Handy Free Apps for Senior Travellers

Handy Free Apps for Senior Travellers

It’s fair to say that most senior travellers these days are fairly tech savvy. More often than not, they travel with a smartphone. They consult a weather app to help them decide what clothes to pack. They use chat programmes such as WhatsApp or Skype to keep in touch with their loved ones while travelling. They regularly check their favourite news, entertainment and sports apps while on the road. Some even pay their bills online while travelling.

There are other smartphone apps that older travellers may like too. Here are some free apps they may find useful. Some are designed with seniors in mind while others are aimed at making things easier for any traveller.

Flight tracking

No one wants to be caught out by a flight delay or a change of gate they didn’t know about. Several apps are available for keeping a watch on your flight. Among them is App in the Air, which lets you know of any delays as well as giving you information like the flight duration, check-in-time and weather at your destination. Another flight tracker app, GateGuru, run by TripAdvisor, also provides details from other travellers about the services available at any airport, although the information about some Asian airports is limited. 

Sharing your itinerary

If you want to share your travel arrangements with family or friends, a useful app is TripIt. You can put together your flight itinerary, hotel details and anything else you like, and share them with anyone you choose. You can either key in your details manually or email them to TripIt and let it create your itinerary for you. A similar free app is TripCase.  

Currency exchange

Knowing the exchange rate is essential for any country you’re visiting. If you’re out shopping, for instance, you’ll want to know exactly how much an item really costs. There are many free apps to choose from.

Currency converter apps are especially useful.   Image: © Alan Williams

A popular app is XE Currency. It’s able to store the most recent rates so that you can access them offline. Other free apps include OANDA Currency Converter, Valuta+ and CalConvert.

Translation help

Need a little help with the language of the country you’re visiting? There are free translation apps to help. Among them is TripLingo, which is geared towards travellers and gets good reviews. Google Translate is popular too. It offers translation between more than 100 languages; many of them can be translated offline. Other free apps include iTranslate, and Speak & Translate. 

Offline maps

Everyone knows how useful online maps are but they aren’t any help when you’re visiting a foreign city and don’t have Internet access. Fortunately, there are free apps that let you download maps at home and access them offline later. The best known is Google Maps, which is built into your phone.

Offline maps can be a godsend for travellers.   Image: StockSnap

Other free apps that offer offline maps and information about the places you’re visiting are Maps.me, HERE WeGo and City Maps 2Go. All are available for both iPhone and Android.  

Health and first aid

Staying healthy while travelling and knowing what to do if you or a companion falls ill is a priority for seniors. Three free apps that help you learn simple first aid skills and assist someone in an emergency are First Aid by British Red Cross, First Aid: American Red Cross and St John Ambulance First Aid. It makes good sense to travel with at least one first aid app on your phone or tablet.

Taking pills

Some figures suggest that around 60 percent of all seniors take at least one medication a day, with many of them taking several pills. Remembering when to take which pill is generally easy enough when you’re at home and following a routine. But what if you’re travelling, going through different time zones and suffering jet lag? Fortunately, there are apps to remind you. Two free apps that do just that are MediSafe and My Therapy.

Making reading easier

You’re sitting in a restaurant in one of your favourite cities. You’re hungry but you’re having trouble reading the menu because the font is too small, the light is poor, and, let’s face it, your eyesight isn’t what it used to be. Some phones have built-in magnifiers to help you but others don’t. Not to worry, there are any number of free apps to choose from. They include BigMagnify Free, Magnifying Glass With Light, Magnifier, Smart Magnifier, and Magnifier & Microscope. Go to your phone’s app store and take your pick.

Apps can be downloaded via the App Store on iPhones and Google Play on Androids. Some of the apps we’ve mentioned in this article have both free and paid versions. A good approach is to try the free version first. If you then decide you need more features, or want to get rid of the ads, consider going for the paid version.

Header image: rawpixel.com

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