Estelle Carlson of Redondo Beach, California, has had a smartphone for at least 10 years. Carlson, who is in her 70s, does everything on it: she banks, Facetimes with her cousin in Scotland and her granddaughters in Boston and Kaui, she writes “letters” and texts. “I can’t imagine being without it,” she says of her iPhone.
How to find old citizens? Use an app that makes you old trending.
Carlson is not alone. Smartphone use among seniors is growing every year, but it varies substantially by age: 59% of 65- to 69-year-olds have smartphones. But that drops off as seniors get older. Only 31% of 75- to 79-year-olds use them, according to the Pew Research Center.
What if you’re not a savvy iPhone user like Carlson and you want a cell phone only to use for emergency calls and texts? What if your elderly parent needs a phone with big buttons and loud volume, what then? Here, we break down the best cell phone plans and phones for seniors, no matter their mobile proficiency. From flip phones to the iPhone X, here’s what you need to know before you buy.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Cell Phone Plan
The first thing you should do when choosing a cell phone plan is to find out what companies have decent coverage in your home and in the areas you frequent. AT&T doesn’t work at our house in upstate New York, for example, but Verizon does. The last thing you want is to get a phone that won’t work in your home.
Start by asking neighbors what they use or ask family members if their phones work in your house. Every cell phone company – big or small – should have a map of coverage and allow you to plug in a zip code to see if it should work.
Here are five other things to consider when choosing a plan:
- AT&T, Consumer Cellular and Cricket Wireless offer AARP discounts. AT&T, Sprint and Verizon offer veteran discounts. It may pay to ask, “Do I qualify for a discount?” Also, seniors who qualify as low-income can get money to help pay for their cell phone or internet (not both) through the federal Lifeline program.
- How much data do you plan to use? Consider this when selecting a plan.
- Shared family plans. Consider piggybacking onto a spouse or child’s plan for $10-20 a month extra.
- Switching plans. Many people stick with the same company or the same plan for years because they don’t know what else is out there. But you could save $60 a month or more by switching.
- You can get a plan for under $20 a month to pair with a $60 flip phone. Or you can pay $100-plus a month for a plan to use on your $1100 iPhone 12. There are dozens of options in between. Determine what you’re willing to pay and ask the salesperson to add up all the fees, taxes, etc. so you know exactly what your bill will be each month.
6 Great Cell Phone Plans for Seniors
When it comes to cell phone plans, you can go with one of the big cell phone providers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon) or opt for a smaller company (like Boost Mobile, Consumer Cellular, Cricket Wireless and Jitterbug). All of them have their pros and cons.
Here are six popular plans for seniors:
1. AT&T’s GoPhone Daily
AT&T’s GoPhone Daily is another great option for seniors who want a phone for sporadic use and prefer AT&T’s coverage. It’s $2 a day only if you use the phone that day and $2/mo. And if you do, it’s unlimited calls and texts.
2. AT&T Senior Nation Plan
If you have a basic phone and not a smartphone, AT&T’s Senior Nation Plan is an option available only to seniors age 65 and older. You get 200 anytime minutes, unlimited calls to other AT&T customers and 500 nights and weekend minutes, all for $29.99 a month. This doesn’t include texting.
3. Consumer Cellular
Whether you have a basic phone or the $1000 Apple X, Consumer Cellular is a good option for seniors, because it’s a U.S.-based company created with seniors in mind.
Plans for individuals start as low as $20 per month for 250 minutes, 250 MB of data and unlimited texting. A 2-line plan shares the same data and minutes for $35 per month.
Jitterbug, aka “GreatCall,” offers plans specially designed for seniors. Plans start at $14.99 for 200 minutes, $3 for 300 text messages and $2.49 for 40MB of data. Both phones (a flip-phone and a smartphone) have big buttons and bright screens and include an Urgent Response button and 24/7 access to a registered nurse or doctor as part of the plan.
5. T-Mobile’s Pay As You Go
Seniors who want a cell phone for emergency use only will love T-Mobile’s Pay As You Go plan. It’s $3 a month for any combination of 30 minutes of phone calls or 30 text messages. Anything over that is 10 cents a minute per talk or text.
6. T-Mobile Unlimited 55+ Plan
One of the best plans for seniors who want to talk, text and stream videos is T-Mobile’s 55+ plan. You get two lines with unlimited talk, text and 5G data for $70 a month (including taxes and fees!). The primary account holder must be 55 or older, but the other person doesn’t.
