Only a few years ago, the idea of staying in a stranger’s house when you travelled was a bizarre concept. No one liked the idea of sleeping in someone else’s bed and, for a lot of people, it was a downright creepy idea when there were so many other holiday-specific options of accommodation available. Now, however, you would be hard-pressed to find a traveller who hasn’t at the very least considered an Air B’n’B as part of their holiday planning, with the website’s development making finding accommodation much easier and cheaper for travellers.
But the way technology has changed the way we travel is far beyond just where we call our temporary home. Digitisation and rapid advancements in technology have made everything from booking flights to finding your way through foreign cities far easier, and they are changes that are making travelling a far simpler task for everyone.
Travel agents might start feeling a bit lost at the moment as more and more travellers turn to technology to help them plan their trips. We’ve already discussed Air B’n’B to find a place to stay, but sites like HotelsCombined and Trivago are a great way to get started, too. You can read reviews of all the places that you are considering staying in, so you don’t go in blind, and all of the options for accommodation are consolidated into one handy webpage to save time in your search. These websites tell you exactly where you’re staying, too, which makes the next part of your trip a lot easier, too.
Long gone are the days of fumbling around cities trying to read expansive maps that can be out dated almost as soon as you buy them. The modern traveller’s best friend comes in the form of Google Maps, available across all smartphones, to help them avoid those unwelcome wanderings. But it’s more than just about finding your way; tourists are far more likely to be targeted by pickpockets and thieves simply because they look like tourists. Now that everyone is always looking at their phone, however, using Google Maps can work to help you just blend in with the rest of the people on the street.
But what does this mean for the fate of travel?
We’ve all heard the gripes of older generations who complain about young people spending too much time on devices, but has it affected our experience? Certainly it can be argued that some are spending too much time choosing the right filter for their Instagram snap, but it’s hardly any different from how much time people would spend preparing their holiday photographs in the past.
Technology has instead made traveling a far more accessible opportunity, and a much less stressful adventure. The availability of cheaper accommodation has opened up travel to more people, and there are ways of finding incredibly cheap flights, too. For plenty of people, these reduced costs have opened up a field of travel that they might have never otherwise considered. A reliance on technology when preparing to travel can help you score the best deal possible, but also makes your whole trip easier.
Through technology, keeping in touch with loved ones whilst you are traveling has become second nature. Instagram can help them keep track of everything that you are up to, but more than that, being easily contactable can give your family members some peace of mind. For many parents these days, farewelling their children when they go traveling has become far easier to do just because they know they will never be far from contact.
Whether you are planning a trip or saying goodbye to someone as they go on their own adventure, there is no doubt that technology has completely changed the way we approach travel today.