Modern technology has changed the way we travel. The biggest change is the evolution of mobile technology; smartphones with Internet access have made the traveling process easier to plan and organize.
There are essentially two phases to any journey or vacation; the planning phase and the journey. Technology makes both of these phases easier and less stressful.
Advantages of travel tech
Before the Internet, the most popular way to plan a journey was to look at an atlas or guidebook and then visit a travel agent to discuss plans. The travel agent would then use their database to source accommodation and book flights. Generally, all plans were out of the traveler’s hands; last minute changes would be hard to make and travelers would never have access to all the local information.
The Internet has replaced travel agents to some degree. It is very easy for travelers to plan their journey online by looking at maps, reading reviews of hotels, discussing options with other travelers and booking accommodation and travel tickets.
There are new websites essentially acting as an automated travel agent by allowing customers to input where they wish to travel to along with the travel dates. The website then provides several options of hotels and flights for the traveler to choose from; booking confirmations are then sent by email. Planning a journey has never been easier.
Using tech when traveling
Tech is even more useful when we are actually traveling. Maps on smartphones use GPS to accurately pinpoint an individual’s location; travelers need never get lost again.
Not so long ago the only way to know if a flight was on time was to call the airline or stand in the airport and look at the arrivals board. Now Internet provides real time flight information to allow travelers to stay informed.
One of the worst scenarios for any traveler is to run out of money. Fortunately, tech has made it easier to send and receive money whilst on vacation or on a longer trek. Services such as Trans-Fast allow people to quickly send money by using their smartphone; this has been a true lifesaver for some.
Having access to the Internet on a mobile device to find places to eat and sleep is one of the most useful tools at a traveler’s disposal. When in a strange place there is always a risk associated with randomly picking somewhere to eat or stay; now travelers can find excellent backstreet restaurants away from the tourist traps that sell low quality and over-priced food.
Travelers also benefit from having social media and email at all times because this allows them to stay in touch with friends and family, which combats the loneliness that solo travelers experience at times.
All phones made today come equipped with a digital camera and some smart phones allow users to easily backup all photos to the cloud over wireless Internet. Travelers never need to worry about losing their photos if their camera or phone is lost or stolen. Also, technology has replaced the need to carry reels of photographic film.
The future of travel
There is little doubt that the travel industry will continue to develop new technology to help support travelers. The development of wearable tech. such as Google Glass, Apple Watch and Apple Pay, will keep travelers updated at all times and provide fast and secure ways to pay for services.
Some transport companies already support Internet bookings and accept mobile tickets; this is likely to become the most common way to purchase tickets in the future. There will be no need to book a train or coach in advance and carry paper tickets; people will be able to book a seat from the comfort of their hotel and walk straight on.
Technology is making travel easier and more enjoyable and new ideas and products will continue to improve the traveling experience.