Traveling alone is an experience that everyone should have at least once in their lives because more often than not it takes you out of your comfort zone, it challenges you, and you learn more about yourself than you do about the country you are visiting. That said, it can also be daunting, especially if it’s your first time doing it alone and for this reason, it’s helpful to have a few apps on-hand which can make your life a whole lot easier and oftentimes, safer.
There are some apps which are geared towards solo female travelers only, hoping to connect them with like-minded women who can become their travel buddies, or provide some sort of support system when they are away from home. And then there are apps that are more geared towards the male traveler, whether that be apps that help with navigating a new city, or ones that are designed to be like Tinder, except while flying in the skies. Below are 10 useful apps for female travelers, and 10 that are great for men, and they will remind users that you don’t have to wait for your friends to have the adventure of a lifetime.
As wonderful as it is for women to be able to travel alone, there are certain safety precautions that have to be taken, and research that has to be done, before choosing your destination -- some countries are much safer than others when it comes to traveling alone as a female.
Hopefully, you will never find yourself in a situation where you need to alert your loved ones that you’re in danger, but the world we live in is unpredictable and you can never be too safe, which is why the personal safety app EmergenSee is one that’s recommended. According to Got Your Nose, this app records video and tracks location and movement via the mobile phone’s GPS, and then sends this information to the people you have listed on your profile.
Traveling alone can be a terrific experience, but there are also times when it can be a lonely one, which is something that Tourlina tries to bridge. The app is safe (the team checks every new member out) and is for women only, designed to match people with traveling companions with mutual interests who are traveling to the same destinations. The two people can meet either prior to their travels, or during, or if you prefer a more authentic experience and want to be shown around by locals then there is also the option to meet or chat to people from the city you are visiting.
Travel has become a lot more affordable, especially for extended stays, thanks to platforms like Airbnb, but you may not have heard of Overnight. The idea is really quite similar but Overnight is a home-sharing platform that is designed for short-term or last minute rentals, and you can book them through people you know, like friends or your network. This is also beneficial for the host, because they can list their home and choose their visibility, so if they only want the property to be available for booking from their friends then this is an option, and they can also set exclusive rates for friends.
When you’re in a new city the easiest way to experience it is on foot, it’s also a great way to find hidden gems that you may otherwise miss on public transport. But, as with every city, there are certain areas that are much safer than others, and RedZone Map App wants to ensure that you miss the ones that are high crime areas.
According to Digital Trends, it works using data from government agencies and displays a map for users that shows the major crimes in certain areas and color coordinates these crimes using different colors on the map. It also uses this information to navigate the safest travel route if you need to get to a certain area.
When you travel alone you are more willing to meet new people and experience new things, but having a travel buddy can be wonderful; and for this reason, there are apps like Bumble BFF, which connects travelers with like-minded people.
Bumble first started as a female-lead dating app, but after multiple requests for a friend-finding feature, it branched out and started offering a platform for people who want platonic relationships only. While this app is not designed specifically for people who are traveling the globe and sight-seeing, the same principle of looking for your new best friend can be applied during travel, and you may just find the perfect wing woman.
It seems much easier for men, biologically, to go to the toilet wherever they want, but for women, this is a little harder. More often than not, men and women also have different expectations for restrooms, which is why an app like Flush Toilet Finder is useful. The name pretty much sums up its use, which is to locate a public bathroom or restroom that is closest to you, and it does this by displaying one of its over 190,000 bathrooms.
The handy thing about this app is that it requires no internet connection to use, and also shows you which bathrooms are free for use, and which require a key or fee.
SoloTraveller is an app for, as the name suggests, the solo traveler who is looking to be connected with like-minded people who are traveling to the same destination. According to the app’s website, this app is great for creating a traveler community and is useful for people who may not usually feel like traveling alone. It is also a way for female travelers to connect with other females, and offers them the opportunity to meet up while abroad -- the idea is that there is safety and support in numbers.
The app also connects travelers with local people, has a feature to share information on places like restaurants or points of interests, and is a way to locate accommodation.
Pack Point is an app that’s not just useful for solo female travelers, but all travelers who have trouble deciding what to wear -- and end up packing way too much -- or remembering things. The app is designed as a free travel list organizer, which allows you to choose the activities you’ll be doing, for example, if you intend to go swimming or hiking, you need to pack gym clothes, but if you are having a smart dinner, you want to pack accordingly.
It also lets you put in the duration of your stay and the number of items you will need and checks the weather of your destination, so you will know exactly what to bring.
It always helps to do research before heading to a particular destination or doing a specific activity, and this is why apps like TripAdvisor are so useful. The app has been designed to give honest reviews from other travelers about their experience with a number of services, ranging from hotels to restaurants. Knowing the ratings may help you avoid going to places with terrible reviews, where you are probably going to have a similar experience, which will end up putting a damper on your travels.
TripAdvisor is one of the largest travel sites in the world and has over 600 million reviews.
If you want to ensure that you are not getting ripped off when using foreign currency on holiday, or if you are unsure of what the exchange rate is, then this is where CalConvert, and similar apps, can come in use. This particular app has a unit converter and calculator, and the design is straightforward and simple for ease of use.
