Ask any modern traveler what they believe the most important thing to take with them on a trip is—while some might answer with a good book or a sturdy pair of shoes—for most the answer will be a smartphone. Back when we could navigate using the stars and knew how to use a compass to get around, we knew how to find our way without technology. Nowadays, the smartphone practically an extension of our hands.
But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as a smartphone and apps, more importantly, are incredibly useful for travelers, helping enrich their vacations and making sure things run as smoothly as possible.
For any traveler who hasn’t done so already, it’s time to embrace technology and discover all the wonderful apps that can be downloaded to aid us in our adventures. Travel is being digitized all the time and apps are a real game-changer. From translation to booking transport to directions, you’ll see just how this type of technology has changed the world and can save us when we’re in a bit of trouble.
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Embrace Technology & Have Smarter Adventures With Travel Apps
A stronger focus on the environment and saving far more time
Remember all those little bits of paper you’d have to print out before you travel? Boarding passes, hotel booking confirmations and even travel to-do lists are all such a waste of paper and ink when we can simply store this information on a device. More people are using e-tickets than ever before and using their phone as a boarding pass.
Every hotel or hostel reservation is sent via email and we can use all sorts of apps to help plan our travel itinerary and of course help us with directions (who loves folding those old maps?). What’s more, there are great apps for carpooling long distances and to easily find bikes and e-scooters in the city, meaning that being a tourist is far more eco-friendly. Also, it’s just so much quicker to store documents on a phone, instead of scrambling to find a printer before your trip!
Changing the way we book transport and accommodation
Back in the day, we had to talk to a travel agent in order to get a flight booked. Booking a flight online isn’t so bad when all you have to input is where you want to go, where you’re flying from, and the preferred dates. Today’s apps and websites then take care of the rest. This gives more power to the user, who doesn’t have to rely on someone else to book for them. We have more choice over where and when we go.
Around the world, you’ll never know when you’d like to book an emergency flight to another city. Plans can change swiftly, especially due to bad weather grounding flights or even transport strikes in a certain city. Now it’s possible to book flights or a last-minute trip to your homeland without breaking the bank. Many of us feel at ease knowing we can get home for less and not have to plan months ahead. Many apps are using chatbots to help customers get answers fast with Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. Thousands of people can get a response without waiting hours for a human, which is particularly useful for hotels and hostels.
Technology helps with storage space when packing
Travelers of yesteryear would have to pack a lot into their bags that weren’t just clothing and accessories. Books, CDs, a Discman… these things have shrunk down and can be accessed via tablets or phones nowadays. Kindle has made it possible to have dozens of virtual books with you, which is especially useful for travel guides.
Translation apps mean that it’s not necessary to carry bulky language books with you, either. Music is primarily listened to on Spotify or iTunes, and although some people like the old-school feel of books and CDs, new technology has helped travelers not pay for extra suitcase weight when they travel via airports.
Bringing the world closer together
Our planet can feel like a big place when you’re on your own in a brand new city. However, thanks to online groups and search engines, you can find places to check out based on your interests. Maybe there’s a free dance class in a particular bar every Tuesday, a street art tour on Saturdays, or perhaps there’s a group playing basketball every Thursday. Because many of these things are spontaneous, it’s hard to find out about them without the Internet. This allows people to find new friends and makes a new city feel familiar, even if it’s only for a few days while you’re traveling.
Technology helps break down these barriers, where someone might feel shy to simply ask locals for ideas. These apps help connect to the local way of life and get off the beaten track, which is what traveling is all about!
How technology and travel will merge together in the future is anyone’s guess, but there are already some rumblings about how things could change. Planes without pilots augmented reality, and moon trips are among the topics being discussed for new generations.