11 of the best apps for solo travellers

May 20, 2020

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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. Travelling alone can offer so much, such as fuelling 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.

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

Related: The best 20 travel apps to download in 2020

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 travellers. 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 travellers can join special groups just for those travelling 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 U.K. travel notifications/advisories and danger spots to avoid based on your location, you’ll feel secure travelling alone. Other features include weather, currency conversion, travel document organisation/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 travellers can be tricky. You certainly don’t want to 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 travellers

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 travelling 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 colour-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 personalised travel info straight from local influencers and bloggers. You can even customise your guide by adding in your travel dates to show specific local events. “If you’re travelling alone, the app will customise 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 travellers 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 favourite 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 travelling 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 travellers

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 meetups, 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 programmes 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 travelling 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 WiFi call credit, a free call to live translator and audio lessons starts at £19.99 per month.

Related: 9 of the best translation apps for travellers

11. Zomato

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

The perfect app for travelling 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 takeaway options too.

Download for free on the App Store or Google Play.

Featured photo by YakobchukOlena/Getty Images

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