How Has Technology Changed The Way We Travel?

How Has Technology Changed The Way We Travel?


We live in a world that is constantly growing smaller and smaller with each new technological development and scientific advancement. Society has been speeding up and we have shifted from a world of ‘I want this soon’ to a world of ‘I want this now’. But how has this new way of thinking coupled with the technological advancements of our time changed travel?


Technology has revolutionized the way that we plan our vacations or long term travel plans. For vacations we would have to physically go to a travel agency and speak to a person to book flights and hotels. Today, we have cut out all human interaction and we can do all of this ourselves with the swipe of a touchscreen.

For backpacking, whether it is to teach abroad in another country or see the world, this has also had a dramatic effect, not only on how we travel, but how we think about travel. 20 years ago, a backpacker would land in their destination with minimal plans and, working from a travel book and speaking to locals, find their way around their new destination. Fast-forward to today and you already know all of the popular spots to check out, all of the best places to eat at, and which tourist attractions should be given a miss without ever leaving your couch.

A part of me admires the technological advancement and how easy it has made travel for us. Another part of me wonders how much this is taking away from the adventure of travel.

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Getting lost

Lost. Again, let’s rewind 20 years. You took a few wrong turns and you have gotten yourself lost in the streets of Vietnam. At this point you really should be worrying, however, the bright side is that you’ve discovered some new and interesting side streets, and you’ve stumbled upon a temple that you didn’t know was there.

Fast-forward to today. Anybody armed with a Smartphone and a wifi connection finds themselves not lost, but found.  It can be almost impossible to get lost these days as there is always a giant pin with the letter “A” that’s beamed down from the skies to pin you to your destination. I am, of course, referring to Google maps.

That said, wifi isn’t everywhere, and not everyone has a Smartphone. People are still out there, getting lost and discovering new parts of the world. But for how long? It feels like it’s only a matter of time before this changes. Getting lost will soon become a thing of the past.


Once again I shall transport you back 20 years in my literary time machine to the lone backpacker who is off on a journey of discovery. Back then, communicating with the rest of the world is difficult and people only hear from you when you get to a good landline or decide to write home.

Fast-forward to today, and your recent experiences and adventures are already tweeted, Instagramed, liked and shared while you’re in the moment. This is a great way to share what you are doing with the world. An added bonus is that you can log into Skype and put those worried parents’ minds at ease. If you can get them online, that is…

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Reviews are everywhere and they are usually a quick go-to for people thinking of going away to a certain area. They are really handy when you are traveling as they guide you in the right direction in terms of accommodation, food, locations, transport and attractions. These, of course, were not present in the past, and it became a kind of trial and error or word of mouth as to where to go and what is good or bad. Today we can simply jump online for this information.

Reviews have not only changed travel for travelers, but also for businesses as reviews have created a competitive market for hotels, hostels and areas. This is raising the standards of travel, which is really good news for travelers, but bad news for small businesses that can’t keep up with the speed of this growth.


53% of Chicago adults?

Information has become extremely accessible; it is literally at your finger tips and has had a profound impact on the way that we travel. Let’s say that you have decided to teach English in Korea for a year, you have booked your flights and have only given yourself around a month before you go, leaving you no time to learn the Korean language. Is this a problem? No, it’s not! If you have your smartphone, you can be ready at any moment to whip out Google Translate and have whole sentences converted for you in an instant!

Maybe you are going to live in China for a few years and need a quick China country guide to read through, telling you all about the history of China or Chinese culture. All you have to do is type the words into a search engine and hey presto! Your information is right there, you didn’t have to go to a library, and you didn’t have to look through 17 books until you found what you were looking for. You simply touched a screen.

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My point here is that travel has been made so much easier and more accessible for us by technology, with information at our fingertips and different online organizations aiding you in your travels. So many more people are deciding to travel these days, all because of the technological advancements of our time.

Since the birth of technology travel has been rapidly changing, we have found new ways to make travel easier and more exciting. Above are just some of the ways that technology has changed travel, can you think of more? We would love to hear them.

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  1. […] with the locals or using trial and error to discover the best places to eat at or sites to see. As ReachToTeach  expresses, technology is in a way taking away the adventure of travel as backpackers arrive with […]

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