As the country begins to reopen, we'll keep publishing news to help you navigate the state of travel today (like whether travel insurance covers the coronavirus), as well as stories about places for you to put on your bucket list once it's safe to start going more far-flung.
As much fun as it is to travel with friends or loved ones, there are plenty of reasons to strike out solo. You’re forced to meet new people and get out of your comfort zone. You get some much-needed time alone with your thoughts. Most of all, you don’t have to compromise on where to go or when. At some point, everyone should do it. And when you do, here are some things to keep you safe, entertained, and open to new experiences.
Moleskine Voyageur Notebook ($23)
One of the best things about traveling alone is having time to reflect. This clothbound hardcover notebook has lined journal pages for your profound observations and deep thoughts. Moleskine also included lots of other travel-specific features, like a planning section, tear-out packing and to-do lists, and budget pages for calculating your expenses.
Texture Subscription ($10 Per Month)
If you love magazines, you’ll love this app. From Outside and Ski to the New Yorker and Bon Appétit, Texture offers a digital version of all the best publications for less than the price of two lattes a month. Plus, you can download any issue you want, including all the back issues, to read offline so you’ll never run out of great articles to enjoy.
Backpackr App (free)
Find fellow travelers to meet up with and build a community on the road. You can also use the Backpackr app’s Common Room function to ask questions about what to do, where to stay, and things to see on the fly during your trip.
Spot X 2-Way Satellite Messenger ($250)
Want to keep your family from assuming the worst when you’re camping or hiking out of cell range? This lightweight gadget is a supercharged version of your early 2000s Blackberry. The Spot X allows you to send and receive texts from just about anywhere in the world. It also features Google Maps tracking to let your family watch your progress, plus a compass, 240 hours of battery life, and a direct connection to a search and rescue center in case of emergency. Activation and monthly fees are required for service.
Sabre Red Pepper Gel Keychain ($15)
We hope you’ll never have to use pepper spray, but if you’re traveling alone in sketchy places, it’s good to have a little backup. This gel version from Sabre prevents blowback, so it hits only your target. It also has a flip top for easy access and an ergonomic thumb-activated trigger for increased accuracy.
Fossil Gen 4 Q Explorer Smartwatch with Noonlight ($255)
For adventures within range of cell service, this watch comes with Noonlight, a special feature that allows you to call for help and send emergency responders to your location with the tap of your wrist. All of Fossil’s fourth-generation smartwatches come equipped with Noonlight, as well as text notifications, heart rate monitoring, and activity tracking to keep you occupied while traveling solo.