I'm of a certain generation that has truly seen the difference technology has made to lives. I know that man has made incredible progresses over the last 200 years or so, but during the last 30 or so, we've seen an acceleration in those changes, largely thanks to computing. One area that's changed (for the better, of course) is travelling. Let's take a quick tour to see how those changes have made our lives easier when we're on the move.
Deciding on a Destination
You were at the mercy of travel agents and Judith Chalmers back in latter part of the 20th century, prior to the internet. This is the primary reason why package holidays were so popular then - because nobody left anything to chance, and just followed the herd. Even saying that, you never knew what you were letting yourself in for. What reviews could you read back then of a hotel and its surrounding area? You had none.
Nowadays, you can really "design" your holiday down to a granular level. You don't need to book a package holiday, and in fact, these are on the decline. Now you can book your flight tickets, accommodation, car rental, and sight-seeing trips online. You can read reviews, and know which hotels and locations to avoid. You can really get a flavour of what to expect my using the internet and reading other people's experiences of the place you are travelling to.
The business traveller doesn't really get to choose his destination, but he can still research the location he's travelling to - to be prepared.Booking Accommodation
Back in the 70s and 80s, booking a hotel was a nightmare. Firstly, you had to call directory enquiries (from a home phone) just to get a number of a hotel. Sometimes I simply left it to chance - I would say "if you have it listed, please get me the number of a two star hotel in Plymouth". What a hassle. So you make your booking over the phone, then when you arrive, the hotel's made a mistake - they've overbooked. This happened perhaps 20% of the time for me. Many hotels had archaic "systems" to determine which rooms were available, and which were booked. All on paper of course. Even if there's no booking issues, you had no real idea if the hotel was up to a certain standard or not - there were no easy-to-find reviews of hotels back then. You took your chances. No wonder caravanning was popular back then!
Nowadays, I can browse dozens of hotels in a region on my phone, sort by price, read reviews, check availability and make my booking and pay with a few taps of the phone screen. Not only that, but hotels who are serious about business have greatly updated the way they work. Nowadays many accommodation providers use cloud hotel management software
(such as Clock Software
) to manage their business. This means you rarely get overbooking issues because everything is automated. If you make a booking online, the hotel software is updated to reflect that change in availability.
Overseas travel was seen as a luxury back in the 70s and 80s. It was a huge expense - from flights to accommodation. The package holiday phenomena did open up the market to the mass market, but it was still an expensive purchase compared to today. Also, because most people literally had no idea of the location you they going to, they often got took advantage of by the locals.
Now, we travel armed with knowledge of the area we're travelling to. This has tipped the favour in the balance of the traveller. We can still get conned of course, but we are less likely to fall for obvious scams (which are well reported online). Moreover, because of technology, we have far more choice of accommodation (think AirBnB). This has lowered accommodation costs considerably.
In my lifespan, I've seen massive changes to how we travel. There's truly never been a better time to travel. Technology has taken away the hassle and many of the potential risks of travel. Having said that, you do need to USE the technology to mitigate those risks. Always research your destination and accommodation choices thoroughly before making any decision.
Article kindly provided by Clock Software