Staying Connected Abroad: Tech Tips for Mature Travelers

By Ralph Velasco

Staying connected while traveling internationally is crucial for safety and convenience. 

Here are some tech-savvy tips for Gen X and Baby Boomer travelers:

  • SIM Cards and Local Plans: Instead of relying on expensive international roaming, consider purchasing a local SIM card or a prepaid plan upon arrival. This can provide you with affordable data and local calling rates.  That said, be sure to check with your carrier first to see what options they may offer.
  • Offline Maps and Navigation: Download offline maps of your destination before you leave (PRO TIP: put OK MAPS into Google Maps). This way, you can navigate without needing constant data connectivity.
  • Translation Apps: Communication can be a breeze with translation apps such as Google Translate. They can help you understand signs, translate menus, and even have basic conversations with locals.
  • VPN for Security: Using a virtual private network (VPN) such as SurfShark, adds an extra layer of security to your online activities, especially when using public Wi-Fi networks at places such as coffee shops, restaurants, hotels, and other public locations.
  • Medications and Prescriptions: If you’re on medication, use apps to set reminders for taking doses across time zones. This ensures you stay on track with your health routine.  And I always recommend that you bring 50 percent more medication with you than you think you’ll require, just in case your return home gets postponed, and I would also encourage you to keep all your medications in their original containers (or at the very least have copies of all your prescriptions).  Finally, bring your favorite over-the-counter medications and other items with you that you think you may not be able to find over there.

By simply leveraging technology, you can make your international travel experience safer and more enjoyable.

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