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Let’s face it; solo traveling can be a lot of work. Preparing for each trip, from finding flights to planning activities, is time-consuming. Not to mention all the little things you need to consider, including what to pack, which neighborhoods are safe, and how to navigate language barriers. The joy you can gain from traveling is immeasurable, and being prepared can be the difference between a fantastic trip and a terrible one. Luckily, technology can help! The apps in this article are the ones I found most helpful during my travels. They cover everything from safety to seeking Wifi to meeting new friends! Without further ado, these are the top apps for solo travelers.
Also, don’t forget to check out my article on the top tips for your first time traveling solo.
Wanderlog is the ultimate travel planning app. Start by adding your destination, dates, and activities. Wanderlog automatically calculates the distance between different activities on the same day and conveniently links to Google Maps. On the Explore tab, you can get ideas for your vacation and helpful travel information. There is even an Expense tab to track your spending! Conveniently sync your flights, reservations, and rental car information by forwarding emails to the app. Finally, you can add friends (if you are not traveling solo) to your trip and collaborate with them. Overall, Wanderlog has many unique features packaged into one interface, making it one of the top apps for solo travelers.
Packr is a fantastic app that creates a packing list based on your destination and time frame. First, you put in your travel location and dates. Then you select activities you will participate in, such as the beach, a fancy restaurant, or the gym. After that, you get a carefully curated packing list containing travel essentials, clothing, toiletries, and specific items based on your chosen activities and modes of transportation. You can add or remove items to further customize your list. You may have to watch some ads with the free version, but overall, Packr has saved me from forgetting many things.
Download on iOS, not available on Android.
Travelspend is a simple app to track your travel expenses. Add a new trip on the app by filling out your budget, start date, and end date. Then, throughout your journey, add costs for any category and currency. It will automatically convert to your home currency. With the premium version (a one-time payment of $31.99), you can add a photo of your receipt, add the exact place you made the purchase, and invite friends to split shared expenses. My favorite feature is that it generates a pie chart, giving you a visual breakdown of how much money you spend in each category.
Pin Traveler is a fun travel-tracking app. Search for the cities you have been to (or upcoming trips) and pin them. Add your travel dates, write notes (I like to put my favorite memories in this section), and share your travels with others. It’s like creating an online travel diary. The app also calculates fun statistics, like how many countries you have traveled to and your farthest trip from home. You can add all your travel photos with the premium version ($24.49/year). I use the free version, but the features of the premium version help you create a complete travel journal.
This one is a classic that most people already have on their phones, but I included it because it is the best navigation app. I have tried different ones, but Google Maps has proved to be the most reliable worldwide. Some apps work better than Google Maps, such as DB Navigator in Germany. However, these are country-specific, so you cannot use them everywhere. Google Maps, on the other hand, is universal. It provides the routes and etas for multiple modes of transportation between locations and can help you find everything from restaurants to pharmacies to bars.
For my friends who drink a lot of water and constantly stress about finding a restroom, Flush is an absolute lifesaver. It has personally saved me countless times. This app pulls up the closest public restrooms to you. It even has valuable information, like if there is a cost to use them. It is an app you don’t think about until you are stuck in an unfamiliar city and can’t find a toilet. Flush is incredibly convenient and is one of my favorite finds. Though not strictly for solo travelers, it is one of my top apps.
Wifi finder + Map
Wifi Finder + Map does exactly what you’d think it would do from the name. It pulls up the closest public Wifi spots in your area, from cafes to restaurants to hotels. This app is excellent if you want to save your data or are a digital nomad looking for a new place to sit and work. The best part is you can download offline maps before reaching your destination. Never get left without a network with this convenient app! It relies on users to add new Wifi spots, so it may not have every site near you, but it is still advantageous and better to have than not in an unfamiliar area.
VPN – Super Unlimited Proxy
Speaking of Wifi, it is essential to protect yourself and your data when using public networks. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) keeps you safe from data breaches by establishing a secure, encrypted connection between your device and the internet. VPN – Super Unlimited Proxy is an excellent option for a free VPN. You can connect with a simple tap from an anonymous global server. Though watching ads can be slightly annoying, it is worth it for a free service. You can also opt for the premium plan, which removes the ads and starts at $11.99/month.
