When I first arrived to London I was left on a cold street corner with no wifi or battery and no idea how I was to get to my hostel. Lucky a friendly chicken shop owner (who I defiantly visited several times to show my gratitude) allowed me to charge my phone and use his wifi.
From this I have always made a conscious effort to let people know what apps to download before they arrive in the UK, which may get them out of sticky situations.
Here are my top apps to download before arriving in the UK.
1. City Mapper
City mapper may remind you of google maps – only better! Once you put in your destination it plans your trip for you from where you are. ‘Door to door’ as you will hear in the UK. The good thing about city mapper is that once you load your journey (when in wifi or with data). It will still work when out of wifi. All airports have free wifi so load up your journey when you are waiting to go through customs!
2. Uber / Kapten
Both apps are ride share apps which connect you to drives across the UK. You never know when a train line will be finished for the night, down or delayed. Only on a few occasions did I have to use an uber to get to work or the airport in a rush! A story for another day.
It takes time to get your bank account organised. Having OFX available to send money is very handy. You might be surprised at the number of unexpected costs you face after you arrive, and you don’t want to be left skint. OFX are one of the global leaders in quick and easy international money transfers, meaning you’ll have funds wherever you are in the UK. OFX also have agents who will call you if you need assistance with transferring money!.
4. Time out
If you are not one to post on a social media group ‘what’s happening tonight?!?!’ like many of us are, this app will be great for you in finding upcoming activities. This app started in 1968 and is a great way of keeping up with the latest goings-on in London, Birmingham, Manchester and more! From antique fairs, art shows, film festivals, concerts, gigs, restaurant reviews and outdoor activities – there is plenty going on!
With covid happening online shopping with quick trustworthy delivery may be needed – Argos has everything you need from bedding, toiletries, furniture and many more needed knickknacks. Think of Argos like our K-mart..
6. Spare room
Easy way to find a house share (flat) when arriving (other than Aussies in London posts on FB). There are so many rooms going throughout the UK. My advice is to always set up a meeting with the flat to make sure it is what you are looking for (flat mates, location etc). You will be able to lock one down within a week!
I hope that these apps may provide you with some comfort when arriving in the UK and you are not stranded on a cold street corner like I was on my arrival! All the best and stay safe!