We’re pretty smart and savvy travelers and we take safety seriously both at home and away. We don’t go to seriously dangerous destinations, we constantly check-in with each other when Tim and I travel separately, and we’re just generally aware of our surroundings. But despite just adding our 45th country to an ever growing list and (knock-on-wood) never having a single problem, my mom admitted that she and my dad “really worry when we’re in those countries“, as she put it. (Sorry mom, I am about to pick on you a bit.)
Maybe it’s my mom’s generation. After all, when the term jet-set was coined in the 1950s, it truly encompassed the wealthy that traveled from one fashionable place to another. Air travel back then was a supreme luxury. According to USInflationCalculator.com, a flight that cost $75 in the ’60s, would cost $574 today. Backpacking in Europe probably wasn’t even on most twenty-somethings radar in the ’70s, let alone jetting off to places like Thailand or Russia. So I can understand just a teeny-tiny little bit how my mom might think Tim and I are insane.
Well, don’t worry mom. There’s a new app in town that will literally let you stalk us. Cue a new travel safety app, React Mobile. React Mobile is free to download on iOS and Android and lets you create a list of contacts, like your significant other or overly worried parents, that can help you if danger does strike.
A lot of times when I’m coming home very late on the train by myself or headed back to my hotel when traveling solo, I’ll text Tim to let him know. Then I text again when I safely arrive. It’s just that little bit of added security that someone knows where you plan to be. With React Mobile, I can activate the “Follow Me” feature for anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours that sends my GPS coordinates to my selected contact. There’s even a live map that updates every 30 seconds so your contact can monitor your every step. When you make it safely to your destination, just click “I’m Safe” and your contact is updated.
If something does happen, help is only the tap of your phone away. Just tap on the React Mobile shield to send an alert to your contact. An option even pops up to dial 9-1-1 (or the equivalent in 39 countries) at the tap of a button. Just select your location from the settings before you head out from your hotel and the proper emergency phone number is a button away.
There are options to post to Facebook and/or Twitter too, though I never turned those on. I personally wouldn’t use those options because you don’t want to be the boy that cried wolf and I don’t want my thousands of Facebook friends and Twitter followers stalking my every move.
I do like that I can designate who can follow me. The app lets my contact know my location without me being distracted from my surroundings to constantly text it. Tim and I have been trying out the app over the last two weeks and the live maps are accurate. You can easily turn the Follow Me feature on, stick your phone in your purse or pocket, and not worry. I hope that I never need to use the SOS feature, but if I do, I know Tim has my location to easily alert police.
Download React Mobile free here.
Disclosure: We were contacted by React Mobile to review the app, but all opinions of its usefulness are entirely our own.