There are more than 150 currencies available in the app, but it can also do mathematical functions, scientific functions, and basically all the calculations the average traveler will need on holiday. Another pro is that it’s available in 24 languages.
There is often the saying that the "way to a man’s heart is through his stomach," so what better app to have on holiday than the social dining app, BonAppetour? The point of this app is to connect travelers with local home chefs, who host a dinner party of sorts, and allow you, the traveler, to experience local cuisine.
The service offers a range of different dining experiences that can be chosen to cater for a specific need; from dinner parties to barbeques and even cooking workshops, which are hosted by carefully chosen individuals, to make the experience as enjoyable and unforgettable as possible.
The Outbound Collective is not about connecting people via food like the app above, rather this app focuses on adventures outdoors. The creators have formed a community of nature lovers and that have added their tips and stories about wonderful outdoor places, ranging from swimming holes, to hiking trails.
The idea is to inspire people to do something outdoors, but also have the opportunity to travel to the destinations that your friends or community have visited, and raved about. You can search for specific activities that you’re interested in, for example, skiing, but also filter it by certain criteria like romance, pet-friendly, etc… to ensure that the trip is tailored to you.
Traveling alone can be lonely, and TourBar is basically the Tinder of travel apps to avoid loneliness and meet new people abroad. The idea, according to the website, is to meet local singles who can show you around their town and give you an insiders guide of sorts, by bringing you to their favorite beaches or local clubs and bars.
While this can be used as a dating app while on holiday, there is also the option to meet friends with the “find a travel buddy” option, designed to let travelers find someone who they want to plan a vacation with.
Staying in a hotel is not for everyone, especially during extended stays, which is why the home-sharing platform Airbnb has become so popular. If you have never used this platform before, it’s incredibly simple. You go onto the app, choose the destination and the time frame you want accommodation for, and then select whether you want to share the apartment or home with the host, or if you want the entire place to yourself.
Of course, with every app like this, there needs to be some precautions taken, and it’s always useful to read the reviews of the host carefully, as well as the description of the property.
When you’re in a new country it can be hard to navigate, but CityMapper gives you access to your location and allows you to map your route. Some of the app's features include real-time departures of public transport and alerts if there are any changes and disruptions, as well as uber integration. The app does require data access and it’s best to use when the GPS is turned on, but it can make travel much simpler.
The app covers several cities across multiple countries, including USA and Canada, as well as multiple destinations in Europe, Asia, and then Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, and Mexico City and São Paulo in Latin America.
If you want to know what’s happening in your city of choice, then Time Out is the app for this. The app allows the user to find out about all the latest events, exclusive offers, and even lets you make reservations at restaurants through the app. It’s basically a travel guide that is customizable for every person’s needs, and can be easily switched from one city to another, depending.
Another feature worth noting is that you are able to share your photos and reviews on the app, so that other users can take part in your adventures. Or you can use the travel advice from other users to plan future trips.
TripCase makes travel easier by combining travel and technology and providing you with one place to manage all of your trips -- and it manages over 30 million a year. This app is particularly useful when you’ve planned a big trip and there are many different components involved (for example, multiple flights and hotel bookings) because it manages everything and it can all be accessed in one place.
You can also keep friends, family, or colleagues, informed about your travels by adding their emails int the app, which will send them your entire itinerary or arrival updates, saving you the hassle of doing it yourself.
There are many dating apps for singles, and while some have realized the appeal for travelers to meet other travelers or date locals, the MileHi app takes things to a completely different level. Because, with this app, you don’t just meet people once you have landed in your destination of choice, but on the plane or in the airport.
According to Daily Mail, travelers using this app can even decide if they want to switch seats and sit next to their new travel companion before the flight, and it was created by businessman Richard Lloyd, who actually met his own wife in an airport terminal back in 1995.
Uber is a ride-sharing app, and one that is much more convenient than trying to hail a cab, because all you need to do is request a ride from the app. The rides are reliable and available day and night, in more than 630 cities worldwide, and it’s convenient because you can also see the driver’s name, the vehicle details, and have the ability to track the ride.
The app is also designed so that you can rate your driver and your trip, and they can do the same for you, providing feedback which allows the creators of the app to constantly improve the experience.
Much like TripCase, TripIt is also designed to manage your trips and create an itinerary that is tailored made to your travels. This is done by forwarding the confirmation emails to an email managed by the app, or allowing the app to automatically import all necessary emails -- including booking confirmation numbers and directions.
The reason any traveler needs this app, or one similar to it, is because it allows for ease of travel, as it acts like a personal assistant. It is also useful because the information is available offline, when in flight mode, or if the data is turned off to avoid roaming charges.
References: Got Your Nose, Tourlina, Overnight, Digital Trends, Bumble BFF, Flush Toilet Finder, SoloTraveller, Pack Point, TripAdvisor, CalConvert, BonAppetour, The Outbound Collective, TourBar, Airbnb, City Mapper, Time Out, TripCase, Daily Mail, Uber, TripIt