As best friends who love travelling around the world, we (Cez and Agness) begin every adventure with a full on research mission, learning all we need to know about our destination and what we have to look forward to. Travelling is an adventure we have embraced full on, but throughout all of our escapades we have never lost sight of the importance of safety. This is where our love and respect for GPS tracking comes into play.
As a solo traveller you always want the people back home to know your location. With GPS this is a given, your loved ones will always know where you are and simultaneously the tracker will always know the direction you want to go in.
Choosing the best GPS tracking app or device can be tricky, below we hope to share with you some of what we have learned on our travels and hope that we can take some of the stress out of your choice and research.
Will today’s technology be relevant tomorrow? A question we all ask ourselves in this ever evolving technologically driven era. Who knows!
What I do know however, is that Cez and I know travel, know safe and know GPS tracking. We can and will help you choose the most technologically sound and reliable GPS tracker for the solo traveller in 2018.
As you can imagine our research subject was vast. GPS tracking options can seem endless, but for all their fancy packaging and blurbs do any of these options consider your needs, do they consider your budget? Questions we wanted answered and were not afraid to face head on.
We have of course a vast knowledge of GPS tracking from our travels but is that enough? We should have just said ‘yes’, taken the money and ran but we didn’t.
This is too important a topic, this is safety, this is lifesaving, this is the not having your parents pace the bedroom at night with worry kinda stuff.
So we tested each of our options with your safety, your needs and your budget in mind.
Most GPS trackers do exactly what it says on the tin, they use global satellite positioning to update your exact location but there are exceptions. Some use cellular networks for more precise tracking, this also helps to boost coverage when the person you’re tracking is indoors.
Some units support both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, a highly useful feature if you are lucky enough to be staying in a hotel with a free Wi-Fi network.
In our tests, we obviously found it more useful to go for GPS trackers that have the added advantage of multiple connections. Their precision gives you precise location updates.
There are a number of ways your loved ones can keep track of you while you travel. A good GPS tracker is one that will enable them to log into a user portal on your service provider’s website while also providing the convenience of tracking your movements through a downloadable app on their smartphone.
The latter option is the preferred one – allowing you and your loved one to track your location.
How is this relevant, you might ask? Consider a scenario where you have wandered off the beaten track and have ended up in a beautiful, meandering village, you can’t find a nice place to stay for the night, but amazingly your friend or relative, who is also tracking your movements, has been to that place before! They can instantly tell you the best place to stay, the coolest place to have a beer or the quickest road out of town.
Battery life is a huge consideration. You don’t want a tracker that goes off when you are in the middle of nowhere. The best tracker should last long enough to give room to charge when convenient. It should notify you well in advance that your battery is low.
Avoid GPS trackers that have a short battery life, not as easy as you think. Battery life can differ from hours to days, some great ones can last a week.
There are a few on the market that can last up to a year but what they gain in battery life they lose in functionality.
We are looking at GPS trackers for travellers, devices that should be kept simple, with user interfaces that can be easily navigated in emergency situations.
A traveller needs to be able to store and wear her tracker in many ways. The simplest tracker to go for can be worn as a watch with adjustable straps. Who knows where your travels will take you, what terrain and what conditions you will have to face so aim for the most durable, flexible, water resistant tech you can find. If scuba diving is your thing prepare for that and find the GPS tracker most suitable.
Voice-to-voice calling and panic buttons
As a solo traveller you can never be too safe so please ALWAYS go for the GPS tracker with voice to voice calling and panic button capabilities. The extra spend could save your life. We have seen trackers in 2018 with a panic button that when pressed, triggers an email alert or text message to be sent to a predetermined contact. You will find such features highly useful, especially if you are like me or the countless other travellers who lose their phones every day.
It is imperative that your GPS tracker can be used worldwide. Some trackers are limited by geo defences and are therefore unreliable if the person keeping tabs on you is locked out of your geofence. If you love travelling abroad, ensure that your GPS tracker can be used internationally.
Now that you know what we look for in a GPS tracker and what you as a solo traveller in 2018 should be looking for what tracker would we recommend?
The answer is easy.
The Spot Gen3 GPS tracker has a rugged design; it is waterproof and highly durable with rubber edges designed to protect it from the shock and impact of a fall. This tracker relies on satellite for location updates which affords you enough coverage if you go hiking, biking, boating or camping on your trip. The user interface is simple to use given that it enables you to track your movements as a moving dot just like in the movies.
As well as having the ability to adjust the delivery times of location updates, so you don’t end up somewhere without knowing how you got there, the Spot Gen3 tracking device has a check-in button. This button sends a text message notifying the recipient that you are in need of help but also lets them know that you are not in a life-threatening condition.
If you are in a life-threatening situation, the Spot Gen3 tracker can be used to immediately notify the GEOS International Emergency Response Centre of your situation, and you will be rescued. This tracker has proven itself to be especially useful during winter sports, helping with rough terrain and emergency rescues.
And with Spot Gen3 your enjoyment of these beautiful places and sports will go beyond any of your expectations.
The bottom line
The bottom line, as with most things, is budget. Trying to find the right fit for your budget can be a nightmare. We have all been there, planning a trip and counting pennies but the extra few pennies you spend on your GPS tracker could seriously save your life. As a solo traveller this device can quite simply mean the difference between life and death, choose wisely and as Dr. Seuss would say, ‘Oh the places you’ll go.’
Happy travels. Safe travels.