Whether you are booking a family holiday, a weekend away, or a round the world trip the chances are somewhere along the way you will rely on technology to make your life easier. But just how much are modern day travellers reliant on technology?
Let’s start with researching and booking your trip; the chances are you have researched the area you are visiting on the internet prior to booking, looked at reviews on sites such as TripAdvisor, searched for your accommodation and flights online… Basically relied on technology to provide all of the information you need. It’s easy to take for granted how easy it now to access all of this information but it can also be overwhelming for those that are not so technically savvy.
When it comes to air travel in some cases passengers are penalised if they have not got the technology to book themselves in online before arriving at the airport. Some airlines now charge customers that do not use the facility. This is just one example of how technology is replacing humans and customer service in the travel industry.
While holidays used to be all about getting away from your desk and shutting down your computer for a week, now villa owners and hotels cannot rent their properties unless it has a good Wi-Fi signal! Being able to update your Facebook profile on a daily basis is apparently an essential facility these days. All this is great but having work emails streaming to your smartphone while you are on holiday is not the most relaxing thing. It also means that the days of truly escaping the day to day rat race and the ‘ding’ of mobile phones is now a distant memory.
Technology has massively changed the face of backpacking over the last ten years. A decade ago if you had headed off for a round the world adventure the only contact you would have with your loved ones at home would be via email (sent from an internet café) or the odd phone call from a phone box. These days it is possible to Skype or Face Time from pretty much anywhere that has a Wi-Fi signal; pictures of your travels will no doubt be posted to social media sites for all to see before you get home and WhatsApp means that you can send instant messages to the folks at home while you are on the beach.
Whether we like it or not, technology is well and truly embedded in our lives. For the most part this is a good thing. It makes booking holidays easier; it means you can research where you should eat and what you should do in your chosen destination; and it means that doing things like checking bank balances or transferring money while you are on holiday infinitely easier than it was ten years ago. What we must try to do is not to let technology detract from experiences. People are so used to staring at a smartphone screen, taking selfies or generally blocking the world out that they are at risk of missing out on the true joys of travel.
Remember, technology is great but make time to talk to the locals, jump in the sea, read a good book, watch the sunset, eat great food and RELAX… That’s what holidays are for.