You’re a baby boomer, but you’re planning to travel so you must not be completely computer illiterate, otherwise, you’d stay home and dare not venture out of your comfort zone. You probably have a smartphone to help you along the way- either an Android or an Apple.
Both provide a number of apps that make your travel easier, and the more you research, the more apps you find. The beauty of apps is that you can do everything on your phone: book your flights, land travel (train, bus and car rental), accommodation and even tours and restaurants, if you’re rich enough to afford them.
Don’t get lost!
You’ll already have Maps and Google Maps, but these both need wifi to work efficiently. maps.me is the new kid on the block. Download the places you’re going to while you’re still at home and maps.me can keep you from getting lost even when you don’t have wifi.
Where to stay using an app
I like renting a private room in a house for longer stays as the host is often much more helpful with local knowledge than a receptionist at a hostel. So saying, many properties are now listed on both.
Travelling by Train with an App
For train travel, I find the Rail Planner app excellent for Eurail travel, and Trainline brilliant for train travel in the United Kingdom. Both allow you to plan your trip from station to station, give you departure times, and arrival times, and Trainline amazingly gives you several choices of train on a particular day for very different prices.
Most of the airlines have their own apps. I have the Qantas app, which allows you full control over your flights, not only with Qantas, but with other oneworld members. I also have the easyJet app, which you may need if you’re a budget traveller like me.
I have Trip.com, which allows you to book hotels and flights, and even hire a car. I like it for keeping tabs on my non-Qantas flights and helping me with such things as airport transfers tours and tickets for attractions.
Rome2rio is a valuable app when searching for the cheapest, fastest way to get from point A to point B. Great for researching!
Flying with an App
But my favourite app for searching for flights is Skyscanner. I love it. Just put in your expected travel dates and voilà, every conceivable option appears before your eyes. Beware the cheapest though, especially if it’s not also the fastest. You don’t want to be stuck all day in an airport! I always try to book through the actual airline if at all possible, but travelling on a budget doesn’t always allow me this luxury.
Departure and arrival times are crucial too. I don’t want to arrive at midnight in a city I am unfamiliar with! But travelling on a budget sometimes means I have to. Compare the cost of how much a taxi or Uber is going to cost you after midnight. It may not be worth taking that cheaper flight. Make sure your Uber app works overseas.
Money, Money, Money
With regards to money, I have the Qantas Money app which lets me know how much I’ve spent and how much I have left. When travelling in a pair or group, Splitwise lets you enter every single expense, who paid for it, what it was for and calculates who owes whom how much. Brilliant for the mathematically challenged! To convert currencies into Australian dollars while travelling, try xCurrency4.0
Lastly, download Culture Trip and try it for yourself. I have learned so much about the places I am planning to visit: things I must do and things I must never do, as well as recommendations from people who have actually been there. I’d love to be a contributor to Culture Trip in the future.
If you enjoyed reading this article, you may like to read another on Baby Boomers’ Budget Travel.