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Top 5 Free Apps To Download Before You Travel

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Technology is everything nowadays and whilst some see this as a hindrance, having your phone stuck in your hand can be incredibly helpful when attempting to discover a new area. Whether you need help with the local lingo, are craving a speciality dish or are simply lost in the middle of a busy city, there is an app to help you. Make sure you download our TEFL survival kit apps before jetting off to your dream teaching location.

Google Maps

Platform: All mobile devices

Topic: Orientation

Getting lost at one point of your trip is inevitable, whether this is on the way home to your accommodation or on your way to a local attraction. Make sure you keep a list of handy addresses (including that of your accommodation and school) on a notes app or even in a small notebook to allow you to quickly search for where you need to go. The handy GPS function lets you get walking or driving directions to wherever you need to go, so no need to panic about exploring too much again!

My Postcard

Platform: iOS and Android

Topic: Communication

Everyone loves the nostalgia of postcards, and they make a much more personalised way to share your pictures from around the world with your friends and family instead of sharing them on social media. Choose your design and add pictures, then send your postcard to your family straight from your phone, no matter what country you are in! We can imagine many parents will appreciate hearing from you in one of the most traditional ways, and it will also give them something to stick on the fridge long after you return.

Trip Advisor

Platform: iOS, Android and Windows

Topic: Reviews

Forget everything you know about the professional reviewers everyone has heard so much about and take note from the locals who know the area better than anyone else. Read various viewpoints on a location, attraction or hotel before deciding on where to visit or stay.

Trip Advisor is great for providing you with ideas for activities during your free time. Visit theme parks, museums, landmarks and restaurants that you never would have found by using a handbook. Remember that some people just like to moan, and that forming your own opinions count more than what a stranger says, but also remember that a one star rating is a one star rating for a reason.

FoodSpotting

Platform: All mobile devices

Topic: Food

Finding that perfect restaurant can be a struggle, especially when handbooks and guides all suggest different eateries. Foodspotting allows you to see the food served at a number of restaurants surrounding your local area. See what others have been eating and let the app choose what you are craving. Save some meals for later, or go ahead and try it straight away!

Don’t forget to upload a picture and comment of any food you eat to allow others to find your favourite restaurant or café. This app is great for travellers, but you can also use it when you get back home to find hidden gems and underappreciated establishments.

Duolingo

Platform: iOS, Android, Windows (including desktop)

Topic: Learning a Language

We get so many worried teachers asking is they need to know the local language before they start teaching English. Whilst this is not true, many people will still want to be at a comfortable level with the local language before heading off to live there for months at a time. Duolingo is great for learning the basics you need to know to get along in daily life; including food, household items and occupations. Unfortunately, there are currently no Asian languages to learn on the app, however, Spanish is one of the most popular languages learnt on there and can help many teachers heading off to South America.

Not only is Duolingo useful for your own learning, you can also bring it into the classroom. There is a huge selection of English classes for a multitude of different languages, meaning you can use Duolingo to aid classroom learning, or even set it as fun, game-based learning as homework. The competitive element of the app will allow children to race each other and adults can get enjoyment from the simplicity of it all.

The Whole World at Your Fingertips

There are always new travel apps being developed that can help you make the most of your time away from home. Whether you use your own must-have list or use ours, relish at the fact that technology has made the world a smaller place; minimising homesickness, encouraging sharing and even providing you with a whole map of the world on a tiny pixelated screen.


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