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10 Apps You Need To Download For Your Gap Year Abroad

Hiker man with backpack crossing a river on stones in bulgarian mountains. Hiking and leisure theme. Image with sunlight effect

Are you getting ready to pack up and embark on the trip of a lifetime? After you’ve got your jabs, decided on an itinerary and booked your flights, don’t forget that there’s one last thing you need to do to give you a helping hand when travelling on the road. Apps can help make life easier and save you money. From the likes of Google Translate, Skyscanner to Rome2Rio, we’ve put together 10 apps that you need to download before you hit the road!


Skyscanner is the most important airline app you need on your phone. This handy application allows you to search and compare flight prices from all around the world, ensuring you can pick the cheapest option available, which is ideal when travelling on a budget! The app also has a helpful tool that allows you to search for a flight for the whole month, so you can see which the cheapest day is to fly on. They also have an explore feature, where you can put in your current destination and find cheap places to travel to, this can be next weekend or months in advance, but will give you lots of options for onward travel at a cheap rate, which is perfect when sticking to a backpacking budget!


So now you have your flights and know where you are heading to, but do you want to just rock up at the nearest hostel and hope they have room? Give yourself peace of mind and download Hostelworld’s app, not only will it show you the options of accommodation for your destination but it will also give you the best rates and you can read real reviews left by other backpackers so you can decide if this is the place for you.

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XE Currency

When you are backpacking you are adhering to a strict budget, so it’s important to always be aware of exchange rates so that you can make sure you don’t get ripped off! XE Currency provides you with real-time exchange rates for every currency in the world and allows you to send money to over 60 countries worldwide without incurring nasty exchange fees.

Google Maps

You’ll never need a paper map again thanks to Google Maps. This app allows you to explore the world even when offline. Simply type in a location and screenshot to save it in your maps and hey presto, let’s go exploring whether you have Wi-Fi or not!

Google Translate

If you are going to a country where you don’t speak the language, then you need to download this app. Google Translate allows you to record, type and translate up to 100 languages. It works both on and offline and can translate in real-time. Another handy feature is the camera. Simply tap the camera icon and allow access to your phone’s camera, now hold it over an image in a different language and watch the words change on the screen as if by magic! This is incredibly handy if you need to translate information, signposts or even a menu!

Wi-Fi finder

Need to make a video call to the parents? Well, then you will need strong, reliable Wi-Fi and the best way to find this the Wi-Fi finder. This app provides a condensed map of the nearby Wi-Fi locations, where they are and their strength. You can access this app even when offline, so if you are stuck in a tough spot and need to check booking itineraries if you forgot to download your Google Map or even if you need to send a quick email or WhatsApp message, then this app will ensure you get connected.


If you are travelling to a country where you don’t speak the language it would make sense to brush up on the basics. Duolingo is a language learning app that helps you learn from over 23 languages. It offers short immersive learning so that you can confidentially master the basics. Learn how to take part in basic conversations, order meals and more and build up your confidence in learning a new language.

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International Student Identity Card App (ISIC)

Are you a student or do you currently have a Totum student card? Did you know you are entitled to an International Student Identity Card? This card can be applied for along with your Totum card and ensures that you will be able to get access to student prices and discounts around the world. This card now comes with an app so you can track the latest deals and have a digital card to show when travelling. It helps you get deals on things like 25% off the ticket price to visit One World Observatory in New York, discounted theatre tickets and discounted museum tickets. When you are backpacking, every penny counts!


If there’s a place you want to get to but don’t know how Rome2Rio will give you all the options. The app will ensure you find the best way to get to your final destination, offering options such as flying, bussing it, train rides or even local rideshares. It opens your options and allows you to explore cheaper alternatives that mightn’t have originally crossed your mind! No matter where you want to get to, they will give you an option, even if it might take a long time!


When travelling on your gap year it’s understandable that family at home will worry about you. To provide peace of mind, download Bsafe. This app provides your loved ones with an updated location of where you are, so they know that you’re all right! The most important aspect of the app is that if you are in danger there is a voice-activated alarm that will alert your family or friends to your location. It also has a fake call option to use as a distraction and you can immediately share a safe pickup location with family and friends if you need out of an area. It’s best to always play it safe and this app is popular amongst solo travellers.

So now you have your apps covered, have you decided how to get your bags to your new location? Forget the expensive baggage fees of airlines, why not transfer your luggage from your door to your destination with My Baggage. My Baggage offers a fuss-free alternative to putting your belongings in the hold. A popular service with students and backpackers alike, ditch the wait at the carousel and save with My Baggage. Find out more here.