One question I’ve been asked very frequently as I tell people about my travel plans is what I’m doing to make sure I’m safe. Usually, in these conversations, people mention things like loud whistles, rubber door stops, tasers, pepper spray and the like. Now, I plan to do some combination of all of those things, but one thing that often isn’t discussed when talking about travel safety is new(er) technology.
Enter: Apple’s Find My Friends.
For those of you that may not know about this nifty little app, it was released by Apple maybe a few years ago (maybe longer…I’m old and don’t remember) for doing exactly what it sounds like: finding your friends. You “friend” one of your contacts through the app and ask to follow their location and thereafter, whenever you open up the app you can see where exactly your friend is.
Now I know it sounds somewhat creepy for day-to-day living, but imagine the safety implications for a solo traveler about to go gallivanting around the world! My sister and I already used Find My Friends to get an idea of each other’s travel time to our apartments or meetups for dinner or movies, etc., and after a good friend of mine asked to follow my location for this journey, I realized it was going to end up being an invaluable safety resource!
Not only did I add that friend, but I also went through and asked five of my other very close friends whether they wanted to follow my location through the app. They all, of course, said yes! I will end up asking my parents, as well, before I leave. Can you imagine what kind of peace of mind it will be for my close friends and family to know they can see where I am at the touch of a button? And even better – can you imagine the peace of mind I, personally, will have knowing that at any time, if something happened to me, a bunch of people in my life could pinpoint my exact location and get to me as quickly as possible?
There are so many helpful tips about safety in the travel blogosphere and I’d like to add Find My Friends as a resource that I plan to use. It’s a fantastic app for solo travelers and an overall great idea. I will be it adding to the “Resources” page of The LITMO Life, as well.
Check out my video on Find My Friends below, and as always, to life!