The entertainment world at your fingertips: the evolution of online travel tech

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travel tech

Some of the most dramatic changes and significant developments in how we lead our lives today have come about as the result of advancements in technology, and especially consumer technology. The gadgets that we now use are very often taken for granted, on an almost daily basis. Almost every aspect of our day-to-day activity has been impacted in some way by the latest technological developments. Things have become simpler, quicker and more accessible to such a remarkable extent that much of what we do today is almost unrecognizable compared to how we did things only a few years ago.

The world of travel is no exception and in many ways is one of the best examples of how the evolution of technology has affected the way we live. People talk about the world becoming a smaller place as a way of describing how much more widely accessible travel opportunities, and particularly international travel opportunities, have become. Families today consider journeys and destinations that would have been totally unthinkable only one or two generations ago, and while part of this is to do with wider changes in the travel industry, technology has played a major role in this and made a contribution that should not be underestimated.

Making things easier before departure

Not so long ago, the vast majority of travelers would consult some sort of agency or middleman as a necessity when making any travel arrangements. This is no longer the case, with the introduction of the Internet providing a quick and easy means for anybody with an online connection to take responsibility for planning their own travel.

Flights, car rentals, hotels, self-catering accommodation, cruises; all of these things can be fully researched from the comfort of one’s own home, or even while on the move, through the use of mobile technology. People can literally take a look around inside accommodation before they book, compare prices of travel with a simplicity, speed and accessibility that has never existed before. It also ensures they get the absolute best value and that their holiday is a sound investment of their money.

The evolution of mobile technology and improved access to the Internet has also made the traveling process significantly easier to plan and organize. Researching localities before arrival, planning routes, consulting maps and identifying the unmissable sights and experiences with a view to creating the perfect itinerary, have all become easier because of mobile technology such as smart phones and tablets.

The most useful innovations

These are some of the most useful technical innovations with regard to travel, and how they have affected the way we are able to stay informed and entertained while on the go.

Tablets and smartphones. Now a fundamental part of so many of our lives, these should be up there with money, tickets and passport as something not to leave home without. They provide quick and simple access to the Internet and all of the benefits that brings, in a lightweight, pocket-sized and easy to transport package. They provide a means to contact people back home, browse the web and are also a platform for a range of Apps to entertain and inform. While they do not yet provide quite the same level of functionality as a laptop, they are significantly smaller and less cumbersome, meaning they are a lot more appropriate for most travelers. Similarly, the technology behind these innovations is being developed at such a remarkable rate that some expert commentators are already predicting the end of the laptop, as they will become obsolete.

Apps

A good selection of well-chosen apps (plus the default passbook) can elevate a tablet or smartphone from being useful into something truly essential. The range on offer for all types of tablet and phones is somewhat bewildering, but it is well worth anyone about to go on a long journey or holiday doing some research to discover the ones that can best complement and contribute to their itinerary. As well as games to keep the children, and adults, entertained, Apps can carry out a wide range of useful functions for the traveler, including identifying the most popular local attractions, booking event tickets and tables in restaurants, managing finances while on the move, keeping personal information secure, capturing and then enhancing special moments in photos or videos, and so much more.

Ticket booking systems

An exciting itinerary is critical for making the most of one’s time on holiday. As with arranging flights and hotels, booking tickets for sporting and entertainment events used to most often be done in person. Today, the majority of tickets are booked directly or through online agencies such as ABC Tickets. It is now possible to buy Philadelphia Eagles tickets, for example, at the best price at the click of a button. The fact this is done online also means it can be done on the move, using a smartphone or tablet, and not only before leaving to go on holiday.

E-book readers

Gone are the days when a traveler would have to use up precious luggage allowance and strain themselves carrying around a heavy pile of paperbacks with which to keep them entertained on the move or lying on a beach. Today, one can store and readily access an entire library of literature on a gadget that is significantly smaller and lighter than the average book. E-book readers are not only a platform for entertainment either. They can also be used to store travel guides and critical documentation in a secure and easy to access format.

The future

As the evolution of technology, and particularly consumer technology, continues to advance and shows no sign of slowing down, we will inevitably continue to experience exciting new changes and opportunities for making our lives easier, and more fun.

Travel is a common ambition and a source of great pleasure for many, and this will surely continue to be one area where technological developments will continue to have some of the most significant impacts.

Catalin is the founder of Mostash - a social marketing boutique - and he's always happy to share his passion for graphic design & social media.