Stand back from the platform edge – the future of travel is fast approaching in the form of round-the-world sub-orbital spaceflight, vacation trips to the moon and human exploration of Mars. Trials have also begun on SpaceX’s hyperloop, which is basically a train travelling in a vacuum tube. When it comes to cool factor, though, we’re not quite at the level of Marty McFly’s DeLorean.
Just as with communication, technology has had a significant impact on how we travel. The oldest living person, Kane Tanaka, was born at a time when horses and carts and motor vehicles were just starting to compete for space in urban environments. In the year of her birth, the Wright brothers successfully piloted the first aeroplane. In one person’s lifetime (granted, this is an exceptionally long-lived human being), humanity has gone from animal-powered transportation to landing on the moon (using 160 000 000 horsepower of thrust to get there).
It’s clear that technology has enabled us to go further for longer, but let’s look a bit deeper.
We travel more, and greater distances
The most obvious contribution that technology has made to travel is that we can now reach almost any place in the world. Our ancestors managed just fine without jet engines and populated the planet, but the recent crop of humans need a bit of help. As a result, tourism has seen a massive boom since the introduction of mass air travel in the 1950s.
Travel with the sharing economy
With services like Airbnb and Uber, you’re in control of your whole travel experience. When you plan your next trip, do a bit of research about what you want to see and do, and book an apartment or home close to the sights using the Airbnb app. In some cities you can also book experiences hosted by locals, ranging from goat-friendly to eclectic.
Living your #BestLife
What’s the point of travelling to Ha Long Bay if you’re not going to gloat about it a little? Thanks to your powerful smartphone, you can take amazing pics, apply a suitable filter (or go #nofilter to generate the most envy) and post your holiday snaps for everyone to see.
Find the best food / nightlife / karaoke bar
When it comes to food, trust crowds. In a busy market, avoid the lonely stall that doesn’t have a queue snaking up and down. With apps like EatOut and TripAdvisor (iOS and Android), you can find the best spots and even book a table.
While away the in-between times
The one downside to global travel is the inevitable times of waiting. Waiting for a flight, or standing in a queue to clear passport control, or waiting for your luggage. If you’ve done all your stretches and exhausted all the options at duty-free, take out your trusty phone and play some of the all-time best mobile games ever. This is my go-to list when I can’t deal anymore:
- World of Goo (iOS and Android)
- Plants vs Zombies (iOS and Android)
- Hoplite (iOS and Android)
- Bastion (iOS only)
You can travel from your couch
For many people, it’s not feasible to take two weeks off to see the world. With a combination of virtual reality and projects such as Google Street View Treks, it’s now possible to see the world through your TV.
The tech that will get you there
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