11 apps all solo women travelers need to download before their next trip
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If you’re a woman traveling solo, you’re probably feeling a mix of emotions leading up to your next trip — everything from excitement and anticipation to uneasiness and anxiety. We’re here to tell you they’re all normal and understandable.
And while your trip is going to be a blast, there are definitely some precautions you’re going to want to take ahead of time to keep your safety and wellbeing in check.
Aside from making sure you have a secure data connection to keep in touch with friends and family back home, it’s important to download some apps ahead of time. They can help you translate languages, convert foreign currencies, organize your travel plans and help you navigate your new city.
That’s not all, though. They can also help you make sure you’re safe and accounted for on the road. These are some of our favorites.
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Tourlina is your so-called “female travel buddy.” It’s an app for women who are traveling alone and want to safely and easily connect with other women. Here’s how it works: You’ll first enter your trip by country and time. From there, you can discover matching travel companions that have the same interests as you, and who will also be in your destination city at the same time. You can select one by easily swiping left (no) or right (yes). If you match, you can chat and plan your trip together.
Smart Traveler, an app from the U.S. Department of State, offers tips and information for U.S travelers. While it’s not exclusively tailored for women, it’s certainly one every woman should have. It lists current travel advisories, as well as visa and vaccine information you’ll need before traveling. You can also register your trip on the app, and it will give your information to local embassies and consulates in your destination country. If there’s any kind of disaster or crisis, the local embassy can contact you.
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Chirpey is all about empowerment. It has a strict verification process, and only women and those who identify as women are able to join it. You can share and get advice on everything from destinations to hotels, as well as insights on events and attractions.
There are also plenty of events and meet-ups you can join or organize. If you don’t want to head to teamLab Borderless in Tokyo by yourself, for example, you can post on Chirpey to see if anyone else would like to join. Plus, if you have any small emergencies or mishaps, you can drop a message in the app and women traveling in the area will be notified.
Waze is the go-to navigation app. Not only does it show you directions, but it will also alert you about traffic and road alerts such as police or crashes. It can even help you save money on gas. Waze takes feedback very seriously, and if you run into a problem on your route, they can help make alterations for others along the way. You can also easily listen to music and podcasts during your walk or drive.
MayDay is another tool that can help keep you save in a threatening situation. If you hit the red button on the app three times, friends and family members will be notified of your precise location — as well as the fact that you’re in trouble. Just note you have to have data and location services turned on.
Be sure to set up the app in advance (ideally before your trip) so it’s ready in case you have an emergency.
TripWhistle maps your location and allows you to easily send your GPS coordinates or location via the app or Apple Watch. It also provides emergency numbers for firefighters, medical personnel and police in nearly 200 countries — you’ll have emergency numbers from around the world in your pocket. Since coordinates are written in degrees, minutes and seconds, they’re easy to read, too.
Download for free for iPhone.
Noonlight is another app focused on safety. Just like MayDay, when you hold and release the main button, it triggers a call to emergency services who can help send to your exact location. If you accidentally activate it, you’ll have 10 seconds to enter your four-digit pin, and the alarm will be canceled. They recently partnered with Tinder to provide backup on your next date, too. You can share details about who you’ll be meeting with directly from the Tinder app.
If you prefer texting or can’t talk during an emergency, you can communicate with them via text. If you can’t talk or text, they can still send help to your exact location, and can track it if you’re in a moving taxi, bus, running or walking. You can connect your Lyft or Uber apps, as well. As of time of publication, the app is only available in the U.S.
The odds that you’ll have to use a public toilet at some point while traveling are pretty high. Thankfully, the SitOrSquat app from Charmin will help you find the nearest public restroom — and will even provide some information about how clean it is. Clean locations have a green rating, while dirty ones have a red one. You can also rate a bathroom and share your experience to help others.
While your period may be pretty run-of-the-mill, it’s good to know exactly when you’re getting it, especially if you have any trips on the horizon. Since there are some countries in the world where it’s much more difficult to buy feminine hygiene products, stocking up before your trip will ensure you don’t waste any precious time on your trip in search of tampons.
Traveling on your own means you’ll likely have plenty of time for reading. While this app isn’t exclusively for women, of course, it’s another that all women should consider downloading before their next trip alone. The Kindle app gives you access to all of your purchased books, and syncs them to the position you left off on other devices.
A rideshare app
Having a rideshare app can really come in handy no matter where in the world you are — especially if it’s late at night and you’re in a new city. We recommend doing some research before your trip to see which app is the most popular (and safe) in your destination.
Lyft is popular in many U.S. cities, as is Uber. The later also has a presence in many European cities and beyond. Grab largely covers the Asian market, while Cabify is a solid choice in Spain and Latin America. Taxify is popular in France, Australia and some countries in Africa, and Careem is the go-to in Turkey and the Middle East.
All are free to download for iPhone and Android.
Feature image courtesy of Shutterstock.
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