Top 10: Changes in Travel

20th August 2013
Pól Ó Conghaile

In just a few short years, technology has changed the way we travel almost beyond recognition. Here’s what we’ve lost… and gained.

1) Goodbye: Maps. Hello: Sat Nav

Gone are the hours spent arguing on motorways and street corners… in theory.

2) Goodbye: Postcards. Hello: Social Media

We still send silly pictures and short messages on holiday. But texts, tweets and status updates have knocked the humble card and stamp for six.

3) Goodbye: Bum Bags. Hello: Bank Cards

Ok, ‘fanny packs’ remain essential accessories on the tour bus circuit. But a simple bank or credit card wipes out the need for Travellers’ Cheques and costly visits to the Bureau de Change.

4) Goodbye: Film. Hello: Digital cameras

Remember worrying whether the X-Ray machine would zap your holiday snaps?

5) Goodbye: Phone cards. Hello: Smartphones

Online booking, social media… the possibilities are endless. They make phone calls too.

6) Goodbye: Guidebooks. Hello: Apps

A dog-eared Lonely Planet or Rough Guide once took pride of place on every self-respecting backpacker’s bookshelf. Today, if all fits on your phone.

7) Goodbye: Check-in. Hello: QR Codes

“Using a QR code to self-check my luggage in Schiphol Airport has to be the most convenient and modern piece of technology I have used yet,” says Adriaan Bartels of the Cliff House Hotel.

8) Goodbye: Beach books. Hello: Kindle

One device, hundreds of books. Take a bow, Amazon.

9) Goodbye: Liquids. Hello: Body-scanners

After 9/11, airport security would never be the same.

10) Goodbye: Concorde. Hello: Space tourism

Virgin Galactic recently moved into the final phase of vehicle testing prior to the start of its commercial services from Spaceport America. Full space flight is expected this year.