Over the past few decades we have witnessed the world of travel evolve right before our eyes. Not only are we now able to get to and from our destinations faster and more comfortably, but advances in consumer technology has now made travel easier, more convenient and far more personalized than ever before. Thanks to breakthroughs like mobile applications and smart technology, the digital age has easily become the age of the DIY traveler providing us with unlimited solutions to help us achieve our goals when venturing out into the wild world. Here are a few specific reasons why now is the best time in history to get out and see the world.
The Sharing Economy
Gone are the days when the only options for lodging were motels, hotels and maybe the occasional B&B. Today, thanks to peer-to-peer sharing, travelers are now able to connect and do business directly with other consumers on the secondary marketplace. For instance, services like Airbnb and HomeAway match travelers with people renting their homes, apartments or condos. Uber and Lyft facilitate easy, convenient on-demand transportation and programs like EatWith pair hungry travelers with home-cooked meals in cities around the world. And these are only the tip of the iceberg.
The days of paper tickets and long check-in lines are becoming a thing of the past, thanks to smart technology. Smartphones have practically revolutionized every aspect of the travel experience, from paperless boarding passes to remote check-ins to GPS and, of course, high quality cameras that are built right in to capture it all. Travel providers are jumping onboard at an unprecedented rate, providing perks like free Wi-Fi, real-time travel updates and specialized apps designed to enhance and streamline the passenger experience.
If getting lost in a foreign place sounds intriguing, you might want to think about leaving your tech gadgets behind. That’s because features like satellite navigation and geo-location have become ubiquitous thanks to today’s mobile devices. The ability to simply turn on location settings and allow technology to do the rest is enabling travelers to become much more adventurous and spontaneous. Likewise, applications such as Sidekix, Foodspotting and Streetography can easily direct wanderers to the places they’re interested in going at the simple click of a button.
Wearable tech may not have reached its fullest potential just yet, but it’s still making an impact on the travel industry. In fact, several airlines have begun offering electronic boarding passes optimized for smartwatches. Many hotels, including Disney, now offer the option of wristbands that can unlock guestroom doors and provide access to a host of other property amenities. There are even earbuds that can translate language in real-time. Talk about breaking down barriers!
Finally, for those who don’t have the time, money or ability to physically travel from one place to another, virtual reality technology is bringing foreign places to life right before the eyes of the user. Explore new destinations without ever leaving the comfort of your own home. Or, better yet, use a VR headset to take a virtual tour of a potential vacation spot so you can “try it before you buy it.”
Without question, technology has transformed the travel experience. Today, millions of individuals across the globe are taking advantage of these and other technological advances to explore and experience the world around them. We can only guess what’s next but maybe some of these breakthrough technologies (link) will help future travelers even further.
How has tech influenced or changed the way you get around? Please share in the comments below.