A big thanks to Rick and Alan for publishing this article. Their site is a fantastic travel resource that looks just as much at the why as it does at the how. For incredible insights and truly practical tips, be sure to have a look around and check out this post for some great pointers about staying secure on the road.
Technology has become such a big part of our lives that it’s hard to remember a time without it. Now, every modern traveler comes equipped with a smartphone at least, or a whole equipment kit, including laptop, camera and tablet.
It’s difficult to imagine a time when traveling would have left you completely disconnected from anywhere else in the world, but our parents and their parents’ generation seemed to manage somehow. There are many ways our technological world has changed the way we do things, but these are five of the biggest effects that technology has had on travel.
Planning a Trip
It isn’t that long ago that planning a trip, vacation or long term, could have only been done down at the local travel agents. They offered package holidays and budget transport options, all—obviously—with a costly commission fee. Similarly, to find out what to do while there, you would have had to invest in a guidebook for every stop on your destination.
Now, we don’t need any of these exorbitant costs. Planning a trip can all be done by connecting to the internet and inputting the relevant search. There are fantastic comparison resources, which find you great flight deals, so you don’t have to check each company individually. And there are apps for finding anything from accommodation to things to do. Technology has optimized the travel planning process, and that’s something we’re incredibly grateful for!
Another fantastic benefit of taking a piece of technology with you traveling is that it makes spontaneity much more convenient. Very often, when on the road, plans change, and you find yourself having to re-route. With a smartphone, you can simply book a new hostel, find the right transport, and a new opportunity is there for the taking.
Social media sites and blogs are also great ways to find out about local events and things to do. Now, you can stumble upon a festival halfway across the world and make the arrangements to be there within the week! Super convenient.
Keeping In Touch
One of the hardest parts of long-term travel, particularly if you’re going solo, is that it’s very hard to have meaningful relationships and, subsequently, avoid homesickness. Fortunately, the advent of social networks means you can easily keep in touch with loved ones back home. With Skype and FaceTime, you can hang out with old friends as if they were in the room with you.
Technology has also made it much easier to form lasting relationships while on the go. Before, people you met while traveling would become close friends for a short time, but would eventually be on their way. Now, you can connect with them online and even meet up again somewhere across the world.
The days of film cameras meant that holiday memories were few and far between, and what you couldn’t get into a picture had to be remembered in your mind! While there is something to say for the organic nature of this, having endless phones, tablets and cameras to document every waking moment of your trip is a wonderful benefit.
In years to come, you’ll be able to look back on detailed photos and videos of everywhere you went and all that you experienced. In reality, technology means that even when our travels are over, we never really have to stop living them.
Finally, technological advancements have changed the way we look at safety while traveling. Alongside being able to stay better connected, you can also ensure you have a set plan, educate yourself on the places you’re visiting and get in contact with someone if you need help.
Unfortunately, the advent of technology has also brought some new threats to travelers. Many thieves are now using unsecured public WiFi networks to access unsuspecting tourists bank accounts. However, this can be easily overcome by installing the right software to encrypt your data and allow you to browse safely.
It’s safe to say that technology has revolutionized the way we travel and has opened the world up in a way that was never possible before. Although it has also brought along some unwanted threats, these can be easily overcome and are far outweighed by the benefits.
What do you think about using technology when traveling? Is it a help or a hindrance? And what are your favorite devices to take with you and resources to use? Be sure to leave a comment below and share your experiences with fellow travelers.