Little late getting today’s post out! It’s Snowmageddon in NYC! Enjoy!
Recommended Travel Apps for Seniors
There are so many helpful apps available to help you stay in the know and organized while traveling—and they don’t add any extra weight to your luggage! Before taking your mobile device along on a trip, consider loading it with apps that can help you during your travels. Some apps offer location information (including maps), others remind users to take medications on time, and others provide travel tips for getting through airport security screening.
Whether you are planning to travel with aging parents or take a trip on your own, check out this list of recommended apps to download before your big trip. I’m sure that many of them will come in handy during my own upcoming trip to China and Thailand with my mom!
Airport security can be pretty daunting, especially if you haven’t traveled in a while. This app from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) helps get you through security screening with less stress and provides information about the rules and regulations of airport security.
You can use the app to find out which items are permitted in carry-on bags or to look up useful information for travelers with disabilities, medical conditions, and medical devices. My TSA includes tips for getting through security as quickly as possible and can notify you of general delays and weather conditions at various airports.
My favorite part of this app allows people to share their wait times in airport security lines in real time. This information can help you know what to expect at your airport—and determine whether you may need assistance.
Don’t forget to take your meds! With time changes and jet lag to deal with, how are we supposed to remember to take our medications on time? MediSafe reminds you to take your pills on time. It can also help you keep track of your aging parent’s pill schedule by alerting you to remind your loved one to take his or her medication. This app is particularly handy to have when you travel with an aging parent with medical issues.
City Maps 2Go
No need to worry about data roaming charges with the City Maps 2Go app—it lets you access maps and travel information offline. Before you leave home, just find your destination on the list (which is frequently expanded) and download its guide to your device. During your travels you’ll be able to look over maps of your destination and find information on bars, restaurants, shops, and other attractions there.
(Note: These links lead to the free version of the app, which includes only five downloads. This is sufficient for most travelers, but if you need more information you may want to upgrade to the pro version of the app, which offers unlimited downloads and other enhanced functions.)
free: iOS (iPhone)
If you’re traveling to another country, the Smart Travel app from the U.S. Department of State can be helpful to have in case of emergency. It includes travel alerts and warnings, country information, and locations of U.S. embassies throughout the world.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have information about your flights, hotel reservations, and car rentals all stored neatly in one place? Once you’ve installed the TripIt app on your mobile device, just forward your confirmation e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org. The app collects and organizes your travel information in one location, which you can access either through the website portal or via your mobile device. It even lets you share travel plans with friends or family members—helpful when coordinating group travel or airport pick-ups!
(Note: This version of the app is free and offers enough functions for most travelers. If you want to receive alerts about flight delays or changes, or let other users access your trip details, consider upgrading to the pro version.)
Instead of adding currency conversion to the list of things you need to keep track of while traveling, let the XE Currency app handle it for you. It provides live exchange rates and information on historical rates. When you aren’t connected to the Internet, you can still convert currency by using the last saved exchange rate.
The renowned British hillwalker and guidebook author Arthur Wainwright once famously declared, “There is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.”
I don’t entirely agree with him (especially when particularly cold winters hit New York City!), but it’s true that dressing properly make inclement weather more bearable. Checking the AccuWeather app before heading out for the day can help you know whether to bring a raincoat or put on an extra sweater. You can also customize the app to give you weather notifications for specific health concerns, such as respiratory issues.
Before you run out and download all these apps, keep in mind that although most of them work just fine offline, some require Internet access to function properly—and that can get expensive if you’re not careful! Ask your service provider if your device will be able to connect to the Internet at your destination and how much online access will cost you. During your trip, keep your roaming charges under control by using free or low-cost Wi-Fi (found in most hotels these days) whenever possible. The last thing anyone wants to see after vacation is an astronomical cell phone bill!
If you try any of these recommended travel apps for seniors, let me know how they work for you. I’d also love to hear about any other apps that you’d recommend for this list. Please share your feedback with us in the comments section or on our Facebook page!