A few days ago my phone stopped working properly. It was nearly four years old, so I guess it was bound to happen.
It was something of a test. How long could I last without all my cherished social media, lifestyle, and travel apps? Turns out, not long. I bought a new phone within a few days.
It was only after I added all my old apps to my new phone that I realized just how much I relied on them, especially when traveling. I also realized how much travel has changed in the past five or so years. Way back when I didn’t even have a smart phone I somehow managed to get around okay, but I am of the opinion that these handy little tools we call apps have improved my travel experience immensely.
With that in mind I’ve compiled a list of my favorite free apps for female travelers. Even though new apps seem to pop up on a daily basis I’ve been using a few of these for years. I hope they improve your travels as much as they have improved mine!
The Best Free Apps for Female Travelers
It’s one of the last things we do before leaving for a trip and can be one of the more frustrating. The PackPoint app takes the guessing out of the packing process by suggesting what items you might need on a trip.
Enter your destination, length of stay, dates of your trip, expected activities and voila, a custom packing list is generated. It even gives you the weather forecast for your destination.
What makes this app particularly good for female travelers, is that it includes items like tampons, make-up, dresses, and birth control.
I love, love, love this app and use it even when I’m not traveling. As you might expect from the name, the Period Tracker tracks your period for you. It takes the guess work out of calculating when you should start your period and whether or not you need to pack feminine hygiene products, pain medicine, or an extra bar or two of chocolate for your trip.
The Period Tracker also lets you track other things like sexual activity, symptoms, ovulation, birth control use, and much, much more. It’s one of my favorite apps for female travelers.
Oh, while we’re on the topic of menstruation have you seen my article about the thing that makes dealing with your period when traveling about a million times easier?
This one is self explanatory. Nothing sucks worse than urgently needing a bathroom and not being able to find one. Since we can’t just “hold it” in some cases the app, Toilet Finder, can really come in handy for female travelers.
The app displays the nearest toilets in either map view or list view. You also have the ability to search for public toilets, gas station toilets, toilets in malls, toilets in restaurants, and toilets in hospitals (not sure who wants to poo in a random hospital but it’s an option).
Okay, before you breeze by this one let me just say that Tinder isn’t the hook-up app is use to be.
Because the app shows potential matches based on your location it’s actually a great way to meet people while traveling. You should probably be single if you’re going to use it, but I have seen plenty of guys on Tinder claiming they just want to meet people to do a bit of sightseeing. Jury is still out on that, but maybe it’s true.
The real reason I think Tinder is a great app for female travelers is not just to meet guys to date on the road, because you can easily do that at your hostel, but because it’s an excellent way to meet locals.
Even though most of my dates with Tinder never lead to romantic encounters I often end up having great conversation about local life and customs, learning about interesting bars and restaurants outside of tourist areas, and making friends all over the world because of it.
By the way, I met Michael on a dating app. More on that here.
HostelWorld, Couchsurfing, Airbnb
Couchsurfing: When it comes to finding free accommodations or meeting locals when traveling, Couchsurfing is the go-to website out there. True, it’s not as fantastic as it once was (if you’re female you’ll likely get a lot of unwanted messages on there from hopeful “hosts”), but if you’re patient enough to weed through responses you can find a great place to stay.
You can also search for local Couchsurfing meetings if you find yourself alone in a new location and in the mood to be social.
HostelWorld: When it comes to finding great hostels, HostelWorld is the best website out there to get the job done. With descriptions, loads of images, the ability to search for all female dorm rooms, and plenty of reviews, you can easily find the hostel that is right for you on their site.
Airbnb: If you’re the kind of girl who prefers to stay in apartments rather than hotels or hostels, download the Airbnb app right now. It is, by far, the best way to find your home away from home while traveling.
Get a travel credit worth up to $35.00 when you sign up for Airbnb here.
I’m not saying that having a vagina means you have bad sense of direction. But I have met a lot of fellow female travelers that are as directionally challenged as I am.
Maps.me has come to my rescue so many times when I was traveling alone and didn’t have Michael’s keen sense of direction to rely on.
The reason I’m recommending Maps.me over Google Maps (which I also use frequently) is because it works even without cellular or internet service. You can also download entire city maps for a destination you are about to visit ahead of time, so once you arrive you can get on your way without delay.
I remember signing up for Uber when I lived in NYC and instantly loved the app. It’s only in the last year or so that I realized I could use it in destinations around the world.
It’s a great app for all travelers because you can easily send a request to taxis in the nearby area and get quotes ahead of time, all without having to worry about language barriers. Additionally, you’re less likely to get ripped off (too much) when using Uber.
I especially like Uber as a female traveler because of its tracking function. It makes me feel a little more safe when getting in the car with a driver after a late night out.
Note: I usually opt for local taxi apps like Liftago in Prague or SpeedTaxi in Bucharest because they are often cheaper and a more attractive option as a responsible traveler. I’d suggest looking for a reputable local taxi app first and use Uber as a backup.
Unfortunately Tourlina is only available to those with iPhones, so I haven’t been able to try it out. However, it sounds like a great app for female travelers so I was inclined include it in this list.
The app is for solo female travelers who want to connect with other like-minded ladies based on interests and travel plans. If you’re looking for a travel partner to explore with I suggest you give it a go.
Like I said, only available on iOS…boooo!!
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