These are the products and services we personally use to make our life abroad a success
These are the products and services we personally use to make our life abroad a success
If you are booking a flight for your move abroad, you should first check out our article about that. Booking a flight for a move is a totally different thing than booking a flight for a vacation.
Skyscanner: Skyscanner is our go-to flight booking site because it has amazing features and is almost always the cheapest. If you are looking to explore the new area you are living in you can type “Everywhere” as your destination and Skyscanner will give you the cheapest places to fly to based on your location. You can also leave your dates completely open or search a date range if you are flexible. Although Skyscanner usually provides the best price, it doesn’t hurt to compare with other sites just to be sure.
AirfareWatchdog: Sometimes turns up great (cheap) results. Plus you can sign up for price alerts from a particular city if you want to be notified when flight prices get real low.
Even if you have insurance lined up for the country you are relocating to it is still essential to purchase travel insurance for your trip. You never know if something is going to happen to you in transit, if you’re flight will be delayed or canceled, and most importantly if you’re luggage will be lost. When you are moving abroad you are likely bringing things of important value with you. If something gets lost you will want the opportunity to be reimbursed.
World Nomads: This is the company we always use when traveling or moving for travel insurance. They cover basically everything you could think of and have amazing customer service. We’ve always had no problems filing claims and getting reimbursed for any medical expenses. Luckily our luggage has never been lost, but we asked other bloggers and they have all had an easy time being reimbursed for lost luggage through World Nomads.
This is the technology we rely on to make our life abroad a little easier and to capture all our amazing moments.
GoPro: We love having a GoPro for action and adventure. It’s great for things such as capturing video and pictures while zip lining, snorkeling, mountain biking, surfing, and more. I wouldn’t say it is a definite must have, but if you are interested in action and adventure I think it is worth the price.
Macbook Air: The Macbook Air is great because it is easy to fit in a small backpack while traveling. For us, traveling is a big part of our life but we also need a way to maintain The Wanderlanders while we are off having fun. This laptop is perfect for that. You can buy it in 11 inches or 13 inches. I opted for the 13 inch because I like having a slightly bigger screen for web designing.
Samsung S7: I’m usually all about Apple products, but for a phone I prefer the Samsung S7. The reason for this is that when moving abroad it can be difficult to get an Iphone unlocked so that you can use it in different countries. It has proven to be much easier with Samsung. Also, the S7 takes realllyyy great pictures. We have stopped using our regular camera and now capture moments solely on the S7 and GoPro
Tip: If you need a new phone, you can buy an international unlocked one. It will save you a lot of future trouble.
Kindle Paperweight: If you are anything like me (I read about 3 books a week), it’s really important to be able to have access to books. This can be difficult while abroad because sometimes it is hard to find books in your native language. Plus, you probably don’t want to accumulate a huge collection of books that you will have to sell when you move.
Tip: This is about to change your life. Download a free app on your Kindle called Overdrive. Get a library account at your local library in your home country before you move. Connect that account with Overdrive and you can borrow ebooks like a regular library FOR FREE!!! I haven’t paid for a book in three years.
All in One Power Plug: Learn from my mistakes and always have a few of these on hand. When you travel a lot you are bound to run into a situation where you don’t have the correct adaptor to plug something in. I like this one because it works for almost every country (it does not work for Switzerland, Italy, India, and South Africa), it includes two USB ports, and it is not too expensive. There are plenty of adapters out there that are double or triple the price of this one and claim to be better, but I don’t think it is necessary to spend that much money on an adapter. You are probably going to need more than one if you want multiple things plugged in at one time, so why not buy a cheaper one that is still great quality.
When you first arrive in your new country you are going to need to find a place to live. Please, please don’t ever commit to a place until you physically see it. You never know if it actually appears as it does in the photos. You don’t know if it is below a flight path, if there is mold, if there are loud neighbors etc. Anyway, while you are picking a permanent home you will need to stay somewhere temporarily.
Airbnb: If you are not familiar with Airbnb, it is a website that allows people to rent out a room, apartment, house, mansion etc out for short term stays. This could be a really great option for you because a lot of listings on Airbnb will allow you to rent a place for a whole month.
Tip: Use this link to get a nice discount on your first stay courtesy of us. 🙂
HomeAway: This site is similar to Airbnb. I suggest checking both sites. Sometimes you will find the same places listed on both sites, but not always. It’s worth a look!
Agoda: Agoda is a lesser known hotel search website that I tend to prefer over some other bigger sites. I find their rates tend to be cheaper than most other sites and I find their website a lot easier to navigate than most other booking sites. Also, I much rather support a nice young company like Agoda than some of the booking giants.
Skyscanner: The search features on Skyscanner for hotels are not the best. In fact, the really aren’t my favorite, BUT there are some perks of using Skyscanner. You do not actually book your hotel directly from Skyscanner. Instead, they direct you to a 3d party website. The perk of this is that Skyscanner compares all the bigger websites and will tell you which site is cheapest to book from. What I tend to do is search for hotels through Agoda and pick my faves. I then head over to Skyscanner and make sure the price on Agoda is actually the cheapest before booking.
Trusted Housesitters: The concept behind this site is really cool. Basically you search for a home in the location you are interested in staying. You then house-sit (which may entail some maintenance) in exchange for a free place to stay. This could be great for short term while looking for your own place or you could even make it a long term thing. I actually know many digital nomads that use this site for their housing.
It could also be a great option for all of you that have a home that you want to have someone stay in and maintain while you are living abroad.
Note: You do have to pay for a membership. For a year it costs about $120, but if you are seriously considering housesitting I think it is worth it.
A big part of living abroad that I personally struggled with was making connections. If you want a detailed list of great ways to make friends check out our article about that here.
EatWith: I wish I thought of this idea. This website allows you to connect with other people in your city and eat a meal at their house. If you love to cook you could use this site to find people to come eat with you. For a major foodie like myself, this site is perfection.
Meetup: I can’t say enough good things about Meetup. This site saved me when I was living in Germany with major homesickness and desperately needed to stay busy. The concept is people can start or join groups in their city based on different interests. Meetups are then planned in which everyone in the group gets together to participate in whatever the group’s interest is. For example, in Germany I joined an international women’s group that met frequently for dinner. I also joined a live music group that went to concerts together. It’s a great way to meet people and it is completely FREE!
LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE
If you are serious about learning a new language you should check out our complete list of tips for learning a language for free here. Here are the websites and programs that have helped me to learn German and Spanish.
Duolingo: This site can be used on your desktop or as an app. I love the app because it is great for doing a few lessons while sitting on the train. Duolingo is completely free and fun. You are not going to become a language expert with this, but it will definitely help with the basics.
Rosetta Stone: I have not personally used Rosetta Stone, but it has come highly recommended to me by other expat bloggers. Rosetta Stone is an extensive language learning program that you can get as a digital download or as a computer program. The program consists of 5 parts which you can buy as a bundle or separately. I suggest buying just the first part to start and see if you like the structure of it before spending the money to commit to the whole thing.
FIND A JOB OR VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY
We are working on a job board for you all, but until that is up and running smoothly (and even once that is set up) here are some other sites you should definitely check out to find a job or volunteer opportunity.
Some of these are affiliate links, which means if you purchase something I will get a small cut of the profit at no cost to you. You get a great product and I get a little money to keep this website alive. I’d say that’s a win-win.
Please note I only ever post things here that I personally have used and loved or have been highly recommended to me by other bloggers I trust.