Note: The following is a guest post from fellow solo traveler Jess Signet. You can read about her adventures at Tripelio.
It takes guts to prepare for your first solo trip. There are so many travel horror stories out there, particularly for women, so it requires a significant amount of bravery to ignore the fear-mongering and take your destiny in your own hands.
However, solo travel doesn’t have to be scary. There are plenty of resources available to help you get around safely and securely, many of which are downloadable to your phone! These five apps are essentials for first-time solo travelers and will help you overcome your anxieties and have the adventure of a lifetime.
Searching for flights used to be a nightmare that could only be resolved by a pricey trip to the travel agency. Now, things could not be easier. Instead of individually checking different airlines companies, the Skyscanner app compiles a list of all the flights that go to your required destination.
It allows you to be flexible about your number of stopovers and even provides a month-by-month view so you can investigate whether your journey would be cheaper on a different day or different month. Using this app is a great way to reduce stress when making plans, which is a massive relief for anyone traveling solo.
More often than not, the biggest worry that accompanies solo travel is whether or not you’ll have a place to sleep for the night. Turning up in a strange city without accommodation is a recipe for disaster, so downloading the Hostelworld app is an essential first step.
It allows you to easily search for, and book, a place to stay within a matter of moments. After providing comprehensive lists of available options, including reviews of several elements, such as cleanliness, staff and price, you can make a reservation straight through the app and never have to worry about being stranded again!
Unfortunately, with the advent of the internet, one of the greatest risks travelers face now comes from online. As most people have to rely on public WiFi networks when abroad, there’s a much higher chance of being infiltrated by hackers. This is because these networks leave data flying around completely unprotected, meaning every time you input passwords and bank details then they are visible to malicious prying eyes.
By using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) you can create a secure initial connection that encrypts all of your details and allows you to browse safely and securely. There are many great VPN options on the market, but my personal favorite, for reliability and customer service, is ExpressVPN.
A great part of traveling solo is being able to share your experiences with loved ones back home. Instagram has fast become the most popular photo apps and has attracted millions of users. The use of filters means you can easily edit shots, and make them look professional, even if you’ve never used a camera before in your life.
There’s also a massive traveling community on the app, so it’s a great way to meet friends and find inspiration for your next trip. Many people have become so popular on the platform that they now even fund their trips via sponsors generated by their shots, so there’s plenty of benefits to sharing your pictures.
When traveling solo, it can be hard to remember all the practical elements of your trip without having a traveling companion to remind you. Whether you’re struggling to recall your flight time or have lost an important booking reference number, the TripIt app has the solution for you.
It allows you to make a detailed itinerary and keep a record of all your bookings and planned visits. You can even sync it up with your email, so it will automatically add times and dates from any confirmation emails you might have received. It has a simple user interface and is a great way to keep track of all your important documents and information. It is a life saver for stressful solo trips.
While traveling solo does have its drawbacks, the benefits of embarking on an adventure alone are limitless. There are always ways to overcome problems, and you should never let fear deter you from doing what you love. By downloading these five apps, you can significantly reduce your stresses, and there are many more on the market like them. If know of any others that are a great help to solo travelers, then be sure to leave a comment below.