6 Travel Apps Every Solo Female Traveler Should Have

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There’s no question that smart phones have revolutionized the way we travel.

Where once we were traveling blind, we now have access to countless apps helping us do everything from trip planning to how to get around once you’ve arrived… all contained in our trusty smart phone!

While the iPhone is the clear leader in terms of sheer volume of apps, more and more you can find the same high-quality apps on other platforms like the Android and Blackberry as well.

So grab your smart phone of choice and check out our top travel apps for all of you Go! Girls… to aid you no matter where your travels may take you.

TO HELP YOU COMMUNICATE: Google Translate

When you’re living the jet setting lifestyle, it can be tough to learn much more than the cursory “hello” and “thank you” in any given language. With the Google Translate app, your vocabulary will be instantly expanded as you type in words or phrases in your native language to have them translated on your phone. (It works the other way, as well.)

With over 58 different languages available for translation (everything from Spanish, to Greek to Yiddish), never again do you need to be lost for words when telling a cabbie where to drop you off or negotiating the price of a souvenir in the local market.

The best part? If you’re unsure how to pronounce your translation, there’s a handy feature that lets you listen to the translations spoken aloud (for 23 languages).

Available on: iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android

Cost: Free

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IF YOU NEED TO REACH THE AUTHORITIES: Help Call

We all know that 911 is our go to emergency phone number in the US, but did you know that when you go abroad, each country has its own set of emergency numbers?

The Help Call app brings together essential international emergency information in a very easy-to-navigate 4 button system (a button each for Police, Fire, Ambulance and a pre-selected Friend) to get you quickly connected in times of need.

The best part? Help Call has up to date information for 126 countries, and the location auto-detect feature automatically uses the correct emergency numbers for your given country location.

Available on: iPhone, iPod touch and iPad

Cost: $0.99

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FOR WHEN NATURE CALLS: SitOrSquat

I think that we can all agree that there’s nothing worse than a being in an unfamiliar place and in search of a restroom. Luckily, the SitOrSquat app, sponsored by Charmin, documents nearly 95,000 bathrooms worldwide to help you find a bathroom when you need it.

While there are a couple downsides (such as limited options in smaller cities and abroad) if you’re in a major US city, it’s a super helpful resource to help you search by your location to see bathrooms that are closest to you.

The best part? Users can “rate” their experience and even post photos so you’ll be sure to find a clean spot to do your business.

Available on: iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Android and Blackberry

Cost: Free

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TO HELP YOU FIND YOUR WAY AROUND: AllSubway

Don’t spend your precious travel time trying to navigate a confusing new subway system! With the AllSubway app, you’ll have access to the underground maps for over 125 cities worldwide- everywhere from Adelaide to Mumbai to Zurich- to help you plan your trip and figure out the best route from point A to B.

The best part? You don’t need internet access to view the maps and plan your route, which is handy when you’re lost underground!

Available on: iPhone, iPod touch and iPad

Cost: $0.99

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TO DOCUMENT YOUR JOURNEY: Instagr.am

Instagr.am is an app that helps you take your ordinary camera phone photos and transform them into digital works of art. While you’re on the go, you can easily use Instagr.am on your phone’s photos to apply a variety of filters to modify the colors, saturation and textures of your photos. It also has a super-cool tilt shift feature to add depth and artistry, especially dramatic on those sweeping landscape shots.

The best part? Once you’re happy with your altered photo, you can then sync up the app to any of your social networks (such as Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Flickr and Foursquare) which makes sharing your creation to friends and followers as simple as pressing a button.

Available on: iPhone, iPod touch and iPad

Cost: Free

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TO KEEP YOU ON SCHEDULE: The Pill

Remembering to take your birth control pill is tough enough when you’re home and immersed in your normal schedule. But when you’re on the road, it can be downright impossible to remember to take it at all, let alone take it at the designated time to ensure optimal consistency and efficiency. (A must!)

The Pill app takes away all of the guesswork and lets you schedule a daily reminder at the time of your choice.

The best part? You’ll even get notifications when your phone is in plane mode, working to keep you on schedule even when you’re on the go.

Available on: iPhone, iPod touch and iPad

Cost: $0.99

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How would you rate these apps? Which are your favorites?

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About Author

Christina, a TV Production extraordinaire by day and a travel blogger by night, is always planning her next adventure. She's traveled solo throughout Europe, the US, Patagonia and most recently spent a month backpacking throughout Australia and New Zealand. Her greatest solo travel achievement to date is finding a bus to take her from Punta Arenas, Chile (down at the end of the world) to Ushuaia, Argentina based purely on the strength of her hand signals. Get to know her more at her website www.packedsuitcase.com and follow her on Twitter @PackdSuitcase

15 Comments

  1. You know what Kelly, I am traveling the world on my own for years and I don’t even HAVE a smart phone nor do I need or want one. Where is the spirit of adventure if everything is being taken care of at the press of a button? What’s wrong with an old fashioned phrase book or learning a language of two? I have a cell phone that’s about 10 years old, works everywhere in the world and is all I need . And, nobody gives it a second glance or would dream about stealing it.

    • Up until about three months ago, I had an ooold cell phone (it had an antennae and everything) and I felt the same way as you, Inka. I didn’t understand what the fuss was about smart phones and I was proud of the fact that I didn’t have one. I’ve recently switched so that I can work more efficiently, and it’s totally changed things for me. The convenience of having maps and GPS and email at the tip of my fingers is great. The world of travel applications is huge–some are fun, some are practical and some can enhance your trip. Now that I’ve made the switch, I’m really excited to start playing around with new applications like these–thanks Christina for finding these great ones!

  2. That’s a great point, Inka. Although, I do think that the great thing about traveling today is that people can choose to travel however they’d like. Whether you’re tech free or if you feel more comfortable to have your phone with you, there are options for all types of travelers now. 🙂

    • The Google Translate, AllSubway, Instagr.am and the Pill apps all work without wi-fi.

      Whenever I travel internationally, I travel without wi-fi access to my phone, because I don’t want to have to pay the extra roaming fees.

      I’ve found that there are tons of great travel apps that don’t require wi-fi (in addition to the ones I mentioned above) such as guide books, maps, language dictionaries and other destination content. The best thing to do is make sure your device is loaded with whichever apps you want before you leave home, so then you’ll be able to be wi-fi free on your trip!

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  6. I agree that you really need Google Translate and a good currency converter is really gonna help you out! I’ve been looking up other female travel apps lately and found some great security ones – didn’t know about Help Call though! That’s a good one!

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