If you turn the clock in time to a couple of decades ago, planning your perfect holiday might have required a visit to the travel agent, or being that adventurous and daring traveller with a well-written guidebook, relying on the trusted word-of-mouth suggestions to set in their travel agenda. Today, thanks to the amazing breakthroughs in technology, and especially the internet, travellers can have easy access to almost everything!
Here are several aspects of traveling that has evolved since the emergence of technology.
1. Planning is so much easier! Gone are the days when we had to go to travel agents for the best prices and places to stay. With the Internet and how tech-savvy we have all become, people turn to their own technology to browse, compare and purchase conveniently from wherever they are.
All you need to do is go online to hunt down the best flight deals according to price and time. Do further research from reviews from the people on the Internet, and with a few clicks, you’re done!
Otherwise, skip the queue and take the “Online Check-In” line and not worry so much if you’re running late! You can sneak in some time for a cup of coffee before flying off with the self-service bag drops as well. The airports we have today allows us to check-in online and check our seats too.
There’s just so many platforms use to book now through trusted websites such as Booking.com or Agoda.com, staying at a stranger’s home (Airbnb), or the hostels which you can look up online. There’s a wide range of useful tips and advice shared by others on their blogs or travel websites as well.
When you’re tired from all the shopping and sight-seeing, you just want to go back to your hotel. No one enjoys standing in line waiting for a taxi. Services such as Uber and Grab let you book a ride using an application on your phone to wherever you are.
Now, you don’t need to think of places to go because everything is written for you. There’s no more fuss opening multiple tabs online and asking people about places of interest because Pinterest got you covered! Ah, life has gotten so much easier.
I was once abroad and I wanted to find this one cafe that I’ve heard so many good reviews about, however, the cafe was quite hidden and hard to find. I managed to find it though, with the help of the map on my phone called Waze. Although it’s fun, I can’t imagine myself using the traditional map and getting lost and going around in circles.
From deciding your destination, finding out about the weather, the location of hotels and train stations, and looking up for itineraries available, the mystery of travel has been somewhat lost now that we are able to check our places of interest from a hundreds of angles before we even step onto the country itself.
2. No more negligence for a Muslim. Muslim traveller mustn’t neglect their duties to God, but one might face the struggle of not knowing the local prayer times; determining the direction of the Qiblah; trying to find out whether a meal is Muslim-friendly or not.
These problems can be solved thanks to the modern day technology and the ingenious thinking. Mobile apps make it possible to convey the important Muslim-friendly information, just with a few taps on setting where your location is.
- MuslimPro – This app tells you the prayer times and has a built-in Qiblah locator. You can also read the Qur’an and choose if you want to listen to recitations, and have translations in various languages.
- Have Halal, Will Travel – This app is your one stop place to go to find the best halal eateries, attractions and the nearest places to perform your prayers.
- iQuran – Read the Quran while you’re on the go for there is a lot of benefits and you’ll feel protected during your travels. The app comes with a translation too and you’re able to bookmark your ayahs.
- Crescent Trips – It alerts users on the prayer time and the direction of the Qiblah, even when the mobile phone is offline. You can use it to find out about the halal eateries and prayer facilities at the airports. It even has all the travel dua(s) that you need just with a few clicks.
3. Capturing moments with just a click. Who here remembers their father or their grandfather carrying a bulky camera with Kodak film rolls, or a handheld video camera, and printing them at the shop, or watching the videos on videotapes? I most certainly do!
However, cameras now have developed and advanced in so many ways that we can imagine and so are our phones, becoming more and more sophisticated. It’s so convenient to capture memories you probably cannot do again (or else will never be the same), to relive and show them to our future generations to come, or simply for our own keeping. You can use a GoPro that’s waterproof and shockproof, to film your adventurous activities, be it underwater or up in the air, or going to a concert of your favourite bands.
With these photos and videos you have stored on your phone, memory card or your laptop, it makes it simpler to share the special moments in each entry. You’ll able to use the different softwares to edit your photos and videos. Some travellers may also start by sharing their travel experience abroad.
But of course, if you want something greater than the greatness of the camera phone, use the various types of cameras you can find at the store. It includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, so you can just upload them wherever you are.
4. Packing has never been more efficient. Our packing style has changed from bringing items that weighs our bag down (even before flying off – who can relate?) to just bringing one item. Instead of bringing reading books, you have Kindle or ebooks on your iPad. Instead of bringing a phrasebook, you have your iPad. Instead of bringing albums of CD’s and your portable media players, your discman or walkman, you can just use your iPod, your iPhone, your iTunes or Spotify account. In fact, if you need to, you can put it all in your… you guessed it right, iPad! Or any electronic tablets really.
Save the excess baggage for your other essential items or your shopped goods.
5. Language Barriers are pretty much beyond us. I’ve been to a country where they spoke little to no English, it was pretty difficult to communicate, but thankfully I had a local friend while I was there to help me translate. When I wasn’t with my friend however, I had to use an app that helps me with the simple words and directions that I couldn’t describe. With the ease of just installing an application onto your phone, or going on Google to translate words, who needs to carry a phrasebook on holiday? We can finally stop worrying that we need to mime what we want to locals in their country. Smartphones are such great inventions.
6. Buying others’ recommendations. Its not a surprise that the Internet and social media has become a go-to tools to help us make proper decisions. Nowadays, people are often very comfortable documenting their trips, their activities and the delicious local food they indulge in. This has create favours and influences the viewers to try out what they try! Be it being read at their blog, watch over Youtube channel and any other social media platforms.
The same goes for airlines and travel agents, restaurants and travel fairs. If we as people just take one look at how someone looks excited in a photo or poster, there’s a high chance that we want to take their word and go for what they’re doing.