Here are 5 apps that will help save your skin (and wallet!) when you are in the midst of a foreign land–or right across the street. Check them out!
1. Waze – Free
Waze is an incredible “social GPS” with turn by turn directions, live traffic updates, and it even tells you where police officers are hanging out. This is because it displays user updated information. It works like this: suppose you and I both had the app, and we don’t even know each other. I’m 10 miles ahead of you, and there’s a bad accident. I’m stuck in traffic, and I report the accident. It will update on your phone and reroute you to a faster route. Or if I pass by a police officer, it will pop an alert warning you that he is hiding there, and you can make sure you don’t have a lead foot. This app will help save you time, and money. Plus, it’s free!
Another benefit to this app, is that you can display a live map of where you currently are. This map can be texted to parents, or even set to display on your Facebook page. This is great for parent’s anxious hearts about where their children currently are.
2. Yelp – Free
If you don’t have Yelp yet, you need to get it now. Yelp is your local guide to finding just the place to eat, shop, relax, and play–and it’s all based on real user reviews. So when you are done working for the day, and you’d like to take your group out for a night on the town, this will help you avoid spots where you could get shot or come down with a nasty case of food poisoning. When in doubt, ask for Yelp (see what I did there?)!
3. Bible by LifeChurch.tv – Free
Whether you are sharing a devotional with your team onsite or sharing scripture with someone you met, there is no excuse for not having the Bible with you. If you didn’t bring your physical bible with you, you can have the bible on your phone. While other apps have bibles that are only available online, this app allows you to download multiple versions of the bible for offline access. That’s super important if you don’t know where your work sites are. Be prepared and avoid these problems!
4. BestParking – Free
With 105 major cities covered, BestParking is a fantastic tool to use on your mission trips if you’re going to be in the city for any portion. One of the things that I hate the most about visiting cities are the confusing parking laws, and the difficulty finding a cheap place to park. This helps you conquer both, save some money, and not stress out as much. Do yourself a favor and download it if you plan on Mission Tripping to a city.
5. Roadside America – $2.99
I can remember the first time my youth pastor took us to Nashville. I grew up in Vero Beach, Florida, so it was a big trip, and a huge moment in my life. The entire bus ride he was telling us about this beautiful place he was taking us–the moon over Nashville. He told us it wasn’t what we thought it was, but it was pretty incredible. We pulled up into some nondescript street in Nashville, and he told us to close our eyes. We held the shoulders of the person in front of us, and we followed our leader all the way up to the site. He set us up, pointed our faces up, and proudly proclaimed, “OPEN YOUR EYES!!!”
It was a giant statue of a butt.
And it was hilarious.
I’m still talking about it almost 15 years later, and–occasionally–I take my own students there. Roadside America is an app that helps you find those amazing places near you and places you are visiting. It’s $2.99, but incredibly worth it! It even has it’s own rating system to tell you if it is worth the stop, mildly interesting, or amazing fun. Best $2.99 I’ve ever spent, and would make great little additions to your Mission Trip!
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