Are you planning a trip soon? Are you going somewhere new or returning to a familiar place? No matter where you are going, some prepping will be required.
It has never been easier to get ready for a trip as it is now with access to all the information we need right in the palm of our hands. Mobile apps are continuously being launched and the travel industry (and travelers) benefit immensely from these apps.
Here are our best 10 essential travel apps for women over 60:
From the apps that help you book a room in a hotel, to the apps that keep you organized before and during the trip, there’s an app for practically everything. Many apps are free to use and contain in-app advertisements. Some apps have paid versions and offer more features.
As a solo female traveler, I can say that having access to travel apps on my phone has made traveling a lot easier. I remember the days with the folded-up paper map in my backpack, getting lost, looking for pay phones and mailboxes, and getting lost some more. I feel safer and better prepared now that I can use Google Maps to look up the area beforehand.
Booking flights, accommodations, car rentals, tours, attractions, and experiences is super easy with these apps.
Booking.com is an aggregator app that puts together lists of accommodations, flights, car rentals, tours, and more according to your travel details. It will help you find the best deals and you can book directly through the app.
Trip advisor is an excellent app to research and find anything you need in your destination. You can read reviews from fellow travelers and also book through the app.
PackPoint will help you sort and organize what you need to pack in your luggage. It will give you suggestions depending on the weather at your destination.
TripCase is an app that will gather all your travel information (flight times, hotel reservations, car rentals, etc.) and put it all in one neat place.
Expedia is a pioneer in the travel app industry. It is an aggregator app that helps you find the best prices for flights, accommodations, car rentals, and more.
Hopper is a price tracker and predictor that will keep you informed on price fluctuations for flights and hotels.
Wanderu is the app you need to search for and book bus and train tickets. It also offers flights and other means of transportation, but the app specializes in buses and trains.
This app offers detailed itineraries, including flights, trains, buses, ferries, and driving directions, along with estimated costs and travel times. You can compare different travel options and make informed decisions based on your preferences and budget.
There are many more apps to help with travel planning, like Travelocity, Trivago, Hotwire.com, Orbitz, Kayak, Priceline, etc.
I always download the app for the carrier that I am flying with. That way I can purchase my tickets, do my self-check-in, get my boarding pass QR code, and keep up to date on my flights. Here is a short list of airline apps that I have used in the past and have had great experiences with:
You can use Google Flights to do research about flight schedules and pricing. They aggregate the various airlines and offer up the best options for you depending on the request you provided. I then typically book directly with the airlines and try not to go through a third party for plane tickets.
This app is a live flight tracker that lets you see planes around the world move in real-time on a detailed map.
One of the greatest apps, in my opinion, is Google Maps. The whole planet has almost completely been mapped out, street by street, by Google photographers. It’s also a GPS and will give you alternative routes and ETAs (by car, motorcycle, bus, walking, bicycle, or plane).
Another great GPS app is Waze. It lets you know, in real-time, what’s happening on the road while you are driving. Waze notifies you about traffic, construction, police, crashes, potholes, and more. Waze is a user-built app, meaning that the users input information as things are happening.
My Currency Converter app will quickly and easily convert over 150 currencies for you.
Don’t speak the language? Install the Google Translate app to communicate and understand the local language.
Say Hi is another translation app that I like to use when traveling. It translates in real-time and lets you have a conversation in two different languages. Just tap the button and start speaking.
Culture Trip is great to learn about the destinations you are visiting. It has curated articles to read, and it also offers multi-day trip packages all over the world.
Uber is a way to request rides wherever you are in the world. It’s great when traveling because you don’t have to deal with the local currency (the payment is processed with your debit or credit card), and the trip info is typed in so you don’t have to worry about communication issues with the driver.
Happy Cow is the app that will help you find vegetarian and vegan options in your area.
Yelp is a crowd-sourced app where travelers leave their honest reviews and recommendations for restaurants, hotels, stores, services, and more.
The Smart Traveler app is for traveling US citizens. The app keeps you informed on international news, travel advisories, U.S. embassy locations, and more.
Trip Whistle has a database of emergency numbers in over 200 countries. It lets you dial local police, fire, and ambulance in one touch.
Carolyn Frick, a Sixty & Me contributor who is currently slow traveling the world, tells us all about her favorite travel apps.
The best thing about ride apps is that they cut out any type of price negotiation with a driver and overcome any language barriers that may exist. Many countries use Uber, and once you download the app, you can use it in any country that has it.
If a country does not have Uber, they will have a ride app of their own. For example, in Thailand we use Bolt, in Cambodia it’s Pass APP (this one also gives you the option to pay cash), and in Malaysia it’s Grab. They all work basically the same way. The costs show up in the local currency, not US dollars, and you also know that you are being charged the same price as the locals.
A nice thing about ride apps is that you can also use them for food delivery. This is a great feature during inclement weather or if you just don’t feel like going out. We used Uber Eats several times in Mexico and in South Africa, and Grab Eats in Malaysia. Please check out our latest video in Kuala Lumpur.
