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The Best Apps for Globetrotters To Stay Connected During COVID-19

5/21/2020
With lockdown and stay-at-home measures becoming the new norm, learning how to enjoy your time with your friends and family from your own home is essential. Fortunately, we are part of a technologically sophisticated world where we can find a solution to most of our challenges online.
 
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With lockdown and stay-at-home measures becoming the new norm, learning how to enjoy your time with your friends and family from your own home is essential. Fortunately, we are part of a technologically sophisticated world where we can find a solution to most of our challenges online. Read our previous article about What Globetrotters Can Do During COVID-19 Isolation for more ideas about how to enjoy your time at home.

With travel and movement restrictions becoming the new norm, here are a few apps that travel junkies and frequent travelers can engage in with their friends until social distancing lifts:
 

1. Create a Wishlist

Planning your next adventure with your friends can help both of you have something to look forward to for when lockdown lifts. You can do this the traditional pen and paper way by making a bucket list that includes your top picks and another section with your friends’ top picks or you can all simultaneously work on your document or slides through using apps such as Microsoft Online and Google Drive. These apps allow you to comment, simultaneously edit, and even share pictures.
 

2. Learn a Language

Partner with your remote friends to challenge and motivate each other to learn a new language and explore a new culture. Many websites are offering free language courses during the outbreak as demand for online connectivity increases. Duolingo is an app that makes learning a new language seem like a game through its colorful interface, earning points for finishing sections, having a “streak” feature, and having access to stories and audio files. You can also use many other apps to learn a new language with your friends as you have more time at home.

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3. Geography with Kids

Missing your niece or nephew as you are stranded across the world or looking for an interactive way to teach your kids about geography? There’s a way to do that from your own home as well! One of the most popular geography apps is Google Earth which lets you travel the world with your fingertips. You can view the countries of the world in 3D and even at street level by zooming in to see the geographical landscapes and images related to each country. Other apps can help teach children about geography through games, thought-provoking questions, and interactive figures.
 

4. Binge-watch Documentaries and Travel Shows

Although meeting your friends has become far more infrequent or all together rare for many people, you and your friends can still enjoy watching travel shows and documentaries together from your own home. Netflix Party is a Google Chrome extension that allows binging to be a group affair by syncing your streaming platform with friends and family so everyone can watch the same show or movie at the same time. This extension also has a chat feature that allows users to share their thoughts on what is going on in real time – whether it be something about the show or something happening in the home such as a snack break.

Assist America has previously shared a collection of our team’s favorite travel documentaries and shows that you can enjoy with your friends and help lift your spirits during the COVID-19 social distancing period.


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5. Multiplayer Games

Want to hang out with friends and play multiplayer games like you used to do when your friends would visit? Houseparty is an app that allows users to hang out and party with friends while they are cooped up at home through virtual rooms, in-app multiplayer games, and video messaging. This app initially failed to make much of an impact when it launched in 2016, but since isolation measures came into force, this app has become a cultural phenomenon. You may also want to look for other gaming apps that can be shared with friends.
 

6. Live Concerts and Fitness Sessions

Want to enjoy live music, a concert, dancing, or even work out challenges, with your friends or significant other while you self-isolate? That’s also a possible option with Twoseven, an app created by a couple in a long distance relationship. This app supports streaming on Netflix, YouTube, Vimeo, and Amazon Prime to name a few and has built-in text and video capabilities so you can see your friend and share your video-viewing experience with them face-to-face. Other apps like Plug.DJ creates a private room for all your friends to line up a list of music videos and chat in real-time.

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7. International Recipes

Staying at home is the perfect time to create your very own online cookbook of international recipes and try some of them as well. Yummly is an app and a website that makes swapping between your phone and computer convenient while cooking. After a few searches, Yummly gets to know your taste and will recommend more recipe options for you to try. Lastly, do not forget to share your creations with family and friends through social media such as Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook to spread positivity and inspire your inner circle to create their own recipes as well!
 

8. Virtual Tours

Virtual tours create enthusiasm, help keep children engaged, and are a great way to learn when you cannot physically visit a place. From streaming roller coaster rides to visiting a museum to stopping by a zoo across the world, you can do it all through the many apps mentioned above. Here’s a massive list of museums, zoos, and theme parks to visit from home.