TMCnet Feature
February 21, 2018

7 Ways Technology Has Changed the Way We Travel

As technology continues to develop at a rapid rate, there’s arguably one particular area where we’ve felt its benefits more than most – travel.

Long gone are the days where every trip had to be planned out meticulously in advance. Now, with our smartphones in our pocket and a WIFI connection nearby, there’s virtually nothing we can’t do. And to celebrate this, we’ve come up with a list of seven ways technology has changed the way we travel for the better, below: 

The Way We Book

Eight in ten book their airline tickets online, according to independent comparison site That’s an incredible statistic when you consider that just 20 years every airline ticket was sold through a travel agent.

Nowadays, we can lay in bed and book a flight to anywhere in the world through just a few taps on our smartphone.

By cutting out the middlemen, this approach has allowed us to save time as well as money.

The Way We Get Our Tickets

You used to have to wait weeks, if not months, to either pick up your airline tickets from your travel agent or have them sent to you via post.

Fast forward to 2018 and flight tickets can be printed off at home or downloaded directly onto your smartphone in a matter of seconds.

The latter method is eco-friendlier and saves you the hassle of having to remember your ticket.

The Way We Get Our Currency

Remember when you used to arrive in a foreign country with your wallet or purse full to the brim of exotic notes? Not anymore.

The invention of currency cards has helped make travel safer for all concerned. By simply transferring money from your bank account onto a card before you travel, you can access and pay for items in much the same way that you do at home.

The Way We Get Our Visa

Applying for and receiving a visa for travel used to be a time-consuming process. You’d often have to visit the embassy of the country you wanted to visit just to collect the necessary paperwork for your application.

Things have sped up rather substantially over the last decade. Now, you can apply for ESTA to visit the United States online - even if you’re on the other side of the world in Australia. Response times have trimmed down from months to days, making last-minute travel a much more viable option.

The Way We Pack

Spare a thought for those that had to pack in the 90s. Kids would have CD Walkmans, physical books, Tamagotchis, and Game Boys that they’d have to squeeze in alongside their clothes.

The evolution of the cellphone has meant that a lot of older technology is now combined into one handheld item. This has freed up more space for us to pack things that are actually useful.

The Way We Get Directions

A confused-looking tourist twisting a paper map every which way used to be a common sight in cities across the planet. When Google (News - Alert) released their first Maps app, however, things quickly began to change.

Instead of having to ask locals for help, our phones now provide us with accurate directions that tell us when and where to turn.

While it has certainly made life easier, navigation apps have taken away some of the satisfaction you used to get from finding a specific monument or restaurant by yourself.

The Way We Communicate

Mini-foreign dictionaries used to be a must-have for any trip abroad. You’d quickly navigate through the pages in the desperate hope of trying to string a semi-coherent sentence together.

Smartphones now do all of the work for you. Translation apps can interpret what is written or spoken in a foreign language into English in a matter of seconds.  

Edited by Mandi Nowitz
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