If you’re the sort of person who can often be found frantically upending the house in search of their keys or asking people to ring their phone in a panic because it seems to have gone walkabout, keeping track of your valuables whilst on holiday is likely to fill you with trepidation. Fortunately, this is the digital age and as a result there is an increasingly sophisticated list of gadgets on offer that can help you track your valuables so that they all stay safe and sound. Here are five of our favourite bits of technology that can stop your stuff from going AWOL:
An RFID or Radio Frequency Identifier is a small tag that can be used to track your precious items. Tags can take the shape of small stickers or fobs, equipped with a chip, memory and antenna, which can be applied to your keys, phone and camera. When your valuables appear to have disappeared into thin air, press the button on your finder device and the tag will flash or make a sound. However, your valuables will need to be within the specified range – perfect for finding those keys that have fallen in between the sofa cushions or the phone that you absent-mindedly left in the bathroom. Also, losing the finder device will cause no end of frustration – so keep that somewhere safe! These gadgets may be quite basic, but they are often pretty cheap as a result.
Many modern RFID trackers now work alongside apps, connecting to your smartphone via Bluetooth. Again, you attach Bluetooth gadgets to the items you are concerned about losing such as your keys or wallet, but in this case, you use the app to locate your items when necessary. These devices can be set to alert you when a valuable item moves out of your designated range, letting you know that you have left something behind before you lose it for good.
For many travellers, a smartphone is an essential item on the packing list. After all, a trusty smartphone enables you not only to contact friends and family to let them know you are safe or in case of emergency, it allows you to get in touch with hotels or taxis to inform them of last minute changes of plan, navigate your way through an unfamiliar city with maps and find recommendations and reviews of places to eat and fun things to do.
The first course of action when a phone is misplaced is, of course, to ask someone to ring it. But what if you’ve left the ringer off as so many of us do? The answer is to use tracker software – just ensure your phone is enabled before you head off on your hols by switching on ‘Find my iPhone’ and ‘Send Last Location’ in Settings. For iPhones, head to icloud.com and log into your account with your Apple ID and password. Select the ‘Find iPhone’ option and follow the instructions to find out where your tech has disappeared off to or where its last location alert was sent. Android Device Manager offers a similar service to Android users. Both allow you to track other devices, such as laptops, too.
A good GPS device tends to be on the pricier side of the budget, but they are worth their weight in gold should you need to track a valuable possession. They can be attached to practically anything with bike trackers and even pet trackers on offer. These trackers – in the same way as the software above - utilise the Global Positioning System to determine and track a precise location. Just remember that, even if you believe you can locate the potential thief, it’s better to leave confrontational situations to the police.
Although the helping hand of technology can play a pivotal part in keeping your belongings safe, the importance of travel insurance should never be overlooked. Not only can the right insurance policy ensure you don’t end up out of pocket if something valuable disappears, it can cover you should you fall ill or require medical treatment abroad – a cost that can be surprisingly expensive. Medical Travel Compared offer a free comparison service to help you find the right plan for your circumstances – give it a try and get your travel insurance quote today.