Other great options for tech-savvy seniors include: Boost Mobile and U.S. Mobile. These companies don’t offer plans tailored specifically for seniors, but they offer great rates and are well-respected alternatives to the Big 4.
Selecting a Phone for a Senior in 2022
There are so many phones on the market, choosing a good one can be daunting. I recommend finding a plan first, then selecting a phone that works with that plan.
Here are tips for finding the perfect phone:
- Basic vs. smart: You have two options for phones, a basic flip phone and a smartphone. Do you want apps, games and video capabilities on your phone? Opt for a smartphone. Will you use the phone for calls and texts only? Opt for a basic flip-phone.
- Make a list: Create a list of the features needed before you shop. These could be big buttons, bright screen, easy on/off switch, GPS or voice command.
- Read reviews: If you find a phone you like, check online to make sure it gets decent reviews.
- Return policy: I’m convinced there would be fewer negative reviews if people took advantage of return policies. Almost every carrier will let you return a phone with no questions asked during a 14- to 30-day trial period.
- Test drive: Those with dexterity, hearing or vision problems should try out phones in person to ensure the buttons (including the on/off buttons) are big enough, the ringer loud enough, etc. Many of the negative reviews I’ve read complain about volume (“I can’t hear the phone when it rings!”) and problems with buttons (“My fingers are too fat, or these buttons are too skinny”).
There are a few phones designed just for seniors, including the Doro 824 SmartEasy, the Jitterbug Flip and Jitterbug Smartphone. While these are designed with simplicity (and seniors) in mind, I couldn’t help but notice the reviews for them aren’t great. Of course, many seniors absolutely love them, but just as many seem to be “meh” about the design, function and simplicity. You might be better off with a phone from a more well-known brand like Apple, Google or Motorola that isn’t designed just for seniors.
Which cell phone plans and phones for seniors are you currently using? We’d like to hear more about your experiences in the comments below.
Today, a mobile phone gives us unlimited communication opportunities. But it carries high risks.
July Derrick is a writer and editor who lives between Brooklyn, NY and upstate NY. She has more than 20 years experience writing and editing for online Websites including MSN.com and About.com and spent her first working years as a health reporter at various New Mexico newspapers. A native small town Texan, she enjoys visiting friends and family in Texas and when she’s not traveling home, she spends time with her husband and toddler son skiing in winter and sailing and hiking in the summer. She has a keen interest in aging issues and seniors because her father has had to adapt to becoming blind at 65 (he handles his situation with large doses of humor) and her feisty grandmother, “Meemaw,” lived to 96. She particularly enjoys finding solutions for the everyday issues people face as they and their loved ones age.About the Author
Note: Some of the tools mentioned below have limited features on their free plan and offer more features in their paid plans.
What i use when i planning journey
Travel is one of the industries that has completely transformed by the smartphone evolution and as a result, there is an abundance of ingenious apps designed to make your trips easy to plan, cheaper, well-informed and more enjoyable.
Short of literally packing your bags and rooting out your passport, your phone can support all of your travel needs in one way or another.
On the highways of travel applications
There are few things people hate more intensely than popular music, queuing, low battery, alarm clock in the morning, washing the dishes and taking out trash. Being unable to plan one’s activities efficiently taking a great amount of time to plan a schedule for a local excursion or travels to distant places. At the same time though it’s understandable, and even more so when you take into consideration travel time, route and mode of travel, an array of undecided options, prioritizing needs and making juggling choices about where to put scarce resources, and how to avoid disgracefully large egos getting in the way. You already know about it or have experienced it, right? I mean truly. We are living in a fast lane so our inability to make a decision quickly and be in disarray before accomplish anything is dictated by the frantic tempo of modern life. But really, all these things can be handled with the minimum amount of effort. Im not talking about egos though saying any of this is easy, cause it’s a whole different scene here. Someone’s ego is their perception of their own worth. For example, if someone has a big ego, they consider themselves very important and valuable.
That’s OK with me.
