For women travelling solo, there are more than a few lady-specific questions and concerns that standard, on-the-go apps like Google Maps or Google Translate unfortunately just can’t answer. Good thing that these two gems only skim the surface of a vast array of helpful apps for female travellers in 2016. Here are seven of our favourites, perfect for techno-savvy heroines carving new paths through this wide and beautiful world.
Sit or Squat
When you’re in a foreign country, or at the very least, going somewhere that doesn’t comfortably allow for use of your GoGirl , then Sit or Squat by Charmin may just be a lifesaver. The app lets you search for and even view restrooms near you. You can find them quickly in a jam, or if you’re uber organized, bookmark restrooms for your trip before you arrive. Sit or Squat also features a filter that separates restrooms that are Free, Handicap Accessible, have a Sit or Squat Rating, or a Baby Changing Table. You gotta love it when technology makes toilet finding easier.
Finally, an app that packs your suitcase for you… Well, almost. PackPoint will help you pick and arrange what you need to bring for your trip depending on your length of stay, the weather at your destination, and any activities you have planned. You create your list, add what you need, and then save it or share it. And the app is customizable, so if you need to add something to your list that isn’t already there, you can. Connect to TripIt and Evernote for quicker list creation and accessibility across devices. PackPoint also has a travel podcast: Travel Smart.
EmergenSee just might be the most important app for any woman travelling on her own. The way it works is simple and definitely worth it: just tap the app and “Start an Incident” when you feel you are in danger, and live-streamed audio, video, and GPS location data will be sent via text and email from your location to your Safety Contacts. These include your family and friends, but you can also pay for the Tier 4 Homeland Defense Monitoring System—which will connect you live to security operators—or for security partners, which sends live info to officers at places like universities or malls. EmergenSee can also connect you with a SafeWalk official and lets you report crimes anonymously.
Safety Map will help single female adventurers avoid dangerous spots in the first place. The app uses a simple colour system to map out the safety level at your destination by monitoring crime levels in that area: green is safe, yellow is neutral, and orange is danger. Safety Map is free, and its coverage is global. So whether you’re just passing through a city and would like to do so by the safest route, or you’re choosing a foreign neighborhood to live in for the next few months, this app is essential.
Speaking of protection—myPill is not specifically a travel app, but when you’re exploring new places, losing days here and gaining them there, it can be hard to remember to take your pill. In addition to a daily reminder (WiFi or no), myPill includes a monthly calendar, a planner for annual check-ups and tracking pill packs, and a feature to track period flow and symptoms, among others. The premium version of the app lets you include a custom number of pills per pack, and takes extra steps to ensure your privacy.
Tourlina is a women-only app designed to connect female travellers with one another in a safe and secure way. All you have to do is enter your destination and when you’ll be there into the app, and you’ll be paired with a whole list of other ladies who’ll be there too. You can swipe through possible matches (sort of like Tinder, but for travellers), and once you find someone you like, hit them up for a rendezvous at your destination. Tourlina says that this may just lead to lifelong friendships, and it’s true—ladies who can travel together will stay friends forever.