We live in the era of digitalization where technology plays an integral part in every aspect of our lives. It has revolutionized our way of traveling by providing convenience and affordability, making a trip anywhere near and far both easy and at our fingertips. So how far have we come?
In the past, if you wanted to book transportation, tours, accommodation, and attraction passes, it could only be done by engaging travel agents. You would have to physically go to the travel agency with your passport and still have to pay more for agent service fees and taxes in addition to the base prices.
With technology, we can now browse and compare transportation fares, tour prices as well as accommodation rates from the comforts of our own homes. These comparisons provide us with alternatives, further ridding us from paying exorbitant prices. Bookings can also be performed in the blink of an eye without the help of travel agents, thus eliminating agent service fees.
Itinerary-planning by travel agencies is now also a thing of the past. These days it is straightforward to draft our own itineraries to suit your budget and time, thanks to the vast information that can be sourced online. Travel blogs and websites are furnished with sample itineraries for us to refer to, and we can easily modify them to our liking.
Physical guidebooks and travel magazines are becoming less relevant too. With maps and documents easily downloadable through the internet, we eradicate unnecessary usage of paper for printing – further doing our part in contributing to the eco-friendliness of modern traveling.
Technology has also brought about healthy competition in the quality of services and goods. Through the use of the Internet and our phones, we get hundreds of recommendations for food and accommodation locations. These recommendations often come with honest reviews of past patrons, inculcating the need in restaurateurs and business owners to provide the best services to boost their businesses.
Keeping in touch has never been easier with the use of technology. Mobile data plans are readily available at affordable prices, ensuring constant connection to friends and family even during our travels. This is a far cry from the past when long-distance calls are expensive to make and travelers resort to snail mails to connect with friends and family.
Many local businesses also offer free wifi as a show of hospitality. Connecting with other travelers based on common interests and places is also made possible when we can easily stay connected abroad. Nevertheless, language is now not a barrier when communicating with locals and travelers alike as we can easily access translation websites on the go with internet access on our smart devices.
Back then, photos taken on analog cameras would need to be developed and printed to be seen. This is time and space consuming since each roll of film has to be printed and kept. With instant uploads of freshly-taken photographs on the fly during our travels, the security of not losing our photos permanently in the case of lost devices would mean our photos are safeguarded in the cloud. Beautiful moments captured during our travels could be easily accessed by friends and family online making the process seamless.
It is an undeniable fact that technology has greatly transformed the way in which we travel. The convenience that comes with it, however, should not be traded with the physical interaction between humans. While it may be effortless to rely on technology when the need arises during our travels, sometimes it is faster the old-fashioned way – asking someone for help; for example when looking for directions.