4 Apps Every Traveler Needs in an Emergency
When disaster strikes, these portable programs make your smartphone a laudable lifesaver. By DIANA HUBBELL.
Published on Oct 20, 2015
Let's say you're trekking your way up Sabah's Mt. Kinabalu, only to slip and fracture a leg. Who you gonna call? This handy app from Allianz Global Assistance uses GPS to pinpoint your location and provide all basic medical information for that country, including general emergency numbers and the contacts of major hospitals. You'll even find international drug names and first-aid phrases in various languages. It's effective in 129 countries and gives you everything you need to know when time is of the essence. Free; iOS, Android.
2. TRAVEL HEALTH GUIDE
Whether you're suffering from indigestion as a result of all that street food or something more serious, there are plenty of times when travelers could use a little expert medical advice. Backed by Dr. Deborah Mills, the author of Travelling Well and specialist who has been taking care of travelers' ailments for more than two decades, this app offers advice on everything from jellyfish stings to altitude sickness. Our favorite part? The information is stored directly in your phone, meaning you won't need Wi-Fi to track down your symptoms. US$2.99; iOS.
Illustrated by Chotika Sopitarchasak.
3. ICE STANDARD
When a crisis hits, you may not be in any sort of condition to talk to the doctor. That's why this simple app is a must-have when setting out on a journey. ICE Standard makes sure that paramedics can access all of your most essential medical records immediately, just by taking a quick look at the lock screen of your smartphone. Although practical for anyone on the go, this one is especially useful for travelers with severe allergies or pre-existing conditions. It's nothing fancy, but in a pinch, you'll be glad you downloaded it. Free; iOS, Android.
Take extra precaution when you venture out to treacherous territory with this app. A tap on the SOS button prompts the system to turn on a flashlight and siren, discreetly send to preset emergency contacts your location and a video record of your surroundings, and automatically dial your guardian. If you think you might need to squeeze out of an uncomfortable situation, you can even set bSafe to send you a fake phone call. It works anywhere in the world, though the premium version is not available in Asia just yet. Free; iOS, Android.
Have a tech question, or a hotel app you want to share? Tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org.