Keeping track of loved ones when they travel

North Platte, Neb. (KNOP) - There are many technologies available for keeping track of loved ones when they travel, but knowing options for older vehicles, or for those who do not want to pay for subscriptions to services, is important.

It was not that long ago that travelers did not have so many options via technology for tracking vehicles. And even today, technology can fail. A very important rule of thumb is to always tell someone where you are headed. It is not an invasion of privacy - it is a common courtesy that is in place to give peace of mind, and perhaps save a life.

Telling someone your route, and basic plan for travel is important.

But an added comfort is - truly- the technology to which we have all become well-accustomed.

Newer vehicles are almost always equipped with programs, such as; On-Star (General Motors), Sync (Ford), Entune (Toyota), and Blue Link (Hyundai), to name a few. These are great tools.

For example, On Star will detect a problem (such as an airbag deploy) and call the driver. If there is no response, the operator will contact the proper authorities (911, ambulance, fire, et cetera). The rescuers will then respond. But this technology, and others like it require a paid subscription. This is not always a problem, but some people do not like the expense or added hassle.

So there are other options. There are features that can be accessed from a smart phone, and there are programs online which can cost less than the featured programs, installed in the vehicles.

And there is the problem of older vehicles. Most technologies were not added to vehicles until after 1996. And often, students travelling across the dirt roads to school or other functions are driving older vehicles.

So what can parents do to keep an eye on their kids? Or a spouse on a spouse - or whatever the scenario?

First of all, Jeremy Epting, sales associate for Jerry Remus Chevrolet, said that an after market On-Star mirror can be installed with nearly the same features as the programed version. And, he confirmed that On-Star can even locate a vehicle if it becomes submerged.

An after market On-Star mirror will cost around $200-300 plus installation.

Mo Cabrera, of Express AVL, said that he can install the "Drone," by Compustar. The product costs $149, plus installation. And he commented that each vehiclular installation varies in cost. He did stress that it is a small price to pay for peace of mind.

After researching this, many products were found online - from $30 on up. Most require a smart phone or computer for tracking. Amazon.com and other sites had many devices to choose from.

The Ablegrid runs from $40-$70. It has a strong magnet for placing under the car, and is accessed through a computer program in real time.

There are a multitude of programs available, as well. For example, "Mama Bear," which is designed to watch over one's children. The program includes location sharing and speeding alerts. It won prizes for "best parenting app."

Do your research - it is worth your time to know where a loved one is if he or she does not make it to his or her destination. It could save a life.