We must travel under a small cloud of misfortune, because nearly every trip, someone ends up getting sick while traveling. Many times it is minor but still makes an impact, like getting strep throat on a ski trip. Other times, it requires more intervention. Like visits to the pharmacy in Vienna, or doctor calls in Jamaica, Mexico, and Costa Rica.

Then there was the recent trip to Italy when we got a nail in our rental car’s tire just five minutes after picking it up in Naples, stranding us on the side of a busy road. Or, when Glenn thought he lost his passport in Tuscany. And I wasn’t sure what to do if that donkey gave me a kick while trying to lead it out of the middle of the road.

A hotel concierge can be helpful in finding you a resource when you are having an emergency. But when you are independent travelers like we are, often staying in vacation rentals or Airbnbs, sometimes you just don’t know who to call. Who speaks English, who has the right specialty, who makes house calls or is nearby (and open for office visits?) Where is the hospital? And most of all, what is going to be covered?

These are the questions racing through your mind while trying to squash down the panic rising up in your chest. In a true emergency, it can be even harder to know where to start looking for the information that you need.

TravelSmart App from Allianz Travel

This post is sponsored by Allianz Travel. However, I am an Allianz customer and have been very happy with all of my interactions and claim processing and can wholeheartedly recommend Allianz travel insurance.

Allianz TravelSmart app

Allianz, the company I use for my annual travel insurance plan, has a free mobile application called TravelSmart, which is designed for these moments of need. The app can be used by Allianz Travel customers or anyone, as long as you create a log in.

To function best, you should also allow the app access to your location, so that the location-specific information you need is at your fingertips without any laborious searching. I would suggest registering BEFORE you leave on a trip and adding your flights so that the app is ready and waiting if you need it.

Of course, I would also suggest ALWAYS purchasing travel insurance. Allianz came through for me once again recently when a flight was cancelled just three hours before we were scheduled to take off. We were in a panic because we need to get to our destination THAT DAY and the best the airline would offer was a spot on the same flight the following day. We paid an additional cost to get on a different flight to a nearby city and drove the rest of the way, and Allianz covered the difference.

TravelSmart app emergency numbers

But I digress. There are a few features of the TravelSmart app that I think are very important:

  • Quick access to emergency numbers: if you have enabled location services, the app senses where you are and will provide you with quick access to local emergency numbers for police, ambulance, and fire with one- touch calling. In the US we know to dial 911, but how often do you memorize the local emergency numbers when traveling internationally? TravelSmart has you covered.
  • Assistance: the TravelSmart app will call up a map or list of nearby hospitals, doctors, pharmacies, police stations, or embassies. The list covers facilities that have been reviewed by Allianz Global Assistance so you know they have been vetted. From the list you can get the address, phone number, website, or directions. When Glenn thought he lost his passport, the first thing I did was open up the app and look for the closest embassy (spoiler alert: he found it in his luggage.)TravelSmart mobile app medical translations
  • Medical translator: the first time I went to purchase an antibiotic cream in another country, I realized that the brands we know in the U.S., are not what we may find overseas. Sometimes you need a little help translating to find the right products or describe your symptoms. The TravelSmart app includes both a medication dictionary, which will find the pharmaceutical equivalent to your drugs, and a translator for common first aid terms.
  • Contact us: for Allianz customers, instead of trying to find where you filed your travel insurance policy information and dig up contact numbers, the TravelSmart app has a way to immediately call for assistance from inside and outside the United States, as well as send an email.
  • Track claims: if you are like me and have to use your travel insurance policy (I guess there is some benefit to knowing you got your money’s worth), the app is also an easy way to track the progress of your claims.

Flat tire in Naples

I truly hope you never need to use this app. I hope WE never need to use this app again. But it is there. In my pocket. Just waiting in case the unexpected and unwanted occurs and I need help and don’t know who to call. Not every app is something we use every day like Facebook. Some of them are there just for those “in case” moments, and TravelSmart should be one of them.

Download TravelSmart on the Apple AppStore or Google Play Store.

Looking for more suggested apps for international travel? Or the best mobile apps for road trips?


When faced with an emergency when you travel, TravelSmart is the app you want in your pocket! #travelapps #mobileapps #travel #AllianzFamilyTravel




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