You can take a vacation from home, but unfortunately you can’t get away from potential dangers. We have a guide on our favorite personal safety devices, from free apps to jewelry with disguised panic buttons, and we think you should consider your options before you get on the road—especially if you’re traveling alone.
Share your location with a family member or friend you trust. As long as your phone stays on, they’ll be able to check in to see where you are if they haven’t heard from you. This isn’t foolproof, but it’s a start. On iPhones, go to your chosen contact and select Share My Location to set it indefinitely. On Android phones, you can share locations through Google Maps by choosing Location Sharing under your account icon in the top right.
Download the Noonlight app. It’s free on iOS and Android, and all you have to do is hold down the on-screen panic button until you’re in a safe place. Enter your PIN to turn it off, or don’t to alert help. Wherever you are, you can get the police to you quickly by sending them your GPS location.
Learn to use your emergency call feature. iPhones make this easy by holding down the power button and one of the volume buttons. When it pops up, slide the SOS slider for an instant call to 911, or keep holding down the buttons to automatically place a call, which will happen after a five-second countdown. All Androids are different, but if your phone is relatively new, it should also have this kind of feature. Check for it on your specific phone before you leave for your trip.
Get a satellite messenger. None of the above options will do any good if your phone is out of cell service. The Garmin inReach Mini is one of our favorite satellite messengers. It’s light and takes up little room, plus it utilizes the super-fast Iridium satellite network to get your SOS to help.