Best Safety Apps for Travelers

Taking on a travel nursing assignment definitely has its perks – excellent pay, visiting new places, and gaining invaluable industry experience and knowledge. But sometimes, especially when you’re traveling alone, you might wish you had more assurance around your personal safety. We know that many of our traveling nurses are women, so safety should be top of mind. And while it’s not the same as having a loved one physically by your side, we’ve put together a list of travel safety apps to have at your fingertips.

Adding these apps to your phone can help to give you peace of mind while you’re away from home, especially if you’re traveling alone:

Emergency App
Emergency App was developed by the American Red Cross, and serves as a resource for travelers in the case of 14 different types of emergencies and disasters within the U.S. Users can customize dozens of emergency alerts based on their current location and where their contacts live.

This might be the most valuable feature for travelers – emergency first aid information. Even as a traveling healthcare professional, this feature can be helpful as it advises on different types of health emergencies.

The UrSafe app offers hands-free, voice-activated SOS that's fully integrated with emergency services (911) in more than 200 countries, even where there's limited data service. The app is used by a variety of people, including dating partners, business and leisure travelers, in-home service providers, and rideshare drivers and passengers. Users who need assistance or feel unsafe can simply say a codeword or press a button to get help. In addition to sharing your specific location, users also have the option to start a live stream video to document a dangerous scenario in real-time.

ICE contains necessary information about you in case of an emergency. Short for “In Case of Emergency”, this app stores important information such as a main emergency contact and pertinent medical information (allergies, pre-existing conditions). If you have an iPhone, adding ICE information to your phone is simple. You can use the free app that comes pre-installed on your phone (it’s bright red and can’t be deleted) called "Health." Once you add the information in the "Medical ID" section of the app, it is programmed to show up even on the locked screen when someone clicks the "emergency" button on that screen.

bSafe is a personal safety app where users can create their own social safety network to be notified in case of an emergency or unsafe situation. Users can invite friends to follow their location via GPS, set a timer that will send an alarm to friends if they don’t return within a certain time (this could be particularly helpful for first dates), or initiate a fake call to their phone if they want an interruption. The basic version of this app is free.

Circle of 6 
Circle of 6 was originally designed for college students to prevent sexual violence, though it is a great app for young adults, parents, and friends. Whether you need help or a quick interruption, Circle of 6 makes it quick to reach the six people that you choose. There are several icons for users to choose from, including a pin icon (sends a text to your circle asking them to come and get you), phone icon (sends a text to your circle asking for them to call you because you need an interruption), and a chat icon (sends a text to your circle that says “I need to talk”).

Although it’s not an app, traveling healthcare professionals might consider joining Solo Female Travelers. Solo Female Travelers was founded in 2015, where it served as a small Facebook group to support women who were traveling alone. The group currently has more than 110,000 members across a variety of countries. To learn more about this initiative, check out the website.

Remember, none of these apps are meant to replace calling 911 in an emergency. But they are designed to give users (and their parents, friends, and family) peace of mind when they are apart.

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