Senior Travel Needs: WiFi and ATMs

It used to be that when we planned to travel away from home, we simply had to decide where we were going, get a flight or plan a road trip, pack the bag for weather and activities, and go.  In the world of the 21st Century, there are other considerations Senior Citizens and others need to evaluate.

Most of us have laptops now, because we want to stay in touch with family and friends while away from home.  If you are planning to stay in a hotel or motel, you will need to check in advance whether or not the facility has free internet in your room or a public hot spot.  That is, can you go to the lobby or a lounge in the hotel/motel and have free (public) access to the internet?  Many hot spots offer both wireless and hardwire connections.  You have two options if your laptop is not configured for wireless connections; you can take along an ethernet cable to hardwire your connection (if it is offered in the hotel) or you can go to your local Best Buy/Radio Shack/favorite electronics store and get a wireless adapter if your laptop can support a wireless network.  Technicians at these stores will look at your laptop and tell you if the system offers that kind of support.

And what about getting cash when you need it?  We senior citizens have also become dependent upon our favorite ATM machines for getting cash.  When we travel, we need to know where our bank or credit union’s ATMs are, so we can access them in the event we need cash.  We are advised most of the time to not carry a lot of cash with us.  So many of us plan to get cash at certain points along the way iin order to avoid having to carry a large amount at any time on the trip. 

Debit or bank cards are a good substitute.  However, when cash is absolutely necessary because a vendor will not accept credit cards or debit cards (many taxicab services require cash, for example) it is critical that we have access to cash machines (ATM).  We need to know, particularly in foreign countries, where ATMs are that have an affiliation with our bank so we do not end up paying exhorbitant fees to access cash. 

WiFi and ATMs are new considerations for us as we plan travel in our retirement years.  Stay tuned!  There are others that SCJ will be giving you a heads up about.