Remember the days of going into your local travel agent, looking through the glossy brochures and sitting for what felt like a lifetime whilst you planned that all important holiday? Remember your paper tickets arriving in the post? That was a good day!
Fast forward to today and many of those travel agents have disappeared. Some managed to stay and embrace the new, online way of booking a holiday, and many new companies have appeared with the modern way of online booking at their heart. Now we can be the travel agent. We can find the best flight deals and times, pick from a bigger pools of hotels, compare prices, book our own hire car. We are in control. We don’t even need to queue up to check in, we can do this all online saving time, and we don’t even need paper tickets to board a plane anymore!
It isn’t just booking flights and hotels that have changed, websites like AirBNB have made it easy to book someone’s house or even a house share, changing the holiday experience completely. No longer do you have to take the advice of a travel agent on a hotel or location, you can read up reviews on a number of sites from real people who have been, who aren’t trying to sell to you. You can even book travel insurance cheaply, at the click of a couple of buttons and save money on booking activity trips in advance.
It isn’t just the booking procedures that have changed, even what you carry on your trip has changed. Going on a long haul flight to somewhere new? Then that’s a music player, guide book, sometimes a DVD player, toys for the children, camera. All of these things can now be condensed down into just one smartphone.
Now that you have made it on holiday are you sure where you want to go? A simple hashtag search in Instagram or a location search on Google is all it takes to be delivered with endless amounts of recommendations. Lost? Connect to Wi-Fi (or if you are REALLY lost, pay for data roaming) and just like that, you are back connected to the world.
Remember writing postcards to tell your family or friends that you were safe and having a great time? Even if you normally got home before the postcard! (We did we bother?) Now we upload photos instantly, send a text via Wi-Fi for free or Skype our loved ones, it is easier than ever to keep in touch.
If technology has changed travel this much in the last decade or so, what’s next? Only time will tell, but it looks exciting.
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Allianz Travel Insurance is underwritten by Alliance Insurance Company P.S.C and serviced by Allianz Travel / NEXtCARE Effiel Boulevard Limited Building 1st floor, Umm Al Sheif, Sheikh Zayed Road, PO Box 80864, Dubai United Arab Emirates.