More than ever, we’re all relying on our phones as invaluable travel necessities. When things get scary and you question your safety while traveling, the best thing to have is your smartphone.
There are a lot of travel-related apps and we’ve collected the top favorites for keeping you and your companions safe while traveling.
Make sure you have reliable access to mobile data while you’re traveling. In the past, there have been only two options for this:
And we’ve just heard about a new option: GigSky – an app that lets you purchase travel data using the embedded SIM already in your phone.
To be 100% clear, we’ve not tried this service, but we’re excited about the ability to buy data-as-you-go, pay less, and not have to switch out SIM cards. If you try it out, will you let us know your thoughts?
And now, to our list of recommended travel safety apps.
Instead of sharing your location on social media in real-time, which isn’t safe at all, use this app for sharing your location with friends, family, and co-workers you identify as needing to know. Some unique features of the bSafe app include:
Need to know how to recognize a heat stroke from a heart attack? Want real-time alerts for natural disasters like tornadoes? Want to brush up on your first aid knowledge? The First Aid app offers it all, including interactive quizzes and videos with step-by-step advice for many everyday first aid scenarios.
It’s also voice enabled so you can manage the emergency situation and still get help.
This app was created by the American Red Cross and it’s free.
This app assesses cities and neighborhoods for safety conditions like theft, human rights issues, and violence. GeoSure combines statistics, data feeds, travel alerts, and real-time reports to provide information on women’s safety, health and medical safety, political freedoms, and safety for LGBTQ+ travelers.
This app is good for doing pre-trip research but it’s also useful for understanding your current safety level in real-time, so you can decide if it’s worth staying.
Like to exercise when you travel? This app is essential for traveling runners. It features safe and vetted running routes in cities around the world, including navigation and voice-guided tours.
From a personal safety standpoint, this app can help a runner stay safe when they’re exercising in an unfamiliar location.
Accessible and free Wi-Fi is great but the open network can put you at risk for online identity theft and stolen credit card numbers. The Safer VPN app turns your phone into a virtual private network (VPN). It lets you connect to a remote server and surf the web with an encrypted connection.
Pro tip: a VPN is absolutely necessary for digital nomads, long-term travelers, and those working abroad.
The Sitata app gives you location-based travel alerts in case of disease outbreaks, natural disasters, protests, and terrorist activities. It includes local emergency numbers and hospital locations.
Ideal for travelers right now, this app lets you add your prescription medication and immunization history.
Sitata also crowdsources real-time info about dangers and disturbances, letting you add details about what’s going on where you are.
This one is a no-brainer because it gives travelers critical information such as travel warnings and alerts. You can also find the contact information for all US embassies and consulates when you need help abroad.
The app is called STEP, it’s created by the US Department of State and costs nothing.
You probably know that emergency numbers are different all around the world and remembering the one to dial can be hard in an emergency. The Tripwhistle Global app lets you call emergency numbers directly from the app. In addition, you can share your location so first responders can find you quickly.
In the US: try SafeTrek inside the US. If you’re unsafe and can’t risk calling the police, open the app and hold a button to notify police of your location.
Breaking tradition – the new Southwest CEO says assigned seats may be in their future.
Easing restrictions – the World Health Organization is recommending the easing of COVID travel restrictions and bans, saying they don’t work.
Trouble at 30,000 feet – last week, at least two international flights (one on American and one on United) turned around mid-flight due to mask-related disruptions on board. Sure hope passengers were able to make their connections.
Traveling with your dog? See the top pet-friendly hotel chains in the US.
Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and he believes travel insurance should be easier to understand. He started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.