If you have ever traveled away from home to another state or country, you know the importance of letting friends and family know where you are along the way and that you are safe.
That is where a GPS tracker can really come in handy. These days, there are plenty of companies that provide GPS trackers small enough to be worn in a pocket or bag. With the power of GPS satellites, the tracking devices can track a person down to which street they are on, where they have been, and even how long they stopped for. Whether it is for a parent whose child is traveling away from home for the first time, or a friend making sure you get to your job in Berlin safely, GPS trackers can give you an extra level of security in the event of an accident or something worse.
What should you consider when choosing a GPS tracker for traveling?
What is the coverage like in the geographic area where the trip is taking place?
Most GPS trackers use a culmination of satellites and cellular networks to get a location ping. The location is then sent to a server so that you can see it via an application, either on your smartphone or computer. You will want to check the cellular coverage where the trip is taking place because different states and countries can have varying cellular coverage (2G, 3G, 4G). You don’t want to find out the tracker will not function while the trip is taking place. We recommending asking GPS companies when it comes to coverage for a specific device and place.
What kind of battery life should the GPS tracker have?
The battery life of a GPS tracker is usually correlated with how big the actual device is. Most personal trackers that are small enough to be comfortably carried/worn will give you 2-5 days of battery life between charges. If you are tracking a person, then the person with the tracker will need to recharge it periodically. You could also opt for a larger device (think the size of a deck of cards or larger) which may give you 1-2+ weeks of battery life.
How long will you need the GPS tracker to work?
Most GPS trackers will require a subscription or contract to maintain service. Look for trackers without a contract so you aren’t locked into using the tracker when you really don’t need it. Your trip may be a few days, a month, or longer. Likely your best option is a company that provides a tracking service that is month to month so you can cancel as soon as the trip is over. Expect to pay anywhere from $10-$30 per month for your device to keep it active on those type of plans. Also, consider how much you spend on the device cost initially. You don’t want to pay a lot for a tracker you are only going to use for a month or less. While it is hard to put a price tag on how valuable knowing where a loved one is while traveling, you should expect to pay anywhere from $35-$100 for the hardware itself regarding most GPS trackers.
These are just a few ideas you should take into consideration when thinking about purchasing a GPS tracker to track someone on a trip. The last thing you want is for someone you care about to be traveling and something to happen to them. GPS tracking can help give you valuable data that could be the difference in locating/helping that person in the worst-case scenario. Consider cellular coverage at your trip location, how long the battery should last for the tracker before needing recharging, and what sort of service/subscription plan will you need. Doing your diligence regarding a GPS tracker will ensure you land a quality device that makes traveling a great deal more secure; so you can enjoy the ride.