You love jet-setting around the world in search of adventure and awesome photo opportunities. Your travels, however, often put you in new — and sometimes dangerous — situations. Happily, that amazing little gadget in your pocket known as a mobile smart phone can save you in more ways than one. Here’s how.
Your backpacking adventure takes an unexpected turn, and you don’t know how to get back. Maybe, like mini-triathlon participant Leigh Fazzina, you’re biking and somehow lose your path and get injured. Leigh’s story is one that does a good job of illustrating how a mobile device can save your life. While competing in a triathlon, she became seriously injured and lost. However, she used her Twitter account to let her followers know what happened, and within a short time, several of her followers contacted emergency services.
Of course, you don’t have to get lost in the woods to take advantage of your phone’s ability to help you get un-lost. Maybe you were shopping with your family and got separated in a very busy marketplace. Most cell services have a locator option that allows you to find family members. Or you can shoot them a message via an app like HeyWire or Kik to let them know where you are. These apps are a free way to message as long as you’re connected to Wi-Fi.
Be cautious, though, when using public Wi-Fi. One survey, summed up in this attitudes on wi-fi infographic, found that 84% of travelers don’t take necessary measures to protect themselves online. You don’t want a service that you thought would save you to end up causing you a lot of trouble.
Get Medical Help
Leigh Fazzina did more than get found; she also got necessary medical help. Fortunately, your cell phone enables you to quickly contact emergency services.
You should also keep your medical information on our cell phone, and make it easy to find. If you’re unconscious and unable to tell paramedics that you have an allergy to certain medications or possess a condition that requires specific care, you don’t want to leave your rescuers in the dark.
Make sure paramedics can easily find your emergency contacts on your cell phone as well. You may need a loved one to make critical decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself.
Give Medical Help
Fortunately, most of the time when you get injured on vacation, it isn’t serious, and you can go on enjoying your getaway. If you think an injury might be serious, however, you can use an app like iTriage to help you assess the seriousness of a medical situation, whether it is injury or illness. The app also advises you on how to treat minor medical conditions yourself.
Other apps have instructions on first aid and CPR. Knowing about such things is important in any situation, but especially when you are traveling and may not know how to quickly get local help for yourself or someone else.
Another way your cell phone can save you is if you find yourself in the terrifying situation of being kidnapped. An app called SOS Rescue Me allows you to very quickly text all of your emergency contacts, and the text message includes your location. The text won’t specifically say, “I’ve been kidnapped” unless you have an opportunity to type that, so you can use it in any situation where you are alone and need immediate help.
Catch a Ride
Sometimes, after a night partying at one of the hoppin’ local bars, you might need to save yourself from, well… yourself. Instead of climbing back into that rental car for the drive back to the hotel, you can use an app like Taxi Magic. It uses your phone’s GPS to bring a taxi right to you. The app also allows you to pay for the taxi via a credit card.
A quick way to get ahold of a cab is useful for more occasions than when you’re a little tipsy, of course. If you miss a bus or a train, a cab can save you a lot of time and aimless wandering.
Light it Up
The power goes out, and the hotel doesn’t have a generator. You take a wrong turn and find yourself walking through a dark, creepy alleyway. A flashlight app uses the flash on your camera’s phone as a sustained light. It can save you from tripping and falling and help you get to someplace that’s safer.
You can come across all sorts of sticky situations when you travel, and your cell phone has the power to save you from many of them. Always keep it close at hand.