The way that we travel has changed a lot in the last decade. Not only has air travel expanded massively, making it far easier for many of us to hop on a plane than it ever has been before, but what people want out of travel has changed too. Unsurprisingly, travel companies are acting quickly to respond to what the market wants and are now offering all sorts of new experiences in an attempt to win over a new generation of millennial customers and keep their parents coming back as well. In this article, we’ll look at three of the ways that travel has changed beyond all recognition over the last ten years.
1. The way we plan and book our trips has changed
Booking travel on the internet was fairly common 10 years ago, but booking travel on your phone certainly wasn’t. Indeed, many observers believed that most people simply wouldn’t be willing to carry out high-value transactions on their mobile devices. Now, people do it all the time. 87% of travellers in India, for example, now book their entire trip through their mobile phone and 67% of holidaymakers in Brazil now say that they rely on their mobile phone at every point in their journey. Many of us would now struggle to navigate a foreign city without access to a service like Google Maps. Our phones also allow us to be much more spontaneous when we travel: it’s now possible to find an off the beaten track restaurant, translate the menu, take a few snaps of your meal and pay the bill, all using your mobile phone. Phones have also had quite a lot to do with our next major travel innovation.
2. We now document our trips for everybody else
Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, uploading the best bits of our holidays to make all of our friends jealous is now a huge part of almost any trip. Two-thirds of Britons have admitted that they feel jealous when they see other people’s holiday photos, and the numbers are always rising. There have even been reports of some tourists suffering terrible injuries or even falling to their deaths in an attempt to take a great photo for their social media account.
Digital photography was common a decade ago but most of us took a bunch of photos, showed a few of them to our friends when we returned home and then stored them on our computer, rarely to be looked at again. The popularity of social media is also pushing some travellers to look for more unusual and off the beaten track experiences in an attempt to get better stories for their social media feeds.
3. We are visiting new and more exotic places
Even people who only travel for a few weeks a year aren’t content with spending it sunbathing on a beach anymore. Lots of people are choosing to head to faraway places for their travels and, in today’s hyper-connected world, that’s hardly surprising. It’s harder than ever before to truly disconnect from your life and your friends back home (especially when you’re updating your social media feeds every few minutes) and it has become necessary to take longer and more challenging journeys to do so. As a result, countries like Vietnam, Egypt and Palestine have achieved growth rates of over one-third over the last few years (and this shows little sign of slowing down). As travellers from countries like India and China find that they have the world at their fingertips for the very first time, demand for travel is going up year-on-year, making it even harder to truly get away from it all.
The way that most of us travel has changed almost beyond recognition over the past few years and there is every chance that it will do so again over the next decade. Trends come and go but it seems like the latest generation has been truly bitten by the travel bug – the only question is where will they go next?