5 Ways Baby Boomers Are Using Tech to Ace Their Travel Adventures

It’s not only millennials who are using technology to make their travel experience smoother. According to a recent study by Pew Research Center, 67 percent of baby boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964) owned a smartphone in 2018. Not only are Boomers a cellphone-savvy generation, but many are also using travel apps to design, organize and streamline their holiday and vacation plans. From selecting a more comfortable seat on the plane to translating menus in another language, there are a wide variety of apps available to make your trip run more smoothly.

Unsure what to pack for a trip to the Russian Far East, Antarctica or the Galapagos Islands? There’s an app for that. What if you want to keep your travel photos organized by different categories or destinations and backed up in case you lose your phone? That’s not a problem, either.

Irene S. Levine, a baby boomer travel blogger from More Time to Travel, says that, while their generation may not be digital natives, it’s easy for individuals of all ages to adopt new technologies that make traveling easier. “Start simple and learn a couple of apps. Try them at home first,” she suggests. “If you don’t know what to use or how, get mentored by your children or grandchildren.”

Read on to discover five categories of apps that you can download to help your next trip better than ever.

1. Organizing and Preserving Cherished Memories with Photo Apps

Taking a photo that perfectly captures a moment is one of the most meaningful travel souvenirs. Even better, you can share them with others. Baby Boomer travel writer Barbara Weibel from Hole in the Donut says determining the right photography app depends on what you want to do with your photos. If you aim to keep your loved ones updated on the trip, you can send your favorite images via messaging apps like WhatsApp and Messenger or photo storage platforms like Google Photos and Dropbox. If you want to share highlights from your travels with a broader audience, upload your best snaps to social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook and choose the right hashtags to ensure your photos have the most extensive reach.

Silversea guest taking a photo of the Silver Cloud and Aappilattoq, Greenland.
From editing to sharing, photography apps can greatly enhance your cherished travel memories/Pablo Bianco

If you want to make your photos really stand out, use a photo editor such as Snapseed, VSCO or Prisma Photo Editor to sharpen, reduce shadows, bright colors or otherwise tweak your images to your liking before you share them. You can also download organization apps such as Zyl and Shoebox to organize your snaps.

2. Researching a Destination with the Help of Social Media

But social media offers so much more than just sharing photos—it’s also a great place to seek inspiration for your next adventure. Apps such as Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest can help you visualize your trip before your departure date. Hashtags and keywords make searching for content on social media easy—simply type your destination into the search function, and the algorithm will present you with a collection of photos and videos categorized according to the hashtag. Not only can you scout locations from fellow travelers, but locals often post about places that are further off the beaten track. Don’t overlook YouTube, either. It’s another excellent option to view documentaries and videos posted by travel bloggers.

Social media can be a valuable ally when searching for travel inspiration/Dmitry Morgan

3. Using Apps to Compile a Packing List

Skillfully packing a bag could be considered an art form. Packing apps such as PackPoint and Packr make packing easier by generating custom packing lists based on your destination, travel purpose, length of stay and more. It also lets you add your own items and tick them off as you pack.

4. Navigating the Streets with Map and Itinerary Apps

Once you’ve arrived at your destination, there are plenty of ways technology makes it easier to maneuver around a new place. Weibel recommends ditching paper maps in exchange for digital alternatives like Google Maps, Here We Go Maps and Maps.Me. All three travel apps can all be used offline, which comes in handy when a reliable Internet connection isn’t readily available. The fundamental strategy is to download the maps of your destination before you leave, so it saves on your phone’s local storage.

Levine also recommends TripIt, a mobile travel app, to keep flight and hotel information in one place. “My husband and I rely on Tripit.com to organize all the information about our travels: flights, hotel reservations or apartment rentals, tours and more. It alerts us to flight delays and gate changes. It also allows us to share our itineraries with family and friends,” she says. Finally, SeatGuru allows you to find the most comfortable seat on any flight.

Smartphone applications are a great digital alternative to paper maps/George J. McLittle

5. Tracking Spending with Budgeting and Currency Apps

Want to manage your money? Budgeting apps such as Trail Wallet and Mint help you track your spending while Settle Up lets groups track who pays for what. XE Currency Converter compares currency exchange rates to ensure you’re paying a fair price when you exchange cash.

Above all, being fully equipped with the right travel apps will make your adventure even more enjoyable.