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11 of the best apps for solo travelers

Aug. 30, 2020
9 min read
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Based on everything that has happened, 2020 is and will continue to be a very different year for travel. With social distancing guidelines in place around the world, this may be just the right time to travel on your own. Traveling alone can offer so much, such as fueling your self-confidence and providing a whole new outlook on the world. But things like logistics and safety may come into play when considering a solo trip. Perhaps you're worried about dealing with all the details and reservations on your own, staying safe, speaking the local language, avoiding travel scams or even just getting bored.

Enter mobile apps! Read on for a list of apps that are indispensable for solo travelers, ensuring your trip will be hassle-free, safe and fun.

Related: The best 20 travel apps to download in 2020

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1. Travello

(Screenshot courtesy of iTunes)
(Screenshot courtesy of iTunes)

Travello is a social media platform (it feels a bit like Facebook) that is just for travelers. Use the app to connect with those visiting your destination for advice, suggestions or a socially-distanced day of touring. Share photos and tips, read or leave reviews of hotels and destinations or book and pay for tours and experiences. Solo travelers can join special groups just for those traveling on their own to particular destinations, too.

Download for free on the App Store or Google Play.

2. Travel Smart

(Screenshot courtesy of iTunes)
(Screenshot courtesy of iTunes)

Travel Smart offers assistance when you have no travel buddy and need to know how much you need to tip in a new country or where the nearest embassy is. With safety features like travel notifications/advisories and danger spots to avoid based on your location, you'll feel secure traveling alone. Other features include weather, currency conversion, travel document organization/storage, language assistance and even cultural etiquette suggestions.

Download for free on the App Store.

3. Hotel Tonight

(Screenshot courtesy of iTunes)
(Screenshot courtesy of iTunes)

Last-minute accommodation for solo travelers can be tricky. You certainly don't want to be roaming around a new place late at night looking for a hostel with an open bed. Cue Hotel Tonight, an app that offers last-minute accommodation options at a discount. Book your stay between 100 days in advance up until the same day in cities across the globe. Make sure to swipe to see the Daily Drop deal on the app, which is an extra discount valid for just 15 minutes.

Download for free on the App Store or Google Play.

Related: The best hotel booking apps for travelers

4. Tripcoin

(Screenshot courtesy of iTunes)
(Screenshot courtesy of iTunes)

Without a travel buddy to share costs, you may be shelling out a bit extra for traveling alone. It's easy to keep track of all your expenses and budget using Tripcoin. The app allows you to add in all your expenses (which you can also view offline) in various currencies. See reports, export to Excel or view color-coded graphs that help you see where you've been spending.

Download for free on the App Store.

5. TripScout

(Screenshot courtesy of iTunes)
(Screenshot courtesy of iTunes)

TripScout allows you to filter by destination, budget and interests, offering you personalized travel info straight from local influencers and bloggers. You can even customize your guide by adding in your travel dates to show specific local events. "If you're traveling alone, the app will customize your content feed and recommendations based on the fact that you're flying solo on your specific dates so you won't have to sift through romantic dinners or family activities or miss unique solo experiences for the days you're there," said Konrad Waliszewski, CEO of TripScout.

Download for free on the App Store.

6. Waze

(Screenshot courtesy of iTunes)
(Screenshot courtesy of iTunes)

Waze is a navigation app that will map your route whether you're strolling the streets of Dublin or careering through the Italian countryside in a Fiat. Solo travelers may find the app's hazard and police alerts especially useful for avoiding events like a protest or blocked roads. Waze seamlessly integrates with Spotify so you can listen to your favorite jams while using the map or navigation mode.

Download for free on the App Store or Google Play.

7. Noonlight

(Screenshot courtesy of iTunes)
(Screenshot courtesy of iTunes)

Safety is important, especially when traveling alone. Noonlight features a panic button, which you press and hold if feeling uneasy. Once you feel safe, release the button and enter your pin. If you release but don't enter your pin, local police will be notified, coming to your rescue. The app allows users to connect their Tinder (you can enter backup details before your date) and Uber accounts (so police can locate you if something goes wrong during your ride or date).

Download for free on the App Store or Google Play -- advanced safety features come at an added cost.

Related: Best apps for solo female travelers

8. Meetup

(Screenshot courtesy of iTunes)
(Screenshot courtesy of iTunes)

If you're dying to do a photography tour of Vienna or yoga in Madrid's Retiro Park, check out Meetup. You can filter your interests in the app from things like wine, dancing, language, hiking, music and more. Many of the activities are free and you may just make a new friend or two. The app will use your location to find local events and meet ups, so you can also use it at home if you'd like to join a new group or try something new.

Download for free on the App Store or Google Play.

9. Audible

(Screenshot courtesy of iTunes)
(Screenshot courtesy of iTunes)

If you have a long train, car or plane ride, or are just wandering around a new destination on your own, Audible is the solution. The app allows you to listen to books, radio programs and even meditations/bedtime stories if you're fighting jet lag.

Download for free on the App Store or Google Play -- but plan to pay for content via a monthly subscription fee.

10. TripLingo

(Screenshot courtesy of iTunes)
(Screenshot courtesy of iTunes)

When traveling on your own, you won't have a travel buddy to fall back on when it comes to knowing the local language. Of course, you always have Google Translate, but TripLingo will help you communicate and adapt to the local culture. Pick from over 100 countries and download the app's language pack, which includes a voice and image translator, a list of key phrases/vocab and a guide to cultural norms like tipping, safety and even flirting.

Download the basic version for free on iTunes or Google Play -- a pro version with added phrases, a Wi-Fi call credit, a free call to live translator and audio lessons starts at $20 per month.

Related: 9 of the best translation apps for travelers

11. Zomato

(Screenshot courtesy of iTunes)
(Screenshot courtesy of iTunes)

The perfect app for traveling foodies, Zomato offers a variety of cuisine options to suit your mood -- and your taste buds. Find restaurants, make reservations and explore dining options near you. Or, if you'd rather get delivery or even grocery shop staples delivered to your hotel or home rental, the app offers ample delivery and take-away options too.

Download for free on the App Store or Google Play.

Featured image by Getty Images/iStockphoto

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Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

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Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases