Studying abroad has always been a dream of mine. During high school, I researched numerous foreign exchange programs, but I never had the courage to pursue them. I was afraid of missing out on the "typical" high school experience. During the summer of 2023, while I was at work, one of my friends sent me a text containing a link to a study abroad opportunity for engineering students. I was extremely hesitant, and even more so about asking my parents! Ultimately, I decided this was an opportunity I couldn't afford to miss and such chances don't come around often.

In preparation for the trip, I've done a LOT of tiktok research. I've travelled abroad before, but never to Europe, so I had a lot to learn! During my research, I discovered some super cool apps to help me prepare and to use once I arrive!

I stumbled upon PackPoint, and it's become one of my favorite apps! As someone who's not the best at packing (I usually have to call my mom for help), PackPoint has been a lifesaver. You simply input your destination, arrival date, duration of stay, and trip purpose. Then, you pick activities from their list or add your own, and PackPoint generates a customized packing list based on the weather and your plans!

I've discovered another fantastic app that I absolutely love: TripIt. With TripIt, you can forward all your flight details, excursion confirmations, and any other events or activities to The app automatically uploads them and creates a detailed itinerary for you! It includes dates, times, and even offers an option to upload any paper documents you need to hold on to. How convenient is that?

For the burning question of how to use your phone abroad, check out HolaFly and Airalo. These apps offer eSIM cards, providing normal data and cell service with your regular phone number! Just select your destination country or region when you open the app – you can even choose the entire globe. Then, browse through the various data options based on your needs for duration and data volume. The only catch is your phone needs to be unlocked, but a quick call to your provider should sort that out!

With the help of innovative apps like PackPoint, TripIt, HolaFly, and Airalo, preparing for and navigating through a trip to Italy or any other destination has never been easier. From efficient packing lists to comprehensive itineraries and hassle-free international phone usage, these tools truly transform the travel experience. So, whether you're exploring ancient ruins in Rome or savoring gelato in Florence, let technology be your ultimate travel companion, enhancing every moment of your adventure. Buon viaggio!