Planes are zipping overhead, and cars are busily moving about; everyone’s going somewhere, and they want to get there fast. Travelling used to be a time-consuming and often arduous experience, but the global travel industry has changed a lot in the last 20 years. Some things, like crying children on a plane, might never go away, but other things have evolved in leaps and bounds. Here are the biggest ways in which technology has changed the way people around the world travel today.
Technology Has Become Synonymous With Travel
According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), there were 1.4bn international travelers jet setting around the globe in 2018. And that number keeps steadily increasing year by year. Not only has technology made it easier for people to travel the world, but it’s also resulted in tech-savvy travelers, who are now more dependant on convenient tech for a seamless travel experience than ever before.
Whether a person travels for pleasure or business, technology has become an intrinsic part of how they plan and book their trip. Most people also never travel without digital tools at their side. These smart devices get whipped out whenever they want information, to book an activity, pay a bill, or simply pass the time.
And both travel agents and app designers have jumped through hoops to make that experience as seamless and tailored as possible. Because the most in-demand platforms are those that can cater to the personal needs of the individual – whether with content or services.
5 Ways In Which Technology Changes The Way People Travel
1. Tech Has Changed the Way People Plan and Pack for a Trip
One of the core goals of technology is to make life easier for people and to squeeze a lot of convenience into one package. This is just as true when it comes to planning and packing for a trip. There is a slew of apps and tools out there that help people reduce the time it takes for them to prepare.
From suitcase packing apps that take activities and the weather into account to streamlined devices like Kindles that take up almost no space. Then there are also compression bags that can easily shrink down the space clothes will take up in a suitcase. Apps and tools like these have taken the guesswork out of packing.
Before a person can start packing for their trip, though, they have to plan it first. Again, this whole process is easier thanks to online travel sites, blogs, planners, and apps that do the hard work for them. Technology is becoming increasingly adept at catering to people’s needs at a personalized level.
2. Roaming Around a Foreign Country is Simplicity Itself
Gone are the days of flipping through a thick phrasebook just to understand the words on a sign or to get directions from a local. Apps like Google Translate have simplified this whole process into recording sounds, typing words into a textbox, or taking a picture. All of this is done in real-time, resulting in instant information at people’s fingertips.
Besides instant translation, there are also language learning apps like Rosetta Stone and Duolingo that make learning a new language much easier.
3. Chatbots are Becoming the Norm
Customer service is always top of mind in the hospitality industry, and with that comes a lot of work dealing with queries and complaints. Hotel managers, travel agents, and airlines can’t always keep up with the sheer volume of inquiries they get. And certainly not at every hour of the day. Pair that with the fact that personalized customer experiences are veering into the realm of instant messaging apps and direct messages.
Chatbots have emerged out of all of this to cope with this growing demand for personal attention. These are often AI-driven to deal with frequently asked questions but can be manually answered too.
4. Travelling is Cheaper Thanks to Tech
Airlines now make use of newsletters and online sales to attract new business, allowing people to compare prices and find good deals easily. People used to be at the mercy of travel agents and booking sites too. But now they send their connection through a VPN server first to avoid location-based price hikes and paying more based on their search history.
5. Traveling Has Become More Eco-Friendly
On the Eco-Friendly side, there’s the paperless movement, which is not only more convenient but also reduces waste by a lot. Travel agencies and hotels now use online forms, and airlines use online booking and digital boarding passes. There’s no need to print a single thing. Plus, online payments via smartphones have done away with physical money – and it’s safer to boot.
The world is becoming increasingly smaller and smaller, thanks to an abundance of tech that keeps evolving. No one knows what the future of travel will look like – it might not be flying cars or teleportation, but it sure will be fast and convenient.