Three Mobile Apps You Need for Safe Travels

Pack your smartphone with these apps before you travel

Your smartphone can be a lifeline in a foreign country - not just as a way to call people, but with smartphone apps as well!
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News

With the continued improvements in mobile technology, travelers have many more ways to interact with their world from the palms of their hands. With the tap of a few buttons on a screen, international flyers can keep up with loved ones, respond to important e-mail messages, and even make dinner reservations. More importantly, a smartphone can also be a lifeline in the event of a travel emergency.

Nobody wants to think about the worst case situations during their international travels. In the event that something should happen, a smartphone can be your first touch point to gaining assistance from local authorities, the local embassy, or even a travel insurance company. Before boarding another international flight, be sure to download these apps for safer travels.

Safer Travel by Caroline's Rainbow Foundation

Arguably one of the more important apps that helps keep travelers safe, the Safer Travel app is a free download that offers downloadable guide books and maps for major cities around the world, with recommendations on where to avoid while traveling. What makes this app invaluable is that it does not rely on international roaming data to work. After a traveler has downloaded a city guide, it will be available to them on- and off-line on demand. 

In addition to local guidebooks and maps downloaded directly to your phone, the Safer Travel app also offers useful contact information at the touch of a button. Travelers can access emergency numbers for their location, find out where hospitals are, locate the nearest embassy, or even find the nearest tourist office.  When it comes to pre-trip safety planning and advice that won't hurt your wallet, the Safer Travel smartphone app is the complete package.   

TripLingo by TripLingo, LLC

Before taking an international trip, many travelers may work to learn as much of local language of their destination country as possible. However, understanding every nuance of a language can be a daunting task, and new language learners are apt to forget their best skills at a critical moment. This is where the TripLingo travel smartphone app comes to the rescue: immediate basic language skills for even the greenest of travelers.

Similar to the Safer Travel app, TripLingo allows travelers to download all the language information they may need to their smartphones before they travel. Through the application, travelers can translate words and sentences through text, and speak their question into the phone to get a live translation. In the worst case scenario, travelers can also pay a nominal fee to connect with a live translator over wi-fi to bridge the language gap. As a result, the TripLingo app helps people communicate more effectively with the locals in their native language.

Although some real-time translations and connecting to a live translator may require some data usage, the additional cost paid for this smartphone travel app can be absolutely worth it when travelers reach the end of their language barrier and desperately need help.

Smarter Travel by the U.S. Department of State

For travelers who call the United States home go abroad often, the Smarter Travel app from the U.S. State Department is an almost required download. This smartphone travel app allows modern adventurers to look up facts and customs information from nearly every country around the world, while delivering valuable information every traveler needs to know before they board their next aircraft. In addition to destination facts, the app also delivers travel warnings and alerts through push notifications.

If there is trouble in the world, the Smarter Travel app will let travelers know.

One of the most important functions of the Smarter Travel app is allowing travelers to enroll in STEP - the Smart Travel Enrollment Program. This free program automatically registers travelers with the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country they are visiting, allowing the consulate to connect with travelers in the event of an emergency situation. While this app offers great features, data needs to be turned on to access the full functionality.

Travelers pack music and movies on their smartphones, but should not forget to download smartphone traveler apps for safer travels as well. When travelers download the right smartphone travel apps, they can help themselves travel as smoothly as possible.