How to plan a post-pandemic road trip (2021): equipment and advice

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You can take a vacation away from home, but unfortunately you can’t get away from the potential dangers. We have an guide to our favorite personal safety devices, from free apps to jewelry with disguised panic buttons, and we think you should consider your options before you hit the road, especially if you’re traveling alone.

Share your location with a trusted family member or friend. As long as your phone is on, they’ll be able to check in to see where you are if they haven’t heard from you. It’s not foolproof, but it’s a start. On iPhones, navigate to the contact you want 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 onscreen panic button until you are in a safe place. Enter your PIN code to deactivate it or leave it unattended to alert help. No matter where you are, you can bring the police to you quickly by sending them your GPS location.

Learn how to use your emergency call feature. IPhones make it easier by holding down the power button and one of the volume buttons. When it appears, drag the SOS slider for an instant call to 911, or press and hold the buttons to automatically place a call, which will occur after a five-second countdown. All androids are different, but if your phone is relatively new, it should have this kind of functionality as well. Check it on your specific phone before you leave for your trip.

Get a satellite messenger. None of the above options will help if your phone is out of cell service. the Garmin inReach Mini is part of our favorite satellite messengers. It’s lightweight and takes up little space, and it uses the super-fast Iridium satellite network to get help from your SOS.

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