The places visited and experiences encountered reflect impeccable traveling credentials on traveller, no doubt about it. And a bag of destinations visited is obviously a common item of value shared between travelers, but excessively bragging that even Ernest Hemingway and Mark Twain have travelled less than they have doesn’t put an eagle feather in your cap. Been to North American forests, they fought off grizzly bear attacks with a wooden cooking spoon, killed Anaconda with Bruce Lee’s one inch punch, jumped off the summit of Mount Everest and outran wild cheetahs in African savannah maybe you had the chance of a lifetime to a fly in a stealth fighter, they have orbited the Earth in a space shuttle. This kind of an attitude is embarrassing it really sucks!Travelling is not a competition for Christ sake! Hack away at bragging rights and when you check the bags, double-check the ego too and you gonna be as good as Captain James Cook!And on that note, let’s get back to the programme.
Living in one part of the globe, we didn’t really have much idea about the way things would go and how much any other part would even cost for a travel. We are just perceived as placing excessive emphasis on controlling things that went on. Everybody would hate for all planning to go down in flames, so Im gonna make a few adjustments to a plan. Travel is a competitive multi-trillion dollar industry, so every company from the smallest as Wanderfly to the largest as Google all want the chance to share in its success. Lately, travel companies have attempted to harness the power of data acquisition and the social graph to build useful travel planning tools. For many, Google and TripAdvisor were the first to arrive and hop on board of the travel appsdevelopment among other relatively fresh start-ups like Gogobot.
Travel is all about visual image. So let me give you that visual. When you’re planning a trip, you want to make sure that you are ready to do it properly, get the best deals possible for your flight tracking, car rental, travel expense tracking, booking, price comparison, hotel rooms, etc. Our iPhones have reduced a problem of legwork to a few operations saving even more money. No hassle, no need to count on travel agents and robust graph-based map catalogs with free and premium travel mobile apps available in the App Store, Windows Store, and Google Play, all of which provide useful tools for all stages of travel. So let’s take a look at the best travel apps, so you can short-circuit your stress to a bare minimum. APIs popularity is determined using a variety of metrics systems, including followers, GitHub, Twitter activities and search engine popularity based on Google Trends. Our drop of seven metres from the top to the bottom of the cliff I will start out with an undisputed heavily followed champion of the world of mobile travel app development, which locks in clinch the rest of competitors in the mobile applications market, but they are yet to fight back.
So, if you’re about to go on holiday or logistics just aren’t your forte, these apps will help you get it together:
Before you go — by tikets:
Skyscanner is a well-known global travel search site that maintains services for millions of flights, car rental services and hotels. Skyscanner supports price comparisons for flights across more than 1,000 airlines, hotel deals, offers and programs in popular cities around the world, information for car rentals from airports, in cities and car hire companies with some of the lowest prices guarantee and much more.
Skyscanner has a perfectly designed API website that with detailed information about Skyscanner APIs as well as interactive API documentation for testing debugging and exploration certain API endpoints. Free APIs incorporate flights live pricing service, cheapest quotes for flights, and hotel booking prices and reservations. Skyscanner APIs can be used to great effect adding specific Skyscanner services to actual deployed applications or to build a consistent full-featured online travel search websites. Skyscanner headquartered in Scotland was founded in the beginning of 2000s as a flight destination specialist. Today the company is spreading globally, concentrating on international markets and persistently thriving its influence and presence in the Chinese travel market.
Kayak is the best service I have found for booking multi-city flights. It can also be used to find hotel deals, book rental cars, plan your itinerary and track your flight details.
It is by far the easiest and most functional multi-booking platform I’ve used, even just down to the simplicity of the search pages.
If you’re still in the planning stages, Hopper can help you predict when the flights you want are going to be the cheapest. It’s not always practical to be waiting to book but it’s really handy if your dates are flexible.
If you are set on your dates, Hopper can send you a notification to alert you of price increases or drops and advise you on when is the best time to book.
Best Apps to have while traveling:
Every day, more than 1,500,000 room nights are reserved on our platform. So whether traveling for business or leisure, customers can instantly book their ideal accommodations quickly and easily with Booking.com — without booking fees and backed by our promise to price match.
Booking Site (Free) [iOS | Android]
HotelTonight is an essential one for any last-minute trips, or if you’re prone to missing flights! It offers discounted hotel rooms in cities all over the world at the last minute, or up to seven days in advance.
You can also use the app’s Escape feature to check out the best getaway deals for ‘tonight’ or the weekend ahead.
The Airbnb app is the pocket-version of its website. So, whether you’re looking for a place to stay for one week or a few months, Airbnb will have somewhere.
Often providing quirky alternatives to hotels and outside the usual tourist areas, Airbnb can really save you money.
