Moving abroad can be stressful. Don’t get us wrong – it’s a life-changing experience, with fun and excitement waiting around every corner. But it can come with a few hiccups along the way.

Thankfully, whether you’re moving abroad for a solo adventure or for a fresh start with your family, there’s an app for everything to help you along the way.

With just a few downloads, your phone can be your tour guide, translator, and teacher during your journey – and we’re here to show you which ones can help you the most. Check out our list of best apps to download if you’re moving abroad below.

Lady on her phone in the street

Make moving abroad a million times easier with the help of 13 simple apps

1. Wise

Useful for: Transferring money abroad
Download it from: The iOS App Store and Google Store
Price: Free


Managing your finances whilst moving abroad can seem daunting, especially when you’re dealing with a new currency – but it doesn’t have to be.

Wise (previously known as TransferWise) can help you manage your money from overseas. With this app, you’ll be able to send money to over 80 countries using its secure two-factor authentication.

You won’t need to worry about slow, complex, and costly money transfers either – on average, transfers with Wise are eight times cheaper than with leading UK banks. Plus, 50% of transfers are instant, or arrive within an hour.

2. Duolingo

Useful for: Learning the local language
Download it from: The iOS App Store and Google Store
Price: Free


duolingo logo Moving to a country that speaks a language you’re unfamiliar with? It might be worth learning a few key words and phrases. Naturally, you’ll pick this up whilst you’re out there, but it’s good to get a head start.

Thankfully, you can skip language lessons and jump straight into Duolingo – the app that makes learning languages fun and rewarding. You’ll be guided through exercises that challenge your knowledge of the local language, and if you get a question wrong, the app quickly shows you how to improve.

A study has even shown that spending 34 hours on Duolingo is the equivalent of completing one university semester language course.

3. Meetup

Useful for: Making friends abroad
Download it from: The iOS App Store and Google Store
Price: Free


Meetup logoIf you want to meet like-minded people on your travels, download Meetup. A quick scroll through the app will provide you with a huge variety of groups to join, from hikers and readers to film fanatics and foodies – you’re bound to meet people with shared interests.

Once you’ve found a group that you can see yourself fitting into, set up an event and start making friends. Alternatively, you can go to an existing event, meet others, and find your community.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, virtual events have also become popular on the app. So if you’re not able to meet face to face just yet, don’t worry – you can kick things off from the comfort of your new living room.

4. Citymapper

Useful for: Finding your way around a city
Download it from: The iOS App Store and Google Store
Price: Free


Forget about dodgy apps that can’t figure out your location – if you’re moving to a big city, Citymapper can be your saving grace. The website suggests that the app’s custom algorithms are built to find all ‘multi-modal routes’, meaning it finds the best journey no matter what mode of transport you’re using.

So far, Citmapper has helped over 50 million users walk, bus, train, or cycle their way through over 100 cities across the world. On top of this, you can say goodbye to sitting in traffic thanks to Citymapper’s real-time updates, which will make sure to avoid disruptions.

5. SpareRoom

Useful for: Finding a flatshare
Download it from: The iOS App Store and Google Store
Price: Free


Spareroom logoSpareRoom is a global platform that helps people find their perfect flatshare/houseshare – making it particularly useful for anyone moving abroad on their own.

All you need to do is make a profile, including a bit about yourself and where you’re looking to move, and you’ll be ready to start virtually mingling with other flat hunters. You have a pretty good chance of meeting your perfect flatmates, too, since over 2 million people visit the app every month. 

SpareRoom also reassures users that their team of moderators work around the clock to check ads and content, making sure your safety is their top priority.

6. Packpoint

Useful for: Getting organised
Download it from: The iOS App Store and Google Store
Price: £2.49


Packpoint logoThis one is for any unorganised travellers out there. If you don’t have a persistent parent, a pestering partner, or a badgering bestie to remind you what to pack (and when), PackPoint can step up to the plate.

This helpful tool will organise what you need to pack based on how long you’ll be away, the weather at your destination, and any activities you have planned during your trip.

Although this app is more suitable for a holiday rather than a move abroad, it’s a good way to make sure you at least have the essentials.

7. Wheelmap App

Useful for: Finding wheelchair-friendly places
Download it from: The iOS App Store and Google Store
Price: Free


wheelmap logoDespite being an app that helps people find wheelchair-accessible places, Wheelmap can be useful for anyone with any mobility issue.

Wheelmap can make the move abroad a million times easier by helping you find wheelchair-friendly restaurants, cafes, toilets, shops, cinemas, parking, bus stops – you name it. In total, the app’s community has rated roughly 1 million places using its own traffic light system:

  • Green: Fully wheelchair accessible
  • Orange: Partially wheelchair accessible
  • Red: Not wheelchair accessible

To go one step further, the app also updates users on whether or not elevators and escalators in the local area are currently out of service.

