Technology has truly changed the way our world works and whether we realize it or not, it has seamlessly managed to seep into every single aspect of our lives. Out of the innumerable ways in which it seems to mould our experiences, travel is that one area which takes the crown single-handedly for having been showered with the most benefits of technology. It is nearly impossible to even imagine travelling without any access to google maps, transportation booking systems, hotel booking platforms or even something as basic as not being able to read information on popular travel blogs and review platforms.
With the number of people travelling increasing at an unprecedented rate, according to a report by the World Tourism Organisation, it is estimated that by 2030, a global population of a whopping 8.5 billion people will take approximately 2 billion international trips! Instead of just relying on plain, old boring statistics, read on further to know how technology is like an unexpected breath of fresh air for every kind of traveller out there.
The first and probably the most dreaded aspect of travelling is planning a trip. Technology has made planning a breeze for everybody from meticulous planners to spontaneous enthusiasts who can now rely on online digital platforms or mobile phone applications for gaining important information regarding bookings, accommodation, useful travel tips and advice.
With just a swipe of the touch-screen, every bit of one’s travel needs can be taken care of. Online travel communities are brilliant as they give a glimpse into the experiences of tens of thousands of travellers.
In today’s day and age, travellers have access to virtually everything on the internet within their fingertips. The choices are plenty and it makes it all the easier to browse and compare flights without having to physically drop by an actual travel agency, whew! Technology has paved the way for people to grab the cheapest deals possible and has also made it ridiculously easy to have alternative options to avoid being charged exorbitant rates just because one happens to be a tourist on a foreign land.
Gone are the days when people were required to mandatorily carry multiple documents which included the airline tickets, boarding pass, train and hotel reservations along with the million other things in a hard copy format. Technology has saved us yet again by way of having made facilities like online check-ins, e-tickets, reservation coupons etc. possible. Having such important documents in a digitised format clearly makes travelling not just eco-friendly, but a lot more safe as well.
STREAM-LINING ONE’S TRAVEL ITENERARY:
It is only after the explosion of the world wide web that travellers can now instantly read reviews on what to do, where to go, and can easily zero in on unique and fun things to do which match their travel style. Essentially, technology has made it possible for everybody to be able to customise their travel itinerary which makes trips more personal and exclusive!
DOCUMENTING ONE’S TRAVEL EXPERIENCES:
While travelling is all about immersing oneself in new cultures and experiences and staying in the moment to absorb the essence of a place, technology has stepped in to enhance this experience further by making it possible to capture memories in the most innovative ways possible.
Be it posting pictures on social media, or trying a hand at travel journaling, the options for documenting one’s journey are plenty which do not fade away as time passes. Just looking back at a photo can magically transport a person to a specific place and can instantly make them go back in time and reminisce.
EASIER TO STAY CONNECTED WHILE TRAVELLING:
Thanks to technology, meeting new people and staying in touch with them has become as easy as busting out your Facebook and sending them a friend request. Oh, well, for all the cool kids belonging to Generation Z out there, Instagram and Snapchat are definitely more viable options.
In addition to that, irrational fears of concerned parents can be easily laid to rest by using apps that offer free online calls (or video calls) like Viber, Google Duo, Skype and WhatsApp. Parents thankfully do not have to rely on letters, snail mails or phone booth calls to stay in touch. An app can be a life saver when it comes to being connected with loved ones back home.
BRIDGING LANGUAGE BARRIERS:
Back in the day it was a common practice for travellers to be walking around with a phrasebook on holiday, struggling to converse in the local language and basically miming their way through the journey. Our smart phones come in handy now and with apps like Google Translate, iTranslate or Waygo, interacting with locals and imbibing their culture comes with perfect ease. Technology has dissolved boundaries across nations causing individuals to come together and have a gala time.
Last but not the least, technology has made going cashless a perfectly normal phenomenon. Electronic payments through secure apps such as Apple Pay or Google Wallet makes it convenient for travellers to travel without a lot of cash and saves them the trouble of having to stay in queue for ATM withdrawals or to deal with the inconvenience of losing a wallet. One doesn’t have to worry about credit card frauds/changing cards or getting stranded somewhere without any cash.
This list is non-exhaustive, meaning, and we could go on and on about how else technology has changed the way we all travel, for the better. Although people make the bold claim that technology is changing our lives, the truth is that it completely depends on how one chooses to use the gift of technology. As long as travellers do not become too dependent on it and remember that not everything has to be captured on social media and not every experience can be found in a guidebook, they shall be fine and are sure to experience the best.