Using Yapta alongside apps like Skyscanner and Kayak is a good idea as it works by holding the hotel and flight rates you’ve been quoted for a fee ($0 to $100+) so you don’t lose out.
It can be used by individuals for personal travel as well as by companies for corporate trips.
This app lets you follow the path of thousands of international flights, so even if you’re not traveling, you could watch your friends and family’s flights and know they’ve landed safely.
It’s also a handy one if you’re waiting to pick someone up at the airport as you can see if a flight has been delayed and when it’s due to land.
This app is an organized person’s dream. It pulls all of your confirmation emails for flights, transport, hotels, etc into one handy itinerary and adds in corresponding maps for easy navigation.
It also scans your inbox for any reservations and adds them to your calendar.
When it comes to beating jet lag, I think I’ve tried every tip no matter how weird it was. Very little worked until I gave Entrain a go. It hasn’t cured jet lag completely but it’s definitely the best app I’ve used to help.
The app was built by a team from the University of Michigan and uses your destination and travel details to determine the best way for you to adapt your sleep cycle with a timetable of when you should be in light and darkness, asleep and awake.
Packing for a trip, whether it’s a week or a weekend, can be a real chore. I always pack too much because I find myself saying ‘I’ll bring this just in case…’ and then before I know it, the bag is full. Packing Pro aims to help kick that nasty habit to the curb.
When you enter your travel dates and destination, it gives you streamlined lists of what you should pack. The lists are split into essentials, clothes, gadgets and more, so you really can’t forget anything with this on your phone. If you’re travelling with your children or family, it has an option to generate lists for them too.
Once you’ve arrived
Affordable data roaming remains a necessity for most of us, but where it’s not accessible, Wi-Fi finder can help you out.
The app features over 500,000 paid and free Wi-Fi locations in more than 140 countries, so it can save you a lot of frustration and time. It even has an offline mode that lets you download maps so you won’t get lost when you’re out of coverage.
When I travel abroad, I tend to use my card more than cash and often lose track of how much I’ve spent when dealing in different currencies. There are lots of paid currency converting apps but I find XE Currency to be more than adequate for totting up the live exchange rate.
Depending on where you’re travelling, one of these transport apps will probably come in handy. Uber’s been getting some negative publicity in recent times, but in a lot of cities it’s business as usual and is often the most affordable option.
Lyft is the newest of the three and is still only available in the US for now. It has an option for ride-sharing with people headed in the same direction, so it’s a good one if you’re travelling from city to city in the States.
Guiding around a foreign city can be a royal pain in the neck, especially if you don’t understand the language or don’t know the etiquette rules for tipping or bargaining. Uber, a popular app-based transportation service relieves the mind of all your worries. This car service app enables you to request a car and tell the driver where to pick you up by pinpointing your location on a map. The app provides you a fare estimate for a ride to your destination. When you arrive at a place, Uber charges your credit card the exact amount, and there is no need to tip. Uber is worldwide, with service running at more than 50 countries.
Uber unveiled its API to all developers in 2014, together with an affiliate program to inspire developers to integrate Uber into their applications. Originally the public API did not have the Request endpoint, which provides “request a ride” service. This endpoint was publicly presented just recently, allowing developers to integrate Uber platform functionality into third-party applications. To further facilitate the building of innovative travel applications with the Uber API and the Uber Request endpoint in particular, the company hosted its first hackathon on ChallengePost giving developers a chance to get ahead with the best applications. The Uber company provides a very finely designed developer website including detailed API documentation that is well-handled, competent and easy to follow. There is a Python example source code on GitHub that developers can use as a point of departure. Uber also provides a sandbox testing environment where developers can test the API endpoints for their applications.
New York Subway
If you’re going to the Big Apple, your best mode of transport (besides your legs) is probably the subway, which can be confusing if you’re not used to it. This app makes planning your journey less stressful with its nifty augmented reality mode that overlays stations nearby as you explore the city.
While Google Maps and Citymapper are good, I find Maplets to be more accurate and reliable. It has fewer blank spots in its specialized maps, which are created both officially and by users. I’ve used it to find coffee shops in train stations, as well as specific shops inside shopping malls.
I can’t even imagine driving without headlights of Google Maps. Turn-by-turn navigation works just fine, they still keep on telling you to veer off the highway and right back on again once in a while, but the real time-saving trick is that Google Maps recognizes unexpected delays up ahead of the game, such as traffic, accidents, heavy congestion or road construction. The app automatically finds a shortest and quickest route in an elegant way. It’s a great in-car GPS navigation device, right from the heart.
