Solo travel can be an equally liberating and frightening experience—a claim to independence coupled with the knowledge that, if anything goes wrong, it’s up to you to extract yourself from that situation.
Rather than letting that fear stop you, however, with research, preparation, and foresight, this fear can heighten your intuition, sharpen your global awareness, and increase mental resilience in the face of the unknown. In fact, bloggers such as Hey Ciara often cite solo travel as a rich opportunity for personal growth, self-reflection, and discovery—free from the expectations and schedules of friends, partners, family, or other potential travel partners.
For those looking to embark on their solo travel experience, there are apps to help. Explore these seven must-have apps below to keep your trips as safe and seamless as possible.
Considered the leading brand for safety products and apps, Noonlight (formally known as SafeTrek) is a safety app that can help you get from point A to point B or extract yourself from a situation without fear. Simply open the app and hold the safety button for as long as needed. Once you’re in a safe location, you can release the button and enter the four-digit pin. If you do not enter the pin, Noonlight will then notify the police of your location to silently send help.
Noonlight also partners with Tinder to help women (and men!) with unsafe dates when traveling or at home. You can discreetly notify the police if you’re feeling unsafe or need help. Other features include adding a badge to your profile as a Noonlight-protected account or sharing your location and date profile using Noonlight’s timeline feature.
Note: Noonlight currently only works within the United States. For international travel, dial the local emergency number for help and assistance.
My go-to travel app, maps.me is a lifesaver when traveling without data or WiFi.
Download the location(s) you’re planning to travel to and save (or “pin”) the restaurants, shops, and historic sites you want to visit. Once there, you can use the map to navigate by car or on foot without wasting data or using WiFi. Not only is this app extremely helpful to plan out the best route for walking adventures (by seeing what locations are near one another), it also has a compass-like dot that updates with your location in real-time, so you can always know where you are while traveling alone.
For the female solo traveler on a budget, Hopper is the cash-saving hack for hotel, car, and flight deals that you can’t live without.
Pick your to-and-from destination and find the best months and days of the week for cheap travel to your dream destination. Once you click on a to-and-from date, Hopper will then aggregate a list of flights for you to choose from based on time, budget, and airline. Once booked, research hotels and cars for your one-stop-app to plan all your travel needs.
An up-and-coming app, NomadHer is considered the #1 app for solo female travel. Ask questions about your travel destinations, join organized meet-ups, and be a part of a safe community for women. NomadHer has 15,000+ members across 170+ nationalities for a diverse and supportive community for your travels.
Better understand your relative safety in any geographic location with GeoSure, a safety app with the mission of creating a “safer, more predictable world.” GeoSure updates in real-time with up-to-the-minute data on safety and security scores. GeoSure offers safety categories for women, LGBTQ safety, daytime/nighttime safety, physical harm, theft, and more.
If you’ve ever been in a new city right after downing a venti caramel iced latte from Starbucks, then you know that finding a public restroom is key. Flush creates a map of public restrooms along with helpful advice regarding disability access, key requirements, and pay-to-use information.
Flush operates worldwide with over 200,000 bathrooms currently noted (and growing!). Users can add ratings and new public restroom locations to help grow the Flush community.
Tired of dining alone on your solo trips? EatWith offers unparalleled culinary experiences with local hosts and chefs for a true “local” experience. Select your city, date, and the number of guests, and enjoy a home cooked meal with local charm. EatWith also offers interactive, hands-on cooking classes, wine tastings, and food tours for an experience you won’t soon forget.
With these seven apps, feel empowered and inspired to travel by yourself with safety and security. From Bangkok to Brussels, start planning your dream solo adventure without fear today.
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Photo: Dana Drosdick