Each time I see an article about travel technology, my brain melts. Most of us, of a certain age, are just not interested in technology. Yes, we want a smartphone that works, wifi information and maybe a GPS. Beyond that, we just want a written document with all the details of our trip.

If you do not know how to operate your phone, stop right here and go to the Apple Store or wherever you bought it and learn basics.

Are we Luddites? An Idiots? Lazy? Don’t think so. Here are low and no tech travel tips from The Women’s Travel Group, a tour operator for smart tours for women.

Once you have flights, add the airline ‘app’ to your phone. That is a simple procedure: go to the App Store and type in your airline. Download the airline app. Now enter your personal log in information: an email and a password.

When you book a ticket online, you are asked to fill out a profile. Definitely do this. One of the 

questions will be: How do you want to be notified by the airline? Put text message rather than email. Why? If the airline needs to contact you overseas, and you are not in a wifi area AND you have turned off cellular data to save money, you will not get an emergency email. A day before your trip home, put on your phone for a few minutes now and then.  If there is a text message from the airline you will get it.  It might cost you a minor $. Delta for one sends a text message if your flight is canceled. The message will usually say: ‘we will contact you again in a few hours with a new flight’. And they will, but by text which goes over a phone line.

Some countries like India where we go for our Festival Trip Oct. 29-Nov 10 have excellent wifi networks in hotels and airports. Others less so.

The glitch. If you have booked in a special class, say Business or Higher, your airline might have limited new seats. You might want to call them and ask for a ‘downgrade’ and a rebate. There are more seats available in economy so it is more likely you will get a new convenient flight. Not all airlines will give a refund. Watch out. If this is due to their cancellation, they usually do.

Where do you call the airline? If your problem is the weather in the US, call the airline in the country where you are. There will be thousands trying to get through on the US 800 number; fewer on the overseas number where there is no weather issue. Example: we were in Mexico when a snowstorm hit the NE. By calling Delta in Mexico, we were able to get a person on the phone quickly. Those who called the US number waited forever and paid a huge phone bill. Before your trip, write down the local number of your airline. Better yet, put it in your phone contacts.

If you do need to wait online, keep a record of your phone bill for your travel insurance claim.

Hate your seat? Go online frequently via your new airline app and check seats. Airlines often open up new seats closer to departure. Still, hate your seat? Get to check in early, ask about emergency seats at check-in and again at the departure gate. Passengers must speak English to sit in an emergency seat; some people might be moved if they do not. Please be pleasant to airline staff, they are so overwhelmed in Summer. Or as in the photo below from eBay, buy your own seats. 

Luggage? It is so rarely lost but this gets headlines. Carry on your medicine, a change of clothes, and wear the comfiest shoes even if sneakers you hate to be seen in. Label luggage in and out with your contacts. Take a photo of it if you are really nervous.

Always carry on luddite documents with hard copy information!

Please ask questions and add your comments.

Travel tips from The Women’s Travel Group, 26 years of smart tours for women.

We have limited space on our upcoming India and Italy trips FYI. All trips are listed on our site.

Information: phyllis@thewomenstravelgroup.com

646 309 5607