As solo travellers, it’s no secret that there are more things to consider when taking the plunge and booking that trip. Even before we’ve left we need to work out how we’ll stay safe and just how good the bathroom lighting will be in real life. If you take care to plan the important parts and just let everything else, well, flow solo travel can be an exhilarating experience.
That’s why I’m sharing 17 ridiculously useful apps for solo travellers. These are apps that I personally use on a regular basis and couldn’t travel without. They range from handy hacks that will help you stay to safe to tools that will help you plan and organise your trip.
Apps for Solo Travellers: Planning and Communicating
Learning some basic phrases of the local language goes a loooong way (plus it’s fun to improve your skills). That being said, it’s not possible to learn a new language in a couple of weeks. Google Translate is a great tool that should be in every traveller’s arsenal. The easy to use interface will help you communicate with different nationalities. Additionally, It EVEN has this translation feature that helps you to read menus. I mean…. hello! Where has this been all my life?!
This is the best app for the organisation queens among us, or you know, aspiring organisers too. It’s a good way to keep track of your bucket list items or travel recommendations. I don’t know about you but I get SO much joy from ticking things off lists.
Apps for Solo Travellers: Managing Money
My sister put me on to Revolut for a recent trip to Berlin and I don’t know why I didn’t get an account sooner. Revolut is an online banking app that allows you to easily switch between currencies and save money. Although accounts are free you’ll need to purchase a card, which is around £10. Super handy if you travel frequently or you like to organise your finances with the tap of a couple of buttons.
Don’t make the mistake of transferring money from your bank or through PayPal as you can be hit with insanely HIGH fees. If you’re going abroad on a more long term trip then THE ONLY WAY to send your money is with Tranferwise.
It’s an online money transfer service that allows you to move money overseas. The service is simple to use, fast and if you use this link you can get your first transfer free!
This free currency converter app gives you up to date information on worldwide currency rates and allows you to easily work out how much you’re spending. Additionally, if you’re going to a couple of different countries it’s mega convenient as you can have up 10 currencies saved to your phone!
If you’re serious about sticking to a budget for your trip this app will help you track your incomings and outgoings. Having it all there on an app is waaay more convenient than manually working everything out. I love that you can add expenses on the go as you spend your money/drain your account without any need for maths.
Apps for Solo Travellers: Flights and Accommodation
Skyscanner is the only website I use to book and compare flight prices. There are so many features that make it user-friendly and I’m obsessed with the option to put in your destination airport and see where the cheapest areas are to fly to… even if I’m not going to go.
Also flight hack – don’t sleep on the multi-city feature! Using this I got myself a free trip to Hawaii and Malaysia just by playing around with dates and extending my layovers.
If you’re planning on staying in hostels for any part of your trip Hotelworld is my go-to for booking. You can compare a number of hostels and read reviews to work out the best place for you based on your needs/preferences.
Booking.com is a great tool for a variety of accommodations, but mainly hotels and guest houses. As you become a frequent booker you can save money with the ‘Genius’ loyalty scheme. The loyalty scheme offers discounts of up to 15% off and often you get free breakfasts or room upgrades thrown in too!
If you’re deciding between a few places you can use the list tool to make a shortlist and narrow down your options if you’re nerdy like that. Sign up using this link you can get £15 off your next stay.
Great for booking 5 and 4 star hotels at a discount. However, despite the name, you don’t just have to book for that night. I find the prices are cheaper on the same day/day before just because hotels are trying to get their rooms filled. But you can still get great deals in advance, I promise.
I saved £100 on a trip to Berlin earlier this year and we stayed at a gorgeous 5-star hotel for a fraction of the cost. Sign up using this link to get £22 off your first stay.
Whenever I’m staying somewhere on a longer-term basis I like to use Airbnb. When using the app you can book a private room in someone’s apartment or the entire place to yourself if you’re feeling like a balla. If you’ve yet to use Airbnb definitely consider it for your next trip. The access to your own kitchen is a money saver in itself, but often just staying in a flat is cheaper anyway.
On top of rooms, Airbnb has AMAZING travel experiences that I really can’t rave about enough. You get the opportunity to take part in some really unique group tours that are lead by locals and they’re a fun way to immerse yourself in the local communities. Click this link to get £44 off of Airbnb.
Apps for Solo Travellers: Getting Around
Maps.me is such a useful app for solo travellers who are concerned about staying safe. It’s not always possible to get phone signal or WiFi when you’re travelling. Especially when you go a bit more off the beaten track. Maps.me is a super handy offline mapping tool that’s easy to follow. And since I learnt about it on my first solo trip I’ve never looked back!
One of my favourite features is the ability to ‘star’ locations and save them to your map so you’ll always be able to find your way back to them later. Just make sure to download the maps for your area while you do have signal or WiFi, so they’re ready to use later.
Whether your trip is to the UK or further afield, chances are at some point you’re going to need to take a train. This UK based app helps you save money on your train tickets by splitting the journey into the cheapest ticket combinations and as a bonus, you can grab £5 off your first ticket by clicking this link.
Depending on the country it can often be cheaper to take an Uber than other means of transport. So, if you haven’t used Uber yet (umm where have you been?) use this link to get $5 off. Alternatively, if you’re travelling in South East Asia, Grab is the ridesharing app of choice in a lot of cities. You can download it and grab (see what I did there) your discount here.
Apps for Solo Travellers: Making Friends
Now, I know it can seem a bit controversial downloading a dating app to make friends. Still, whenever I’ve been abroad I’ve had great success with meeting cool people through dating apps. Obviously it goes without saying that you’ll want to screen whoever you’re meeting as much as possible beforehand. But don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.
Also one of the cool things about Bumble is you have three separate modes: Dating, Bizz and BFF so that filtering process makes intentions clear from the get-go!
Aside from dating apps one of the best ways I’ve found of making friends is through Instagram! There are a number of ways you can do this so I’m going to share a couple with you now.
Firstly, you can share a story saying you’re looking to meet people in X area and does anyone want to hang out? Or does anyone know someone they can set you up on a ‘mates date’ with? I used this method to find a companion for the Ellen Show!
Secondly, my personal favourite way of making new friends on Insta is by indulging in some light stalking. I usually trawl through hashtags and start interacting with people in an area I’m going to then if we strike up a chat and they seem cool it just naturally comes up in the conversation. I’ve met so many people this way and you’ll be glad to know I haven’t been stabbed… yet.
Apps for Solo Travellers: Staying Healthy
This app reminds you to drink your daily intake of water in a fun way. You get to become a momma to all these virtual plants and if you don’t drink enough water… THEY DIE. Warning: this app is highly addictive in the best possible way.
One of the great things about travelling is getting the chance to break free from the clutches of your routine. However, having small daily practices can go a long way towards helping keep your mental health in check.
I love starting my morning with meditation because it really helps to set the tone for the day. That’s why this is one of my all-time favourite apps and it’s totally free! Choose from a library of over 15,000 meditations, talks and more.
What about you? What are your favourite apps for solo travellers?
Let me know in the comments!
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