Travel can be a stressful event. Even though the purpose of a vacation is to relax and take your mind off of the doldrums of everyday life, there can be a world of problems to contend with when it comes to actually getting to your destination and enjoying it. Delays at the airport, struggles with your luggage, and actually figuring out what to do when you get where you’re going all contribute to the stresses of taking time off for a vacation. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are new technologies being developed constantly with travelers in mind to make their trips enjoyable and as stress free as possible.
Tech to Travel With
There is no shortage of innovative travel technology, but the hardest part is discerning what is a gimmick and what actually works to make your travel experience more pleasurable. For every bit of useful travel tech, there are multiple pieces of tech that either do not function as advertised or don’t function at all. Shoddy plug adapters and noise-canceling headphones that don’t work inundate the market, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t useful pieces of technology, you just have to be judicious when making a purchase.
Smart luggage is a term that gets thrown around a lot these days. Throw a rechargeable lithium-ion battery into a suitcase, and suddenly you have a piece of smart luggage—though, depending on where you’re traveling, they may not let you bring it at all. However, there are now actual pieces of smart luggage with built in facial recognition and GPS tracking, ensuring that not only will your luggage be safe and sound, but that it won’t run the risk of getting lost or stolen.
There are all sorts of tech goodies that can help you to have a better time while flying to your vacation destination. Ditching bulky, traditional paperbacks for an E-reader, or even downloading an Ebook application on your phone, gives you access to thousands of books to keep you entertained in the air. Sunglasses that also happen to record video are a great way to capture every moment of your trip, from beginning to end.
Tech to Improve Your Experience
Travel technology doesn’t just affect the traveling experience itself, but can improve your enjoyment of your vacation overall. Automation already occurs in the back end of travel, guiding customers through reservations and businesses with staffing and inventory, but it isn’t stopping there. AI and automation are paving the way for digital concierge services a la Siri and Cortana, allowing travelers a chance to have anything they’d like to do become more readily accessible without having to go through any middle-men.
Hotels are embracing and adapting to new technology at an ever-increasing rate. As we see smart home technology become more prevalent, we can expect to see the same technology being used in the hotel industry. The future of technology in hospitality is that of wholly automated services and hotel rooms, allowing guests to relax in comfort and style without having to deal with ornery night-clerks or running the risk of the concierge mishearing your room service order.
There is even technology that exists to help you to find hidden gems and must-see attractions in any city. Instead of relying on extensive googling of a location or hitting up all your friends and family for their travel tips, TripAdvisor has launched a social media platform specifically targeted towards travelers. This will give you a constant stream of quality information, and you’ll be able to get that information from other travelers who have the same interests as you, increasing the likelihood that you won’t be disappointed or led into a tourist trap. By connecting travelers together, it will bypass all of the promotional or misleading content on the internet that only serves to lure travelers in, instead providing them with the useful information they need on the spot.
Tech That Travels
Automation doesn’t just have the potential to change our hotel stays but is poised to radically change the way we travel altogether. Autonomous vehicles are already on the road today, and it won’t be long before we start seeing driverless vehicles on land, in the sea, and in the skies. There are already autonomous aircrafts being developed and scheduled for test flights in 2019, and though these pilotless planes’ main goal will be weather and climate observation, it will only be a matter of time until it becomes commercially available.
While driverless technology is still in its infancy, scientists and engineers are employing virtual reality to improve driverless vehicle testing to improve safety with the ultimate goal of getting these automated vehicles on the road faster. There is currently a bit of fear associated with driverless vehicles, but as the technology improves and the public becomes more comfortable with the idea of automated transportation, we will soon be riding to the airport, flying in planes, and heading to our hotels all without the need for a pilot.
As this technology improves and becomes more widely spread, it actually becomes safer for everyone on the road and in the skies. The Internet of Things (IoT), the world of connected devices all around us, is poised to change urban living forever as eventually smart cars will be able to access scheduled appointments or locations you’d like to visit, proposing faster and safer routes. Additionally, when there are more automated vehicles on the road, they will in a sense “talk” to each other, sending data to the other cars about positioning on the road, accidents, and where and when the vehicles will exit a road. This will create intelligent traffic patterns that will increase safety, and eventually this could also be applied to aviation, significantly reducing the time spent on the tarmac. Eventually, intelligent automated vehicles will revolutionize travel safety both in the air and on the roads, with networks of vehicles moving in sync for the most efficient and safe ride possible.
Technology already has a massive impact on our ability to travel safely and enjoy ourselves on vacation. As technology improves, we can look forward to even greater benefits in travel safety, speed, and comfortability. Eventually, all of the current headaches associated with vacations will be addressed by developing technology, leaving us more time to enjoy the world around us.