A local organization is helping seniors maximize their golden years by teaching them all about the latest travel websites. NY1's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.
It's a whole new world since Patricia Post last took a flight 30 years ago. For one, she's now scouring the Internet to find airfare deals.
"Here, I can go right to it and say, 'Yeah, $410? I can do that,' and then click and I get my ticket. That's unbelievable to me. I've never done that," she says. "I mean, in 1984, I had to do it the old-fashioned way. Now, everything is digital, and I like it."
Patricia is one of a number of seniors who is taking part in free technology classes at Senior Planet Exploration Center, a project of OATS, Older Adults Technology Services.
"We teach basic computers, but when we say, 'What do you want to learn? Why are you bothering to learn a new skill this late in life?' or 'What are you interested in?', travel's one of the top reasons," says Kimberly Brennsteiner, director of programs at OATS.
"Lo and behold, it really opened up my eyes, because at my age, I have already given up the idea of ever catching up with modern technology," says Hiroko Gruson, a graduate of Senior Planet.
Adults 60-plus who successfully complete travel-centric courses at OATS walk away with tools to navigate the digital world of trip planning.
"The seniors are really, they have enormous buying power in the travel industry, and the websites and the services are really beginning to figure that out," says Tom Kamber, executive director at OATS. "But we're trying to bridge the gap here at Senior Planet to help them be able to access a lot of those resources."
Upcoming travel seminars will introduce students to search engines such as Kayak, and sites such as Airbnb and couchsurfing. For more information, see the calendar section of seniorplanet.org and check out the listing under "Travel Club."