If you wanted to go on vacation in 2024, you could probably book it now in an hour or two. You could pack even quicker, and the vacation itself would likely go off without a hitch. But it is not your own attributes that would make the vacation such a success – though we’re sure your organisational skills are second to none. It’s tech.
Over the last twenty years, tech has completely changed the way we travel, making it far more streamlined, efficient, safe, and stress-free. But how exactly has it done this? Below, we’re going to be looking at everything tech has done to make travelling better for everyone.
While tech has had a big impact on travelling itself, we’re going to start before the travelling even begins. Trip planning has typically been the most stressful part of a vacation, as you have to work out where you’re going, the best flights to get there, the best accommodation in the area, the best restaurants, the best routes and roads – all before you’ve even set foot in the country.
But thanks to the internet – and most recently, artificial intelligence – we can all utilise a trip planner to get it done for us! These are perfect tools to map out the whole vacation, and do all the more detailed planning so we don’t have to.
Simplification and Organisation
Speaking of flights and accommodation, the booking and checking-in process has also become far more simple. You no longer need to desperately wonder why you’ve never invested in a printer. Instead, you can simply hold the e-tickets and mobile check-ins on your phone, using them as and when you need to board a plane or check into a hotel.
Fingerprint passcodes and face-identification has also made them more secure, ensuring that only you can access them. This also saves the trouble of printing and carrying documents during travel, and keeps all of the most important information in one place: your smartphone.
That last point is more about simplification and ease-of-mind – no one has ever complained about documents taking up space in their suitcase. But plenty of people have complained about other things taking up that space.
Books, especially, have been difficult cases. It’s all very well buying the latest George RR Martin fantasy novel now, but in the past, it would have been a massive pain to fit that book of 1,000 pages amongst all your other necessities. Technology, however, has allowed us to fit all the books in the world onto Kindle tablets. As well as this, music now belongs on streaming services rather than music players, our phones fit in our pockets, and our games come in the form of apps. No heavy bags, no weight limit to worry about!
Speaking of apps, these have been incredibly useful when you set down on your vacation, especially when it comes to navigation. One of the biggest fears in the past was getting lost in a new place, without a map or any language capabilities to ask for directions.
Now, however, we have apps like Google Maps and Apple Maps that can tell us exactly where we are and how to get to our chosen destination. On the subject of language capabilities, there are also several translation apps that we can use to communicate with locals, making the whole travelling experience far more comfortable.
According to recent statistics, over 58% of millennials have travelled solo over the last few years, compared to 47% of the older generations. Solo travelling is becoming far more popular, and this is largely down to tech changing the way we travel. For instance, one of the biggest issues for solo travellers in the past was a feeling of isolation.
Technology, however, has allowed us to stay connected with the world while we are travelling. Our loved ones are a WhatsApp message away, and new friends are easier than ever to find. Social media and ‘what’s on’ apps allow us to find events in the area we’re staying, and community apps like Meetup and Yubo are perfect for finding new people with like minded interests in a foreign place.
Knowledge, Knowledge, Knowledge
Whether you’re travelling alone or with friends, we all need a basic level of knowledge about the area we are travelling to. In the past, this would have meant a trip to the library and a lot of digging to find out the specific knowledge we need to know. In 2023, however, this can all be done with a quick Google search. Want to know what the best bar is in Lubeck, Germany? Done in a few seconds. Want to know if there’s tipping etiquette in Shirakawa, Japan? Just type the question into a search bar and you’ve found your answer.
With countless blogs and information online, we can attain all the knowledge we need about a place and culture before even booking the vacation itself. Over the next few years, AI chatbots are going to be even more helpful in this regard, as we can use them to get a completely up-to-date, well researched answer to even more complex questions.
Safety and Security
Lastly – but perhaps most importantly – technology has made travelling far more safe and secure. As mentioned before, language apps have enabled us to learn some key phrases that can come in useful when getting out of unwanted situations. Digital wallets have also kept our money safer, and smart alarms have given us a way to alert nearby people when we’re in trouble.
As well as this, VPNs have made our abroad internet browsing a lot more secure, and there are several apps that can offer anything from vital weather warnings to quick location sharing. For travellers around the world, just a few apps can ensure that we are protected and secure, and this is one of the key reasons why travelling is so stress-free. Nowadays, all you have to worry about is the budget – sadly, no tech has been able to make money grow on trees just yet!