What should I factor in preparations so that when I travel, I am never lost ?

Edit: I am specifically interested in travelling within Australia by road or taking direct flights between Australia to the USA.

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    From the sounds of it, if it was an explosion or disintegration in-flight, practically nothing you could do would have prevented anything :/ – Mark Mayo Mar 10 '14 at 23:05
  • One could always come up with the situation where your body will be irretrievable – Karlson Mar 10 '14 at 23:07
  • Leaving the Malay airlines aside, is there nothing else one could do to be never lost during international travel? – happybuddha Mar 10 '14 at 23:14
  • edited to make it less broad – happybuddha Mar 10 '14 at 23:24
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    @SpaceDog To some extent a person can really go 'missing' only if someone has been looking for them so I think its a shade of both 'I dont know where I am' and 'missing' – happybuddha Mar 11 '14 at 5:06

One way might be to carry a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) which is essentially a GPS receiver with an emergency radio transmitter, that can be activated manually or (on some models) automatically by immersion in water. These are monitored using a global satellite network and so in theory will work anywhere in the world. Certainly in Australia and the USA the search and rescue organisations understand PLBs.

Such a device is unlikely to help much in case of an emergency aboard a commercial flight, because (a) the aircraft probably has better emergency location systems anyway, and (b) you probably won't be permitted to turn on the device during flight because it has a radio transmission function.

Under non-emergency circumstances, a pretty good method is to use a smartphone with an app like Apple's "Find My Friends" or Google Latitude to keep in touch with family and friends at home. Particularly if you have cellular data service (and enough cell phone battery), this will allow people to find your location (at least, the location of your phone) quickly.

Finally, having a phone with maps helps you to avoid getting lost.

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  • How deep does PLB work? – Karlson Mar 11 '14 at 2:22
  • @Karlson: Probably not very deep, ones that are intended for a aquatic environment are usually designed to float. They might be naturally buoyant, or have a pressure-activated release mechanism. – Greg Hewgill Mar 11 '14 at 2:25
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    If your plane explodes, however, it may be separated from you or disabled altogether. Plus > 100 feet depth with ocean currents and good luck. – Karlson Mar 11 '14 at 2:31

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