Safer Travel Using Mobile Apps
In previous articles we talked about corporate duty of care and business travel safety tips travellers can follow when travelling within the UK and to Europe. In this article we cover a few of the many mobile apps that can be used when travelling to help keep you safe as well as helping you keep track of important information.
Some of the apps below are free, some you have to pay for.
TripLingo is becoming well known as a must-have personalised travel app and tool which helps you stay safe abroad with everything from local emergency information to medical phrases.
It incorporates some safety tools and helps you deal with language, culture and other barriers. For example if you wanted to know how to dial 911 in France or how to tell someone you have a food allergy TripLingo can help.
One of the most impressive features of the app is the "Voice Translator" which allows you to communicate by instantly translating your voice into another language. You can also have the response translated back into English! If you need a live translation you can use the "Live Human Translation" functionality where you can access / talk to a live translator with the tap of a button (using data connection). Translators are available for 180 languages.
App of the month in August 2015, TravelSafe Pro automatically detects your location and brings up the phone numbers for various local emergency services.
TimeOut has been quoted as saying "TravelSafe is a potentially life-saving database of emergency service numbers for just about every country you'd ever care to visit, plus plenty for those that you wouldn't."
TravelWeekly stated "This app provides piece of mind while traveling. With this app on your phone, there's no need to worry about trying to locate the nearest emergency services in an emergency, or trying to find Wi-Fi or work out how to use the device when crisis strikes."
It can be downloaded for Android.
The personal safety app bSafe has a great set of personal safety features for both everyday safety and real emergencies. It can alert friends and your company that you've arrived at your destination as well as send information about your GPS location.
It can be downloaded from iTunes for Apple iOS devices.
In Case of Emergency (ICE) stores important information about you for paramedics, ambulance and hospital staff to use in case of an emergency.
The app allows you to enter a range of information e.g. your medical condition, your doctor's contact details as well as insurance information. It also translates the stored information in 10 different languages.
It's available as an Android app.
Citymapper is billed as "making cities easier to use". It offers detailed journey planner information combining all transport modes to find you the best and safest route: walking, tube / metro, bus, train, rail, ferry, Uber / taxi and cycles.
It includes real-time departures including bus and train times and disruption alerts as well as Uber integration and is available in around 30 cities worldwide.
TripIt Travel Planner
TripIt, created in October of 2006, enables you to organise your flight/train tickets, hotel confirmations, car rentals, restaurant reservations, and other travel plans into an always-accessible itinerary.
It will store your dates, times, and confirmation information for each trip. It will also allow you to sync your travel plans with your favourite online or mobile calendar - automatically.
A great feature is the ability to automatically share your travel plans via text or email. No more copying and pasting the details about when you're arriving or where you're staying so you can quickly and easily let your family and company know where you are.
WhatsApp is a simple, secure and instant messaging system that only requires a Wi-Fi or 3G connection. It allows you to stay in touch while you're travelling even if you're in another country. You can message an individual, your family, co-workers or a group. With group chats, you can share messages, photos, and videos with up to 256 people at once.
Built with end-to-end encryption your messages are secure. Only you and the person/people you're communicating with can read or listen to them.
Downloads are available for Android, Apple and Windows phones plus PC and MACs.
When travelling, it's never a good idea to perform financial transactions over public Wi-Fi (such as accessing your bank account or purchasing from an online store where you have to enter your password) unless you are using a VPN. VPNs route your information through a server which encrypts it protecting your data from hackers.
Although hopefully you'll never need any of the emergency related features of the apps above and you'll have a trip free of any issues it's always better to be prepared.
Contact Booking Partners for information on travel management.
Please note: Booking Partners has no affiliation with any of the apps above and has no control over them. For support please contact the app developers.