Traveling solo is fun, but sometimes you want to make new friends, connect with locals, or try an activity. One of my top social apps for solo travelers is Meetup. Meetup is a fantastic app that lets you connect with groups of people based on your interests and join the activities they have planned. I have used it to find other foodies, art lovers, and escape room enthusiasts in my city. Search based on your interests, age group, or the date you want to join others for a new experience. Some meetups require an RSVP or a fee, so check before you join!
Travello is one of the biggest travel network apps, covering over 180 countries. It is easy to connect with travelers around the globe or even near you. You can join groups for solo travelers, travel bloggers, backpackers, and more. When you add travel plans, Travello matches you to travelers who will also be there, making it a great app to connect with other solo travelers! However, I have run into creepy messages like any social networking app. The app is still valuable, but make sure to filter your connections.
As a solo traveler, you want to ensure your safety. Luckily, many apps can help with this, and Life 360 is one of the best. Life 360 allows you to create groups with your trusted contacts to track your location so that someone always knows where you are. With the free version, you can also send check-ins and security alerts to your friends and family. Though it is always good to use with your friends and family back home, I sometimes create groups with other travelers I meet at my hostel. It is easier to check in with and get help from someone in the same country as you than back home.
Even within the same city, there are specific neighborhoods that are safe and some that are not. It can be challenging to tell when you are unfamiliar with the area. Geosure is a safety app that lets you search specific locations and neighborhoods to get a safety score based on multiple categories such as physical safety, theft, nighttime safety, and even LGBTQ+ safety. It even links you to travel insights from other countries so you can quickly check if there are any special advisories for the country you are planning to travel to. I usually check the app to see if there are neighborhoods around me that have a lower score than the neighborhoods surrounding it. Doing this helps me avoid any potential danger zones.
Ever end up stuck without accommodation because your hotel or Airbnb canceled? Or maybe you took an unexpected detour to a new city but didn’t have a place to stay? Even if none of these scenarios applies to you, Hotel Tonight is a great tool to have in your pocket. You can find available rooms for the same night, ranging from hostels to 5-star hotels, at a discounted rate. Never get stuck without a place to stay. You can search according to your criteria, like price, required amenities, and more. You can see a hotel description, the included amenities, and even reviews from other guests!
Hostelworld is the number one platform for finding hostels around the world, making it one of the best apps for solo travelers. Hostels are excellent for those traveling alone because you share a room with other travelers and can easily make connections. I have made so many friends through hostels! The app makes looking for available accommodations easy. Just choose your dates and sort by price or type of accommodation. You can even filter for female-only rooms (which is what I usually choose).
Google translate is the best translating app on the market when traveling to a country with an unfamiliar language. It helps you easily communicate with locals and is especially helpful in stores and restaurants. Just type in what you want to say, and the app will translate the sentence into any language. You can even play the translation out loud, so the other person does not have to read the text. What makes it even more valuable is that it has a feature to translate any text you may come across. You can take a picture of any text, such as a sign, and the app will scan it and translate it into your native language.
Final Thoughts and Honorable Mentions
Although planning a solo trip can be exhausting, I hope my list of top apps for solo travelers gives you the tools you need to make travel planning easier! For more solo travel tips, check out my article on the disadvantages of solo travel (and how you can overcome them).
Before you go, here are some honorable mentions that did not make the list but you may find useful:
- Tourlina: This is a travel app solely for female travelers. Although I love the concept, the app does not have as many users as the other social apps on this list, so I have not had as much luck with it. However, I am excited to see it grow!
- Road Trippers – Trip Planner: This app is a road trip planning tool and helps you build your route within the app. It also offers attractions and fun suggestions, covering everything from diners to museums to photo ops. However, this app only works in the US and Canada.
- Visit a City: This is a fantastic travel guide app. Type in any destination, which will give you things to do, detailed travel guides by day, sights, tours, and more. I did not rank it on my list because I tend to create my itinerary differently and don’t use it often, but it does provide a great starting point for ideas.
Leave a comment if you found this list helpful!