Shifting blues? Try these apps

You can now get help to rent a place or furniture, order food, even make friends


Smartphone apps now help you find a place to stay or rent essentials such as beds and appliances, when shifting to a new city. Photo: iStockphoto
Smartphone apps now help you find a place to stay or rent essentials such as beds and appliances, when shifting to a new city. Photo: iStockphoto

Shifting to a new city comes with its own set of hassles. You have to find a place to stay, haggle with apartment owners, disclose personal information like whether you eat meat, stay out late, and how much you earn. Then there’s Wi-Fi, air conditioning, cable TV and other services to take care of. And that’s just the beginning. From getting furniture to figuring out food and modes of transport while handling work in a new city, the process can bog you down completely. We list a few apps that can help ease the transition.

Find a place to stay

Do you eat meat? Are you married? How long do you plan to stay? Save yourself these and other probing questions by simply renting an apartment from an online home rental company like Nestaway (Android, iOS; Nestaway.com). Search a place, visit it, pay a token amount to book it and move in. The house is furnished, with a ready kitchen, appliances and Wi-Fi, so you just need to carry your suitcases. Nestaway is available in Bengaluru, Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR), Hyderabad, Pune and Mumbai. Grabhouse (Android, iOS; Grabhouse.com), a Quickr company, provides services in these areas as well as Kolkata and Chennai. It offers what they call cocoons, aesthetically done apartments. Bengaluru also has the option of RentMyStay (Android; Rentmystay.com), which rents out furnished flats on a daily or weekly basis, for up to 11 months.

Rent a bed or washing machine

Waiting for your furniture to arrive or don’t want to invest in a new washing machine? Hire a sofa-set or a bed or an appliance like a refrigerator, washing machine or even a television set from Furlenco (Android, iOS; Furlenco.com) in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Pune or Gurugram. Rental packages for a single bedroom begin at Rs1,150 a month for a single bed and side table, while at City Furnish (Cityfurnish.com) this would cost Rs900 a month in Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru and Pune. Grab On Rent (Android, GrabonRent.com), which operates in Bengaluru and Hyderabad, also offers cycles, fitness equipment, camping tents and barbeque sets.

Figure out your daily travel

Don’t want to coordinate with an Ola or Uber driver every day as you get used to a new city? Hire an Activa, KTM or Harley two-wheeled vehicle in Bengaluru, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Mumbai or Pune from Rentongo (Android; Rentongo.com), starting from Rs300 per day. You can also opt for the shuttle buses that ply on major city routes through Cityflo (Android, iOS; Cityflo.com) in Mumbai; ZipGo (Android, iOS; Zipgo.in) in Bengaluru, Jaipur, Mumbai and NCR; Easy Commute (Android; Easycommute.co) in Hyderabad; and Shuttl (Android; Shuttl.com) in Delhi-NCR which offers an air-conditioned bus for a single-day trial for Rs50 as a trial for anywhere in Delhi-NCR. All these apps also offer live-tracking of the bus, to ensure you don’t miss it.

Order homemade food

While you are setting up your kitchen, you can order homemade food online. There are many tiffin options for metros. Spicebox (Spicebox.in; Rs80 onwards) makes ghar ka khana with minimum spices and oil, and offers a monthly menu, with no repeats, for Mumbai. FitMeals (Fitmeals.co.in; Rs349 onwards) serves diet food, and TinMen (Tinmen.in; Rs75 onwards) serves home-chef meals in Hyderabad. Breakfast Bay (Breakfastbay.com; Rs69), whose menu includes delicious items like baked beans and roasted veggies in yogurt or egg salad with chilli lime baby potato, and Dabbagul (Dabbagul.com), which offers homemade lunches and dinners, are both in Gurugram. Yumist (Yumist.com; Rs150 onwards) provides food in Delhi-NCR and Masala Box (Masalabox.com; Rs99 onwards) in Bengaluru and Kochi.

Service the niggles

Be it finding a reliable electrician or plumber for emergency services, a fitness trainer or a beautician, there are many service apps for all your household needs. Log on to UrbanClap (Android, iOS; Urbanclap.com) for the main metros, Ahmedabad and Pune; Task Bob (Android, iOS; Taskbob.com) for Mumbai; Mr Right (Android, iOS; Mrright.in) for the main metros, Jaipur and Chandigarh; Timesaverz (Android, iOS; Timesaverz.com) and Housejoy (Android, iOS. Housejoy.in) for Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi-NCR and Hyderabad. If you’re in Bengaluru, you can get a personal concierge service with Dunzo (Android, iOS; Dunzo.in), which will find you a maid, do your laundry, buy groceries, or even set up your air conditioner, all for a small fee, starting from Rs30. In case you need to consult a doctor, go to Practo (Practo.com). With more than 2.9 million downloads of the app, and doctors from 50-plus cities listed, you are bound to find the doctor you’re looking for.

Find some friends

It can get lonely in a new city without family and friends. There are, however, apps that can help you find groups/people with whom you can connect. Meetup (Android, iOS; Meetup.com) helps people plan to meet up for things they like doing, be it learning pottery, going for a hike, building a mobile app, practising a language, learning to cook, or training for a marathon. The app is active in 50 cities and has multiple interesting groups for book-reading, hikes, drinking nights, board-game evenings and comedy nights. Couchsurfing (Android, iOS; Couchsurfing.com), another popular app in India, has regular social meet-ups of people in different cities. For indie events, head to Insider (Android, iOS; Insider.in) or EventsHigh (Android, iOS; Eventshigh.com).

Go, mingle, make friends and experience the joys of a new city.

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