by Jim Hunt – author, speaker, consultant
As I get ready to take off on another trip, I think about how much things have changed in the last thirty or so years in the world of travel.
Something as simple as wheels on a suitcase made lugging a fifty pound bag a different experience, and when they added two more wheels, you suddenly had a travel companion that rolled along beside you and rarely fell over!
The smartphone is another travel innovation that has dramatically changed how we communicate. In the old days you would exit a plane and see a row of pay phones lined up along the wall with a line of people calling to let people know they arrived. Now you can text or call as soon as the plane touches down and arrange for a pickup or let your loved ones know you are there safely. The camera on the phone is also handy to remind you where you parked your car in the vast airport parking lots.
GPS and other mapping software programs have made the huge atlases obsolete and have made driving around big cities a breeze. It used to take days of planning and a visit to AAA before heading out on vacation, where now you simply put in your destination and it magically tells you what time you will get there.
The advent of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft have radically changed getting around and added some needed competition in the taxi industry. I’ve used Uber a good bit in the past couple of years and have had great service and minimal problems.
Email and texting are also a big help when you are on the road. I used to carry big binders of information on trips, but now I rarely need much more than my iPhone. While I have to admit that I was once reluctant to text, I now could not live without it. Instead of leaving long messages on voicemail, a quick text delivers the message efficiently and quickly.
Even paperless tickets are a simple innovation that makes life so much easier. I can remember the days of racing home to pick up the ticket I had forgotten while now you head to the airport without worrying if you have your boarding pass.
Credit and debit cards are also an overlooked innovation that are not appreciated, but remembering back to travelers checks and carrying large amounts of cash, you soon are happy to have those plastic cards in your wallet. I rarely even check to see if I have cash when I leave on a trip, knowing that I can hit an ATM machine almost anywhere in the world.
While there are still some things that make travel challenging, I don’t think I would ever go back to the “good old days”.
Have an Amazing Day!