I’ve made it a point over the last few years to travel more. In fact, in 2018, I traveled to more countries than I had ever done before in my life. Part of being a travel blogger is writing about the changing travel experience, not just the new places you visit. When you’re a loyal AT&T customer, you get used to staying connected to the internet at home. However, this past year has taught me we need the internet has changed more than just our personal and professional lives. It has also changed the way we travel. So let’s explore how it has done that.
10 Ways the Internet Has Changed Travel
Whenever I travel to new places, I want to share my experiences instantly with the people who want them. At times like this, I am very grateful for the internet. However, many other times, the internet can prove to be annoying. You come to rely on it so much that it affects your travel decisions. It’s frustrating how the internet is a necessity and convenience at the same time. Here’s how it’s been quietly changing the way we travel without you noticing:
- Instant Photo Uploads
- Work while Traveling
- Local News
- Less Paper
- Accessible Travel Info
- Fewer Devices to Carry
- Online Banking
- Meet New People
- Online Bookings
So much about travel has changed about travel in the last decade that it has turned into a competitive, cut-throat industry. Here’s how the internet has impacted the travel experience.
Instant Photo Uploads
No trip is complete without the hundreds of photos you capture to take some memories back with you. When I was growing up, we had film cameras. This meant we only had a limited number of photos per film, and we had to carry lots of extra film and batteries. Not to mention we had to wait until one of our parents had the time to get the film developed at a convenience store. If you lost a film or damaged it, that particular memory was gone. Not so with the internet. It lets you take photos and videos and instantly share them with friends and family over social media. This has also reduced the bulky film cartridges and batteries you had to lug around.
Work While Traveling
This is how I make my bread and butter. I travel the world and write about different places while visiting them. I post updates and blogs for my followers. But this does not just apply to me. Business executives traveling abroad stay connected to their work while on-the-go. This lets them stay available in case an emergency arises. They can even permanently work from different countries. The internet has definitely done wonders for internet mobility.
You could choose to stay internet-free while traveling. This is one of the most freeing experiences I know. But it also means you’re in an information blackout. You can’t get local news on weather warnings, disasters or even cultural events. Your travel experience would be entirely up to the elements. Astonishing how people traveled without the internet, isn’t it?
Here’s one of the greenest things about the internet. It eliminates the need for paper. That means you don’t need to carry around guidebooks, flight tickets or maps with you. Your phone, connected to the internet, can handle everything for you. You get nearby attractions and maps from a simple Google search. Most airlines let you carry a digital boarding pass. Who says you can’t be easy on the environment while on vacation?
Accessible Travel Info
This is somewhat related to the point above. The internet offers you essential information that could be crucial when you’re making travel decisions. You can plan your itinerary, budget your trip and find the best places to stay. You can check reviews and blogs about the places you’re thinking of visiting. And you don’t even need a guide, Google can take you anywhere you want to go. You can even read up on local customs and etiquettes so you don’t come along as a bumbling foreigner. You can even quickly learn a few local phrases.
Fewer Devices to Carry
This is more thanks to smartphones, but the internet has played its part as well. Back in the day, I had my cellphone, my digital camera, and my iPod as well as a CD player and headphones on me. Now I just have 1 or 2 devices. The internet gets me all the entertainment I need from songs to movies, to TV shows. My phone or tablet is all I need to navigate through new places.
Back in the day, the only funds while traveling were the traveler’s checks and the cash in your wallet. If they ran out or were stolen, you were done for. There was no easy way to get hold of more emergency funds. But the internet changed that with online banking. You can now access your bank account from anywhere with an internet connection and make transactions easily. Convenient isn’t it? Be glad you weren’t in charge of travel plans in the ’90s.
Meet New People
Back in the day, you met people abroad and they became your pen-pals. You would stay in touch after your vacation through snail mail and handwritten letters. But the internet had other ideas in mind. Social media totally changed the way you meet new people. These days, you can find the people you met on a night out on Facebook and easily stay in touch. It helps you connect on the road with people you may otherwise not have met.
Online dating has gone a long way in breaking down the boundaries between the genders. It eliminates the awkward initial chat-up phase by connecting people who positively like each other. At least they like how the other person looks. Using apps like Tinder on the go lets you see local singles nearby. You could match with someone and experience the local flavor of the place you visit.
This is one area that has perhaps changed the most with the internet. There’s no need for a travel agent to handle your trip. You can do everything from booking last minute flights to getting hotel rooms with the internet. Airbnb has let people break the tourist barrier and experience the local culture firsthand. Most of the time you meet fun locals, share their space and get to see their lives better. In my experience, locals are usually much friendlier than even AT&T wireless customer service. You can use the power of the internet to reach out to them, make arrangements and connect with them. All from the comfort of a handheld device or a computer. Travel doesn’t get any easier!
Hi, Venessa here. I am a writer by choice and digital marketing consultant with experience of working with various startups in the past 8 years. With a mix of creativity and analytical abilities, I have helped many online businesses. I can proudly claim a big part in their success story. Well, most of the times. When I’m not working which is not often, you will see me watching cooking shows nonstop – thanks to my reliable AT&T service! Yes, my second passion is cooking for my friends over the weekend. Couldn’t ask for more!