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Embracing Technology in Your Golden Years Tips for a Safe and Enjoyable Travel Experience

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Are you an independently living older adult who wants to go on trips? If so, you might wonder how technology can help you have a fun and safe travel experience. You might also want to know how technology can help you manage your finances and other activities while traveling.

This article suggests ways older adults can use technology for a safe and enjoyable trip. It also discusses how seniors can use technology to handle their finances and other activities while traveling.

Old age shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the things you love! Besides ensuring that you’re financially able and physically fit to continue doing your favorite activities, you can leverage technology to get the most out of every travel experience. 

For example, older adults with mesothelioma, a rare cancer condition typically caused by asbestos exposure and diagnosed at an advanced stage, may benefit from technology-empowered treatments like photodynamic therapy. You can check the Mesothelioma Group site for more information on how emerging technologies can benefit mesothelioma patients.

So, embrace technology, be money smart, and enjoy life to the fullest!

However, before you pack your bags and head to your next adventure, read on and find out how technology can help you achieve your travel goals.

Technology Hacks for Older Adults Who Want to Go on a Trip

It’s natural for people to resist change. Adaptation can be upsetting, especially as people age. However, recent surveys indicate that more 65-or-older adults are embracing the technology boom. For example, 89% of older adults in this age group read and exchange emails, while 62% get their news online — 34% of this group do so daily.

Here are some tech tips to help older adults travel with ease:

●     Technology essentials: Technology has given travelers more options when choosing what to take on vacation. Today, most people, including older adults, travel with a tablet, mobile phone, and eReaders on personal trips. Additionally, a lightweight laptop is a handy tool on business trips, but it’s best to leave it behind on more leisurely ventures.

Meanwhile, depending on your internet needs, a cellular-based hotspot can provide you with a secure wireless connection. This can keep your non-mobile devices connected when you’re in a pinch and too far from a Wi-Fi signal.

Some travelers also use a dedicated camera for their vacation. However, phone cameras have reached a level of quality roughly equal to that of cameras. Phone camera features are good enough for snapshots and casual videos, and the more artistically inclined may even have luck in capturing landscapes and close-ups.

Lastly, remember to take an external battery or a power bank to recharge your devices. You wouldn’t want to lose power!

●     Mobile applications: You can think of mobile applications or apps as computer programs designed specifically for phones and tablets. Some mobile apps come preloaded on smartphones and tablets. You may be familiar with this feature if you've bought a new computer.

While some applications are preloaded on a device, you must download and install others. You can download and install free or paid mobile apps from Google Play or Apple App Store.

These days, you can do almost every activity through a mobile app. For example, your favorite stores likely have a mobile app from which you can buy their products using your smartphone. Other apps like Facebook and FaceTime can help you stay connected to friends and family while on vacation.

Moreover, you'll never be bored now that videos, games, music, and audiobook apps are always at your fingertips.

●     Cloud services: In most cases, cloud storage is a convenient and safe way to access your information wherever and whenever you want. Users with internet access can download their stored files through the cloud. However, remember to store your sensitive information securely in a password-protected location.

Suppose you want to access critical or confidential client information while on the trip. In that case, you should have those files encrypted. Otherwise, you can use the services of providers like Apple’s iCloud, Microsoft’s OneDrive, or Dropbox.

●     Mobile phone use: Sometimes, you have to call a friend or family member. In such cases, remember that roaming minutes are often costly, especially when you're traveling abroad. If you plan to call home while you are away, see if your provider offers an international plan. Most network providers have this option. Still, if you purchase the service, try to use it sparingly. 

In most cases, you can communicate with other people using text messages and email. These options are much cheaper than phone calls.

If you are intending to spend an extended amount of time in an area covered by a foreign provider and you have an unlocked phone (check before you go), you may be able to get a SIM card from that provider instead of your American SIM card. This can be cheaper option compared to the fees of international data roaming.

●     Food delivery services: Food delivery apps, which you can download on your phone, make it more convenient to have your groceries and meals delivered to the place you're staying. You can even order takeout from restaurants that don’t offer their own delivery service through apps like Postmates, Grubhub, and more!

●     GPS (global positioning system): Most phones have GPS apps as a standard feature. Apps like Google Maps and Apple Maps can be very useful when trying to navigate to important locations or when making your way back to where you’re staying. Alzheimer's patients and people with other forms of dementia can benefit most from GPS.


Technology Tools Against Financial Fraud

With age, and perhaps with cognitive decline, people may become susceptible to elder financial exploitation: theft or fraud perpetrated by criminals or even someone close to them. Fortunately, some technology tools can help you set up financial guardrails to protect yourself from financial exploitation.

For example, you can use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) when browsing online. A VPN can provide a secure internet connection via a cyberspace tunnel. Get the advice of your tech-savvy friends or family members when looking for a trustworthy VPN service to get secure web traffic on your laptop or smartphone. Some VPN services also identify and remove malicious websites, ads, and trackers and scan downloaded files for malware (software that helps hackers gain unauthorized access to your device).

Meanwhile, you can also use apps that alert your friends, family members, or caregivers whenever suspicious financial transactions are done through your account. You can invite loved ones, even financial professionals you trust, into a group that will receive those alerts.

Another way to protect your financial activities while on the trip is to get a reloadable prepaid card to help you and your loved ones monitor your daily spending and other financial transactions. For example, some platforms let users establish spending limits for specific categories, block high-risk online shops, and limit cash withdrawals from bank machines. This feature can help your loved ones know how you spend your money or where to buy certain products.

Long road trips and vacations are fun activities, no matter what stage you're at in life. These activities let you enjoy retrospection, manage stress levels, and offer a sense of independence in your golden years.

Use the technology tips and tricks above for a fun and safe travel experience!


1. Older Adults and Social Media


Written By

Fay Smith

Fay Smith is an English Literature major who spent five years working in communications before settling down with her husband. Now a proud mother of two young children, Fay frequently contributes to various health and wellness sites like Motherhood Community, sharing her experiences as a mother. As a freelance writer and researcher, she specializes in wellness topics like alternative treatments and CBD.

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