Travel apps that will keep women travelers safe
Ever more women are choosing to explore the world solo, something once deemed daring and dangerous. About half of business travelers are women. Although the travel industry is adapting to accommodate women travelers, they’re still more vulnerable than men when traveling by themselves.
Being a sassy single female traveller is not without its dangers, and safety is paramount. In an age of technology, almost global use of the internet and an open network of like-minded travellers, setting off solo and staying safe is an easily achievable adventure. These tips can help women avoid becoming a victim. Women traveling abroad will also benefit from these tips, but there’s much more to consider in those situations, and this article doesn’t address the special issues of foreign travel.
1. SIREN OR ALARM APPS
The odds of someone traveling without their phone are pretty low these days. This is why sites like Solo Traveler suggest downloading an app or two that can help you in unsafe situations. One example is the SOS Whistle app, which emits a loud whistling sound and can help alert passersby if you are hurt, lost, or in any other sort of danger. With these devices in your luggage, you can feel confident that you will be totally safe when you travel – whether you are with your family, friends, or flying solo.
2. TOURLINA (FREE ON IOS)
Tourlina is a women’s-only app that connects fellow travelers wherever they are around the globe. Simply enter your trip and discover a travel companion with mutual interests and trip plans. You can start to chat, plan your trip together and voila! You’re on the road with a new friend, possibly one you’ll have made for life. It’s not a dating app-the emphasis is on friendship. It can be hard to find a travel partner that has the means, the free time, the interests and the destination in sync with your own. Tourlina cuts straight through by connecting you with like-minded travelers, and they screen each and every new user so that your safety comes first. This app is designed to offer women a safe and secure place to find other female travel buddies. Once you plugged in all of your preferences, the system searches for compatible traveling partners. From here, it’s a lot like the Tinder app; you see the snapshot of a potential traveling companion and can either skip past them or attempt to connect via chat. Each snapshot includes a picture followed by the user’s age. Some users also include a short snippet of information that gives you more insight into their personality. I highly recommend filling out this part of your profile so other women can easily see if you might be a compatible travel companion.
3. SIT OR SQUAT
Even when you’re on a romantic stroll through the charming streets of Paris, nature still calls. There are few things worse than wandering around an unfamiliar city holding it in. So, save your bladder with Sit or Squat, a free app that lists bathrooms worldwide. Users rate their experiences with a Sit (thumbs up) or Squat (so-so) and can even upload their photos to give other travelers a hint as to bathroom quality. Map the locations with an interactive, location-based map. You can filter by cost, handicap accessible, rating and even a baby changing table. The app is super-easy to use as basically is nothing more than a map with pins to indicate bathrooms that are close to your location. The pins each hold a picture of a roll of toilet paper in either green or red. A green roll indicates a restroom that is considered to be clean enough to “Sit” on, while a red marker indicates that the restroom is not as clean as you would like, hence you will need to “Squat.” Once you click on the location, you will be given a link for directions. If you are logged in, you can look at photos of the bathroom if they are available. Being logged in also allows you to add a bathroom, upload photos and/ or rate a bathroom.
4. PACKPOINT APP
This Pack Point app is a female traveler’s best friend. This packing-list generator uses your information to customize a packing checklist for your destination. Tell the app your gender, where you’re going, the time of year, and any activities you have planned, and it will create suggestions for clothing, essentials, and gear you should take along. For those app aficionados out there, the best feature is that it can sync with TripIt to obtain personal information and your itinerary! Packpoint will in fact over-suggest items just to make sure that you pack them, even if you aren’t the type of person who would pack multiple business casual suits for a three-day trip. Using the checklist option you can easily just chop that part off, and stick to the basics as you see fit. You also have the option of tapping extra activities, such as swimming, hiking, and so on. By selecting any number of these excursions, more packing choices will populate.
5. SAFETY MAP WORLDWIDE
Safety Map Worldwide features maps around the world that will recommend the safest routes, advise you on the best district to travel or stay in, and guide you away from high-crime areas. Sometimes when you are traveling, you don’t always know exactly the best place to stay in a new city- this will solve your problems. You can document your experiences in safe (hopefully not unsafe) areas to help other travelers navigate as well! So, next time before setting off on your walking tour, let Safety Map Worldwide help you assess the level of public safety of just about any place on earth. You can view a five scale danger to safe rating, and read comments from other travellers. Safety Map Worldwide will also ping you with helpful notifications if you find yourself in a danger zone.
However, these are technologies which can safe you but still things are in your hand. Use your senses and mind before selecting any destination.
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