Conversation mode is a life saver. I have pretty serious food allergies that I always have to explain in restaurants when I’m abroad, and it’s often confusing. Conversation mode translates between languages as people speak so if you can handle the lag while it translates, it’s a really useful feature to take advantage of.
TripAdvisor pictures itself as the “world’s biggest travel site,” making it a kid’s stuff to provide more than enough challenge of 200 million reviews, facts and impressions about millions of accommodations, entertainment, and leisure facilities, food services, amenities and attractions, from all over the world. The company provides a nicely illustrated, properly designed and systematicallyorganized website for developers that comprisesdetailed information about TripAdvisor APIs for those developers who would like to create consumer-oriented travel applications and gives programmatic access to business data and related functionalityfor accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The API also provides undistorted destination information and advices, including pieces of information of latitude and longitude coordinates for each point of interest and you can calculate the distance between them as crow flies. Other TripAdvisor APIs are available for B2B partners integration approach”TripConnect” and self-implemented partners solutions like online travel agencies, representation companies, hotel chains, etc.
The company is constantly evolving and working to improve and adapt the TripAdvisor platform and recently developed a “Neighborhoods” feature, which helps travelers to cover popular cities and sites. It also added “Just for You” personalized hotel recommendations.TripAdvisor is the universal travel site at your disposal, that enables you to download cities, maps and reviewsto your device. The TripAdvisor travel community contains more than 300 million monthly unique users.
Expedia is a leading light among travel companies that specializes in vacation packages and collecting and distributing vital information about travel destinations, flights, hotels, guest houses, railroad journeys, cruises etc. It provides a background of APIs that developers can use to add hotel, flight and rental car booking functions to their applications. The company launched a portal for developers that provides comprehensive information about Expedia Affiliate Network APIs. The Expedia’s strategy for obtaining global travel market share appears to be mostly going through the purchase of other travel-oriented companies. Not long ago, Expedia has purchased several major travel industry brands, including Travelocity (acquired from Sabre), Trivago and Wotif. It is uncertain if Expedia’s mergers and acquisitions strategy will help the company continue to contend for a title in buoyant travel industry market division.
This app is good if you don’t want to stick to the usual tourist spots on your trip. Localeur gets its data from locals so everything you see featured has been suggested by someone who knows the area and has really been there before.
It’s only available in the US at the moment and lets you search for niche requirements, like a bar with a photo booth or where you can grab gluten-free pizza at 4am.
Foursquare’s Swarm is a fun one if you’re travelling to a city where you know other people. It lets you check-in easily and see who’s nearby and might want to hang out. You can also compete with friends to win ‘Mayorship’ of different venues, if you’re feeling competitive.
Foursquare itself is a gift to curious travellers. When you open the app it shows you restaurants, bars, shops and even churches that are close by. You’ll also get a list of tips on places of interest from people who have been there before.
This app gives more info than your usual restaurant reviews service. It focuses on specific dishes, which is really useful for people with food-related allergies or even if you’re just a picky eater. The information provided is all locally-sourced so you can be sure that it’s reliable.
If you like going to gigs, club nights or quirky events like pop-up cinemas and festivals, YPlan could be your ticket.
Available in London, New York and San Francisco, it suggests events nearby and lets you book tickets through the app and often at a discounted price. For some venues, YPlan even offers VIP tickets so you can watch the show in comfort.
This sleek minimalist-style travel journal app is a pleasure to use. You can write notes and diary entries from your trip and add pictures to liven them up, then convert them to PDFs or share them via email or on Facebook. It might sound like the native notes section on your phone, but it’s just too beautiful not to use.
As we travel, we free ourselves; we travel to discover ourselves and our calling. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world like children have a curiosity about the world around them. We travel to bring what little we can, some knowledge in our ignorance of those parts of the globe projection whose treasures are differently dispersed broadening the narrow streets of our mind horizons. And we travel, essentially, to escape and become young self-conscious fools again motivated to slow time down and get it hot, and fall in love once more. So choose among so many nice travel apps a traveling companion that will guide you through the planning stage and development process by any means necessary and always wait for something else something bigger.
Parkopedia – Best App to find Parking
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Have we missed your favorite travel app off the list? Let us know in the comments below!
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