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Wednesday 21 March 2012

Our Top 6 Travel Apps

In our bid to provide all Flat-Clubbers who are relocating abroad or travelling overseas with useful info, we thought it was time we had a look at some of the best travel apps in the market. The reign of the pocket-sized translation dictionary and foldable map is over – this is our selection of the top 6 travel apps ready to download on to your mobile now.

And the best thing? You can get them all for free by reviewing any Study, Teach, Volunteer or Intern abroad programme on Go Overseas.

Hear Planet: Audio Guide to the World

Like having a tour guide in your pocket, this audio guidebook gives you the scoop on local landmarks, historic sites and much more in countless cities worldwide.

TripIt: Travel Organizer

Get peace of mind whilst travelling, by having all your plans in one place. TripIt instantly recognizes confirmation and booking emails to create a personal itinerary, as well as making it easier to share travel plans with friends online.

QuinnScape Packing Pro:

Simple, reliable and infinitely customizable, this travel app creates unique, personal packing lists to keep you super-organized and ensures you’ll never forget your socks again.


An invaluable new travel phrasebook – available in French, Italian and Japanese – helping you master the pronunciation of hundreds of phrases and travel keywords with its “talking translations”.

Mobiata Flight Board Track

Get real-time flight departure information, delays and gate numbers at over 4,000 airports worldwide. FlightTrack also updates you on cancellations and helps you to arrange an alternative flight.

National Geographic World Atlas National Park Maps

Browse HD Atlases and National Park maps and mark places you would like to visit. It can also be used as a directional guide when visiting new places.

Visit Go Overseas to review your study, work or volunteer abroad programme for the chance to win Apple products and to get all these great travel apps for free.

Oh, of course you also should use us here at FlatClub to help you find a spot to stay! One of our services is Expert Search, which is a free service that helps you find accommodation in any city across the world. Our team will work to match you up with great hosts & great flats.

Tuesday 13 March 2012

A Relocation Guide to London

A relocation guide to London, written by the people who moved there and live there.

Before you go Make sure you have all the correct documentation: visas, work permits, driving licence and copies of past bank statements Arrange short-term accommodation for your first few weeks to give you plenty of time to look for a place longer term Make sure you know the address, post code and nearest tube stop of where you're staying - it makes it so much easier once you're in the airport

    Finding a place

  • Walk around the city, get to know areas, look online at prices and narrow down your search depending on your budget
  • Use local newspapers, classified ads and estate agents to look round houses - don't feel pressured to sign anything on the spot but bear in mind the housing market moves pretty quickly here so something available in the morning may well be taken by the afternoon
  • You'll need to pay a month's rent in advance, a security deposit (usually 1.5 x monthly rent - which you get back at the end of the tenancy) and agency fees (which vary depending on who you go with)

Setting up a bank account

  • Most of the main banks (Barclays, HSBC, Natwest, Santander) have very similar, competitive rates so best just to go with the one nearest you
  • You'll need several proofs of ID, proof of address in the UK and copies of past bank statements when you go into the branch
Useful links:
How to open a bank account

Registering with a doctor

  • Search online to find your local GP and then just go into the centre to register with them - you can have check-ups and emergency care for free on the NHS but you must be registered first so make it a priority
  • Also register with a dentist (registration is free, but check-ups and treatments will cost something)

Staying safe

  • Emergency phone number in Britain is 999. Dial 999 to be put through to fire brigade, ambulance or police.
  • Shield your PIN at cash machines, avoid empty tube carriages at night and never get in an unlicensed mini cab (only hail black cabs from the street or pre-book your taxi to pick you up)


  • Buy an Oyster card for £3 at any tube station. You can then top it up in shops or at tube stations to pay for travel on the Underground, trains and buses. On buses you just tap it at the front of the bus for a single trip, on tubes you tap it to get through the gates when you start your journey and again as you finish it
  • Rent a bike from any of the docking stations around London by putting your card into the machine - it charges £1 for 24 hours rental and you can use it for 30 minutes at a time for free.
  • Hail black cabs from the street - stand in a place they can stop, and put your arm out to hail a taxi with its light on. They charge by time and length of journey.

Monday 12 March 2012

Introducing... City Relocation Guides

Every year, thousands of people relocate abroad for student exchanges, projects and internships. And whilst living in a new country is one of the best experiences ever, it can be pretty confusing in the first few weeks. We know, because we've been there. Hunting out a place to rent, arranging visas, bank accounts and trying to figure out exactly what an Oyster card is.

So, we've decided to build a section of Flat-Club dedicated to those people moving abroad for the first time, whether they're moving short or long-term. Today sees the first of a series of posts, giving you the tips and tricks we wish we'd known when we first came to London. And with Flat-Club members all round the world, we'll also be featuring relocation guides for New York, Paris, Chicago and many more. Guides written by the people that live there.

Feel free to contribute your own advice and tell us about the things you wish you'd known when you relocated to a new city. We'll constantly be adding to the guides and relocation section of the website so that all your contributions can feature to make the Flat-Club Relocation Guides the most helpful and complete ones yet!

Contact us or comment below to share your stories and advice.

If you're looking for a place to stay, take a look at our Expert Search (all free!) and use our expertise to help you find the best place to stay.