A smartphone is the modern travellers smart best friend. The technology in our pocket has brought huge changes in the way we holiday and with new applications launched every day keeping you moving has never been easier. Here are a few thoughts on how far we’ve come in technology for travel.
Who needs humans?
Remember the days when booking a holiday meant speaking to a human being? Not any more! Today you can book everything from flights to day trips to hotels at the click of a button. This has brought down prices for the average tourist but really changed the game for backpackers. Where once you would land with no plans at all and work at trying to get a feel for a new place, a simple search will now let you know the best spots to visit, what to eat and where to go. It obviously makes things a lot easier, but have we lost some of the mystery of travelling the world?
Where am I?
You never, ever need to be lost. Whether you liked it or not getting lost was a regular part of travelling before the magic of smartphones; trying to get back to your hotel would often lead you down unexplored streets to unusual treasures. But today, if you have a smartphone the path home is a GPS connection away. Obviously not everyone will have a good connection, or even a phone that can track their location, but perhaps that makes for a better experience? Next time you are in a new city, maybe turn off the technology for a morning and see where it takes you (safe in the knowledge it will easily get you home!)
What did you think?
Peer-reviewed websites are an absolute game-changer for a savvy traveller. No longer do you need to reply on a hotel’s sleek professional photos when independent reviews from those that visited before you are widely available. This can be really handy when you need to make a quick decision between a large number of hotels and restaurants; just remember to add your own voice to the reviews so others can benefit in the future! These sites have also had an impact on the businesses themselves, forcing them to up their game and build a good online reputation.
What do you need to know?
Almost any information you need about where you are going or what you will be doing is available online. Need to learn the local language? Need a job? Want to avoid a cultural faux-pas? No problem, the internet has answers for all of those. And this access to information is changing the way we interact with each other. Applications can now directly translate a local menu from just a picture or let you find new friends that can guide you through the best spots to see what a town is really about.
Travel has always been about getting an insight into the big wide world, but with the world wide web, it need not be scary, or difficult – local knowledge is always at your fingertips.