If you’re making the most of your lock-and-leave lifestyle and planning a trip, it’s worth keeping up with all the latest technology to keep you safe and comfortable, particularly if you’re a solo female traveller. Here are some we recommend, deliberately chosen to be lightweight so you can travel with carry-on luggage only, if you prefer.
On the road
If you have an Apple phone, you can attach an Airtag to your luggage and easily locate it in an airport or crowded bus station using your phone and Bluetooth.
If you’ve got a few stops on your travels, a versatile adapter makes it easy to charge your phone and laptop, wherever you are. The 65-watt OneAdaptr One World 65 is a great choice.
A Mavogel sleep mask is a step up from the freebies handed out on the plane as it blocks out all light and is exceptionally soft and comfortable.
Blocking out sounds with music or silence is wonderful for long plane rides and noisy hotel rooms. There are now lots of noise-canceling headphones to choose from, in a range of budgets, but we like the range at Sennheiser. As well as blocking out noise, they have a Bluetooth connection so you can listen to music wirelessly.
Share a book
Thankfully we no longer need to drag around a pile of books on holiday, and it’s now possible to have an entire library at your fingertips, including your actual local library. A Kindle Paperwhite is wonderful for taking your favourite books with you, or quickly buying any new releases you like the look of. And if you are a member of your local library, download the Libby app and borrow audiobooks, e-books and digital magazines to read on your travels.
Apps and websites for getting around
While there may be some regional differences (in Malaysia, for example, people use Grab and not Uber) a few apps on your phone will make travel – from sending money to ordering a car to booking a last-minute hotel or checking flight prices – much easier.
For hotels and increasingly holiday apartments and even spare rooms, Booking.com is the site chosen by many frequent travellers over all others.
For flights, Skyscanner is great as it allows you to compare prices, times and dates by scanning all available flights, with continuously updated information.
If you need to send money to an alternative account, be sure to sign up to Wise before you go. You send money to Wise from your local bank, and they then send it to you overseas, for a low set price and exchange rate. When withdrawing the cash, use the ATM Fee Saver app to help you find ATMs that won’t charge you a fortune.
When in non-English speaking countries, Google Translate is useful if you need to ask for directions, check a menu or ask for help. And the voice to text function is also a boon ‒ in taxis for example, if your driver also uses the app.
Similarly, Google Maps is a fantastic way to navigate a new place without getting lost – just remember to look up from your phone now and then! You can also use it to share your location with others should you get lost, and you can plan out routes and save your personalised maps for future travel.
Health and safety
The Red Cross First Aid app is a free, comprehensive pocket guide to first aid and CPR, giving you access to the most up-to-date first aid information any time, anywhere. Be sure to download it before you go and give yourself a little refresher course.
An app that can help you stay safe is Strava. Used by athletes all over the world to record running times and other data, it also allows you to share your location with others. Another popular, subscription-based app is UrSafe, which will call the emergency services on your behalf and share your location, should you need it.
Meeting like-minded travelers
If you’re travelling alone and would like some company, it’s definitely worth checking out Meetup. You can tailor your search to suit your preferences and find local events. And if you can’t find a group you like the sound of, make your own!
Specialised Facebook groups are also wonderful for meeting people. Check out Solo in Style, a private group for women over the age of 50 travelling alone, and Women. Travel. Solo for tips, friendship and laughs.
Have a wonderful time!
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