If your bladder isn’t what it used to be, and you feel more comfortable knowing where the closest restroom is, this app is for you! We use one called Flush. It will show you a map of the toilets closest to you, if they are free or pay toilets, if wheelchair accessible toilets are available, if they are a Western style (sit) or a squat toilet, and even reviews if users have left any.
This is one of my favorites. It lets you make free phone calls, send texts, and even free video calls from anywhere you have an internet connection (this keeps you from having to use your data). Whether I call my kids or they call me, we always use the video call format so that I can see them and the grandkids. Having that face time is priceless! You can only call a party that also has WhatsApp installed on their phone.
It’s good to have a weather app that is detailed and even has radar on it, like the AccuWeather app. This comes in very handy when planning your day, especially if you are planning an outdoor activity. The radar feature allows you to see if a big storm cell is moving in. This has been invaluable to us while in SE Asia during the rainy season.
We love Airbnb! It’s a convenient way to book a place to stay that can provide the amenities you are looking for. When staying a week or longer, Airbnb can provide some deep discounts. This has been a real money saver for us!
The app matches you with a house or apartment pretty much anywhere in the world. You can set parameters for your price range, amenities, and even wheelchair accessible or no stairs. We always look for one with a kitchen and a washing machine.
Airbnb works on a rating system so you can read reviews from people who have recently stayed in a property you’re interested in. The host also rates you as a guest and other hosts can see what your rating is as well. The Airbnb app also provides a large selection of local tours and activities that you can book directly through the app.
This is a must-have. There is a YouTube video for everything. If you want to learn something new, or visit a new place, there is a video that will teach you about it. Wherever you are planning to go, somebody has made a travel video about it. This is valuable information that can tell you what there is to see and do, good places to eat and stay, where to shop, how to get around, and so much more.
We find it a great source of travel inspiration. There are several travel channels that we follow which ultimately led us to start our own journey of slow traveling the world along with our own YouTube travel channel called Over the Hill & Far Away.
Another Sixty & Me contributor, Judi Jacobs, a lawyer-turned-tech nerd and the founder of The Tech Wizard tells us about her tips to ease the stress of traveling solo and how to stay safe.
Solo travelers should take extra care to make safety their #1 priority. Unexpected situations are more controllable if you have a few critical things in place before your journey begins.
First, make sure you set up location sharing with your phone for the duration of your travels.
Second, you’ll want to set up regular check-in periods to confirm all is well. Consider every third day, or every evening, a simple text letting your buddy know that all is well.
Third, choose a tech-savvy, responsible friend or family member. Don’t rely on an oblivious person that is never near their phone. If you need assistance, they will have to locate you, get help, and follow up to ensure your safety.
If you have an iPhone, the Find My app that comes pre-installed is a great tool that allows friends and family to know where you are at any moment. To get started, open the Find My app and tap the People icon at the bottom, and tap Share My Location.
Next, enter the name or phone number of the person with whom you want to share your location. You can choose to share it for an hour, until the end of the day, or indefinitely. There’s also an option to notify your friend when you leave or arrive at a particular destination.
For non-Apple phones, use Google Maps to set up location sharing. Like the Find My app, you can choose who you want to see your location and how long you want them to see it. They don’t have to have a Gmail address to use this method.
Fourth, update your emergency contacts and the Medical ID information on your phone. For iPhone users, it’s in the Health App, and for Android phones, it’s under Settings, Users, Emergency Contact Info.
This data will help first responders if you are in an emergency situation. They are trained to check these sections of your phone in case of a medical emergency when you are not responsive.
Spend time before your trip to enter all pertinent health information in the medical ID. Don’t skip sections. Include your birth date, medical conditions, allergies, medications, and blood type. Also, make sure you have at least two emergency contacts listed here. These people must already be in your Contacts app and have valid telephone numbers.
Regarding medications, besides having the information listed in your health app, it is also a good idea to have photos of all medicines with the entire prescription legible. You may need a refill in a different state or country if you lose anything, and only the original bottle will help.
Whether traveling abroad or at home, have your insurance information at your fingertips. Most carriers have apps that contain your insurance card. Create online access and log in to the app to learn how to use it.
Also, just in case, scan your insurance card(s), front and back, so you can easily pull it up if needed. Then, verify you know how to get to it on your phone.
Scan your passport and have copies available on your phone and printed out in your luggage. If your bags and wallet or purse are stolen with your ticket, you’ll need an accessible copy. Again, keeping a copy on your phone in a secure app is the best solution.
The more organized you are before you go on your trip, the less frustration you will have during your adventures. Using a travel planner app, such as TripIt, is a great way to keep all of your itinerary information in a convenient location. In addition, it allows you to easily access your hotel, car rental, and flight reservations within one app.
Once you create an account on TripIt, it will build itineraries based on confirmation emails for flights, accommodations, restaurant reservations, and other activities. The information is automatically forwarded to the app from your email, or you can manually forward confirmation emails.
TripIt is my favorite because it works seamlessly. I have used it for years with great success. The app also allows you to share your trip with other people who are not traveling or sync it with your calendar.
Do you use travel apps? Which ones are your favorites? Will you try any that are on my list? What has been your experience with travel apps? Tell us about it in the comments below.
Tags Solo Travel