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Health & Safety Apps for Travelers

Below is a list of useful mobile apps related to international and travel safety. Each app listed here is free and is supported in some way by the U.S. Government. Many of these apps can be downloaded, preprogrammed, and then used offline, so they are particularly useful if traveling to remote, isolated areas.

  • My TSA: This app from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) provides real-time updates on airport delays. It includes how long security lines are at various airports; information about what you can and cannot bring onto an airplane; and a frequently-asked question list, including new advanced imaging technology.
  • Border Wait Time: This app from DHS makes it easier for travelers to plan their trip across U.S. land borders. The app provides estimated wait times and open-lane status at land ports of entry, which may be particularly helpful when in an area with multiple crossings. Wait times for pedestrian and passenger/commercial vehicle crossings are broken down by lane type (standard, SENTRI, NEXUS, FAST, Ready Lane, etc.).
  • Mobile Passport Control: This app expedites travelers’ entry into the U.S. U.S. and Canadian citizens can submit their information to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) via the app prior to arrival.

In addition to the above apps, some host governments have released mobile apps to alert users of emergency situations and offer real-time guidance. For example, the French government launched a public emergency notification mobile application called SAIP. In the event of a security crisis in the vicinity of a SAIP user, the user should receive notifications regarding the incident and guidance from authorities on how to respond. In addition, the South Korean Ministry of Public Safety and Security “Emergency Ready” app allows users to make emergency 119 calls, locate the nearest emergency shelters, and watch videos related to CPR, First Aid, etc.

A Word of Caution

ASU does not specifically endorse any of the external links or apps listed above. There are some countries that have very strict, and often monitored, Internet usage, making apps—even ones internal to an organization—a potential security vulnerability. Certain places, including China, are known for the use of sophisticated cyber capabilities (spear phishing, targeting of mobile devices, social engineering/network manipulation). Viruses, malware, and other forms of malicious software are common. In these places, all visitors should be aware that they have no expectation of privacy in public or private locations. All means of communication, including telephones, mobile phones, faxes, emails, and text messages, are likely monitored. Other locations may not have a developed telecommunications infrastructure or may to too remote to permit mobile app.