skyscanner app
Photo from Unsplash

That’s right! Skyscanner is a great app for adventurous expats and digital nomads as it scans through hundreds of different airlines to find the fastest, cheapest, or most convenient flights to many worldwide destinations.

It also allows you to set a price alert so you can get the best price. 

11. InterNations

InterNations is the largest expat network in the world. You do need to submit an application to get in, but you will get an amazing opportunity to connect with expats from all over the world.

If you just moved to a new country but you are still missing home, InterNations can connect you with expats who might be feeling the same.

This essential app for expats is perfect for meeting new people, making new connections, attending free events and so much more.

12. Meetup

Another great app for traveling and living abroad as it allows expats to find their community, do what they love, and meet those who love it too.

Meetup is very simple, it helps you meet people who share the same interests, either online or in person.

There you can find many events happening in your (new) city and you can make great new connections and perhaps friendships that will last for a lifetime!

13. Headspace

Moving abroad doesn’t come without challenges and you may experience loneliness or culture shock.

Headspace is a great app for those who love meditation, and those who would love to begin meditating in order to reduce stress, anxiety and bring peace to their mind, body, and soul.

With so many different options available, it’s surely one of the most essential apps for expats. 

private coaching session

14. Spotted by Locals

What better way to get to know the city than by following insider tips from locals?

Spotted by Locals is a city guide app where locals write about and recommend their favorite spots and places in a particular city. The app is not free, but it works offline and it’s quite detailed.

Make the most out of your move abroad and live your best expat life! 

15. Uber

The app that saved my life more than once. Moving abroad to a new country is a whole new experience. Taxis and transport can be expensive, especially when you move to capital cities.

using the Uber app while living abroad
Photo from Unsplash

Uber is a safe and budget-friendly choice for travelers and expats all over the world.

It’s now available in over 80 countries around the world and it’s surely one of the most essential apps for traveling because of its reach across the globe.

16. Zoom

Hey freelancers and remote workers! Zoom has become an essential app for traveling and remote working and we can now all attend online meetings from the comfort of our homes, hotels, or airports.

Zoom meeting app for living abroad
Photo from Unsplash

The last year has shown us all that the future can easily become uncertain and unpredictable and we must be ready for whatever comes.

Zoom is often used for potential job interviews or even first house viewings and it’s an app worth downloading. 

While there are plenty more great apps for living abroad to try, some are available in particular regions only.

My list of essential apps for expats contains apps that will work in many places around the globe, making them very useful not only when you move abroad, but also when you travel. 

Honorable Mention

This is not a travel app (yet) but every American expat abroad should have a plan regarding how they will file taxes back at home while they are living in a different country.

I’ve had a lot of problems in the past with finding a service that could capture my entire financial situation in one snapshot until I discovered MyExpatTaxes.

I have assets in three different countries, plus a business that I own, so my situation seemed like a nightmare to most accountants.

However, MyExpatTaxes was able to help me in a way that was both efficient and affordable. Find out more about MyExpatTaxes here.

Do you have any apps that you absolutely love and could recommend? Feel free to share them in the comments below!