8. TheFork

Useful for: Discovering local food options
Download it from: The iOS App Store and Google Store
Price: Free


theFork logoAny foodies wanting to make their way through a new local cuisine will be hooked on the TheFork app. According to its website, TheFork is now the leading online restaurant discovery platform in Europe, Latin America, and Australia (although it also works in other parts of the world).

Once you’ve downloaded the app, you can dive into a treasure trove of over 17 million verified food reviews from across the world. Plus, when you book a reservation through TheFork, you can receive discounts of up to 50% off at various restaurants and earn reward points through the app’s loyalty programme.

9. Google Translate 

Useful for: Overcoming language barriers
Download it from: The iOS App Store and Google Store
Price: Free


Google Translate logoWe know, we know – who doesn’t have Google Translate by now? But before you move onto the next app on the list, it might be worth checking whether you’re actually utilising this trusty translation tool properly.

Google Translate can be your very own pocket-sized personal translator. While most people use the app to simply type in words they’re unfamiliar with, it’s actually capable of much more. With it, you’ll be able to:

  • Translate text between 108 languages
  • Use instant camera translation – a feature that allows you to translate 94 languages just by pointing your camera at the text
  • Translate real-time conversations – you’ll be able to chat in 71 languages
  • Draw text characters in 96 languages instead of typing
  • Compile a phrasebook – you can save translated words and phrases for future reference
  • Translate up to 59 different languages whilst offline

10. Withlocals

Useful for: Meeting locals and exploring the area
Download it from: The iOS App Store and Google Store
Price: Free


Forget about aimlessly wandering the streets looking for things to do and settling for the nearest restaurant you can find – instead, get to grips with your new home through the Withlocals app. Withlocals makes it easy to connect and communicate with local residents to discover the real, less touristy culture.

Currently only operating in Europe and Asia, this app can add an authentic feel to your experience, giving you the chance to dine at a local’s home, tour around hidden gems, and participate in fun traditions and activities.

11. Timeshifter

Useful for: Avoiding jet lag during your move
Download it from: The iOS App Store and Google Store
Price: Free (but the service is £9.99 for each plan after your initial trial)


Timeshifter logoIf you’re moving abroad, you might have to adjust to a new time zone – which is where Timeshifter comes in. Helping over 450 million passengers every year, this app has been proven to reduce the effects of jet lag.

Developed by scientists, and based on the latest circadian neuroscience (a fancy name for sleep science), Timeshifter allows you to create a personalised ‘jet lag plan’ to make sure you’re in tip-top shape when you hop off the plane.

The app not only provides advice to ease the disruptive symptoms of jet lag – such as insomnia and sleepiness – but also rapidly re-synchronises your circadian clock (sleeping pattern) to the new time zone.

12. Hinge

Useful for: Dating abroad
Download it from: The iOS App Store and Google Store
Price: Free


Hinge logoFor many people, the days of walking up to someone and asking them out are long gone. Thankfully, there is now a plethora of dating apps that can help you meet that special someone – or, you know, just have people to chat to during your move abroad.

We’ve listed Hinge as our must-have dating app whilst moving abroad. Rather than encouraging monotonous swiping, Hinge puts more of a focus on relationships and conversation starters. Users can build their profile to show off their personality, and can like or comment on someone else’s profile.

Hinge also recently introduced a new feature where users can take mini quizzes mid-swipe – anyone who has similar results to you will pop up as a recommendation. It’s these little match-maker features that have made the app so popular in over 20 countries.

13. Sitata

Useful for: Staying safe abroad
Download it from: The iOS App Store and Google Store
Price: Free to download, but the service is £50 a month after the 30-day trial


Sitata logoOne daunting aspect of travelling – especially for anyone making the move on their own – is safety. If you’re feeling a bit nervous, try downloading Sitata – an app that specialises in keeping people safe whilst travelling.

All you have to do is connect Sitata with your travel agency’s app, or simply forward your booking details to Sitata’s email address. The app will then update you with any health concerns, safety issues, and flight information that you should be aware of before you hop on the plane.

If you have a medical query during your journey, Sitata can connect you with doctors who specialise in travel medicine, and will jump on a quick video call.

This app has been especially helpful during the coronavirus pandemic, allowing users to stay on top of flight delays/cancellations as well as outbreaks.


Moving abroad has never been easier – flights are shorter, booking systems are less complicated, and we have an endless list of apps to help lighten the load along the way.

If you’re looking for more guidance about moving abroad, check out some of our other popular pages: