In the 21st century, technology’s reach has extended over just about every aspect of our daily lives. Travel is no exception. Traveling is easier and more accessible than ever before, thanks to the development of technology and online services. Here are a few of the ways in which technology has changed travel in the past decade.
1. Technology has made travel cheaper
Gone are the days when most families could only go on one holiday a year, planning months in advance. With budget airlines such as Ryanair and flight comparison services like Skyscanner, it’s fully possible to buy return flights abroad for less than £50 per person, just a few days in advance. Accommodation is cheaper too: rather than relying on brand familiarity or the recommendations of travel agents to decide where to stay, travellers have access to a variety of hotels and apartments at different price points through platforms like Booking.com and Airbnb.
2. Travel has become hackable
Frequent travellers have found ways to cheat the system, some even going so far as to call themselves ‘travel hackers’. Travel vlogger Nate Buchanan, for instance, travelled 92,000 miles in the space of 2 weeks on a so-called ‘mileage run’, for the sole purpose of earning frequent flyer miles. The result of 15 days of non-stop flying was no less than $4500 worth of free flights. This kind of travel hacking wouldn’t be possible without resources like Secret Flying, a website that compiles fares mistakenly released by airlines, or Airfarewatchdog, which sends email alerts when flight prices drop.
3. It’s easy to record your experiences
Long after our trips are over, we can look back on them in any variety of media, from blog posts and Instagram photos to travel vlogs posted on Youtube. Many people are making careers out of the content they produce while on the road, earning lucrative partnerships with big brands and selling merchandise. Food and travel Youtuber Mike Chen has released a full line of clothing under his channel’s label, Strictly Dumpling. Others, like vloggers Kara & Nate, stay on the road thanks to supporters on Patreon. Even travellers who don’t share their experiences with the world are taking photos of memorable moments. According to a survey by Topdeck Travel, only 2% of millennials reported that they don’t take photos while travelling.
4. Travel experiences are customizable
Instead of buying package tours, travellers are increasingly making their own, researched decisions about where to stay, visit, and eat. With Google Maps in your pocket, it’s no longer a risk to venture out alone in a foreign city with no knowledge of the language and no plan in mind.
5. Technology allows us to make more informed decisions
You’d be hard-pressed to find a frequent traveller willing to walk into a restaurant without looking it up first. It takes only a few seconds to type in the name of the restaurant into Google and access hundreds of traveller reviews on Tripadvisor, or an in-depth article on a popular travel blog. It’s becoming less and less difficult to avoid tourist traps and overhyped attractions, with recommendations of better, more authentic experiences just a tap of a finger away with services like our very own KOMPAS.
Millenials are travelling more and smarter than previous generations and for different reasons. There’s no doubt that the face of travel will continue to evolve, catering to increasing desire for unique and personalised experiences.