Planning our vacations and trips is already networked. We book flights, cars and hotels online. We find our way with GPS, and we share the daily highlights of our trips through social media. So what else is around the corner that can simplify our travel plans?
As more and more of us become smartphone owners, I think local tour companies could send short promotional videos about their offerings to visitors upon arrival at our hotel, so we don’t have to flip through paper brochures in the hotel lobby and maybe miss theirs.
When you book a tour, each tourist’s mobile number could be registered in the host’s mobile computer, so they can send us details about pickup and drop-off times, delays and other additional information via text.
Social-media tools have the potential to be used to check in for excursions, replacing the handling of paper vouchers and booking receipts. Enhanced driving directions through GPS could allow drivers to drive in less developed places, and perhaps even translate foreign road signs as we pass them. And while the printed guidebook will still be with us for a while longer, I expect most of them will be distributed online, optimized for smartphone rather than PC access.
In addition to all of the above possibilities, wouldn’t it be wonderful if taxis all around the world accepted payment by card or smartphone. I think this is one of the main reasons why people still need to change money into local currencies. Taxi drivers in many countries still do not accept credit cards, even in London, and most travelers don’t like to carry cash. Perhaps new smartphone-based payment applications such as the taxi app in New York will allow us to meet halfway.
What would make your next trip run a little more smoothly?