Technology has permeated every facet of our lives and we are using technology mostly to add some convenience in places that formerly had little or none. One of these places is long-distance or international travel. It used to be so tedious to book a flight, board the flight, find the proper hotels, and then do it all over again when traveling back home. Now, everything from booking to boarding to booking a hotel room has been made simpler using a piece of technology or an app. Below, we will look at different technologies and how they have made international travel a lot more convenient.
Staying connected through the use of social media platforms has made it easier to find interesting destinations. We no longer have to wait for a magazine or newspaper to arrive at our doors to know where and when to travel. We now have all this information in the palm of our hands.
This type of connection has also allowed for a nomad lifestyle, with people connecting over such platforms as the Airbnb website to find the best places to stay while embarking on their long-distance travel.
Booking and boarding flights
It used to be that you had to book your flight, choose a seat, and then print your boarding pass. If you lost your pass, you incurred heavy fees or even risked missing your flight. Now, you can do all of this on your smartphone. Download an app, use it to book your flight, and use the mobile boarding pass that provides you a pass to board your flight. Even if you lose your phone, you can log into the app using another phone and your pass will be right there for you.
One of the most tedious parts of international travel, especially if you have to take a stopover, is finding the right hotel to stay at. Gone are the days when you had to call up to a dozen hotels, comparing fees and finding one that was most convenient to you (either in price or its proximity to the airport). Now, there are a multitude of apps that will not only show you the different hotels you can stay at, but that will also let you compare the ratings, prices, and other qualities of different hotels.
Navigation and Sense of direction
Getting lost in a new city is not a new occurrence. You might have gotten lost in a new city with no sense of direction or map, and with no knowledge of the local language, you would be left stranded. Technology now takes care of this for you. There are about a dozen well-known navigation apps that you can use when you land in a new city.
Apart from helping you move around, some navigation apps are tied to language translators. App developers know that if you are in a foreign country using a navigation app, you likely need some help. So, they allow the technology to streamline your travels by offering you a two in one package. How convenient!
Anyone who has extensively traveled will know that money management on the road is important. You need access to cash to pay for your accommodation, transport, food, and any activities you’re taking part in when traveling. Back in the day, this would have meant converting your money to the currency of the country you were visiting before you set off and taking it along with you in your wallet or an envelope.
Carrying cash can be a nuisance and situations where travelers ran out of money due to pickpockets or simply misplacing their cash are potentially dangerous. Today, technology has made it easier than ever to spend, save and manage money when traveling. Banking apps mean you can transfer money easily between members of your party or have a dedicated account for travel spends that you can access any time you have Wi-Fi. Some banking apps will even automatically detect when you are in another country and send you a push notification with information on the local currency.
Finding things to do
If you are traveling for leisure, like most people you probably want to make sure that you get the most out of your chosen destination. This could mean going to see all the big attractions, having fun with the local activities and sampling all the tastiest dishes from the best-rated restaurants. In the past, you’d have had to rely on recommendations or pamphlets at the hotel reception to find things to do; today you can find it all online.
Apps like TripAdvisor have revolutionized the way we find things to do and places to see when we travel. All you need to do is enter your location into the app and it’ll bring up an extensive list of activities, attractions, and restaurants nearby complete with pictures, website links, ratings and more.
Nobody likes to think that something bad will happen to them on vacation but the truth is that nobody’s immune to it. The good news is that if you or a member of your travel party falls ill, is a victim of a crime or is involved in an accident, technology is your best friend.
No matter where you are, you can use your smartphone to call the local emergency number or police number if needed. If you’re in need of medical attention but not enough that an ambulance is needed, a quick Google search is all it will take to find out where you can find the nearest doctor or hospital. And if you’re going to claim on your travel insurance, you can pull up your policy online and might even be able to speak to an advisor via webchat.
Technology will continue to shape the way we travel and interact with other people in other parts of the world. We should be very grateful for the little conveniences that technology allows us when traveling abroad.