I have been traveling the world for about 4 years now.
One of the first things you notice when you get to travel is there are certain logistics you have to handle. Whether that is where you’ll be staying or how you’ll be getting there. An overlooked logistic oftentimes would be how do I communicate when I get there?
For instance, most people in the USA will communicate via texting. But when abroad most of your interactions with people will be done through applications. Mostly through WhatsApp. On the other side of the world, Telegram would be the alternative.
My suggestion would be to use WhatsApp as it is most common. But also, you should plan for having a mobile internet connection. Usually that means finding and getting a SIM card. The easiest place to get this would be at the international airport you’ll arrive at. Otherwise, you can always plan to go to the local malls.
Once you have an internet connection and a valid communicating platform, you’re finally able to traverse the new city.
I do want to give a couple caveats though. Some communication platforms do not always work in all countries. For example WhatsApp does not work in Dubai. You’ll have to download a separate application that’s approved if you want to get on a communication platform.
Applications Worth Mentioning
This is more of a side note than anything else. But if you plan to go to Latin America, you have to download the Rappi application. You can order everything from there at a lower cost than you would with Uber Eats in the USA.
Other Communication Applications
You can also use Facebook Messenger. This is what I use to primarily keep in touch with friends and family in the USA.
But other applications like Instagram can also be used to get in touch with people as well.
Telegram is more common the further east you go, however WhatsApp is probably the most widely used for messaging.
How a VPN Helps Blocked Applications
The reasons why certain applications are blocked is because a regional environment has put restrictions on that application. Unless local communication authorities approve of it, that application will remain to not work. However, if the internet you use is not a regional network, then you can use that application.
For example: You can be geographically present in one area but have access to a different geographical network. That will open the access of an application when it previously could not.
This is what a VPN does. It puts you in a separate regional network environment than where you are physically. So, if you’re in Dubai, you can turn on a VPN to the USA. Whatever applications are accessible in the USA, can now be accessible through your VPN connection. Including WhatsApp.
However, even though you may have access to that communication application, that still doesn’t solve the problem for others who use other applications to communicate.
My Favorite Travel Applications
It’s a good idea to have a list of apps beyond what you use to communicate with other people. Although it is important, there are other methods to enjoy traveling using applications.
Some popular application includes dating apps, map apps, local delivery apps, ride share apps, etc.
You also should look at the local restrictions for other apps beyond communications apps as well. Some of the times these may not be available in the country you go to.
For example, Uber is technically not allowed in Colombia. However locally many people use it. But if local law enforcement finds out, they may be able to fine you.
Popular applications that I usually find in most traveler’s phones would be:
- Google Maps
However, I’ve found additional apps which I like to download and use in that region specifically for delivery. Lately I’ve been in Latin America, and I have really loved using an app called Rappi. It’s an app that delivers anything from food to ATM cash. It’s an incredible time saver.
For Travel Insights
I plan to keep on traveling many years in the future. And it seems to just be getting smoother and smoother as time goes on. Mostly because I have a pretty good understanding of my logistics.
Whether that is in the application space or booking reservations. I feel like I’ve become an expert with traveling.
There’s so much more to say about logistics than applications. For instance, how to pack your things for long term travel, or how to get a US address if you plan on being a nomad for the long term. But that’s an idea for another article. Or you can check out Travel Mocha.
If you like content like this, there are great insights about Mexico City, Dubai, Spanish, and travel in general to be found at Travel Mocha. Please feel free to stop by there for a visit into these insights.
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Photo by Daria Nepriakhina 🇺🇦 on Unsplash