Everything changes over time, and traveling is no exception. One of the things that changed the way we travel today is the wonder we call the smartphone. Some things become easier, while others are obsolete. What has changed?
You no longer have to physically appear at a travel agency to get your plane, bus, or train tickets. All you need to do is visit the site or app of the hotel you want to book, pay directly from another app on your phone, reserve a time slot, and simply appear when you are supposed to do so. You can also use your phone to buy tickets for concerts and sporting events in the city you wish to visit. The technology has advanced so much that you can practically choose your room, meal options, and sitting arrangements.
Tourists had foldable maps and, in some cases, they still use them. With Google Maps and, even better, Google Street View, you can see exactly where you are and where your destination is. Unless you are planning on traveling in the middle of nowhere, you can use your phone to navigate easily through a completely unknown area.
There are many language learning apps. If you are planning on visiting a foreign country, it is a good idea to master at least some of the more common phrases. Not only that, but there are also translating apps, that allow you to see the signs and translate them to see where your hotel is or what it is you are about to order. It is also much easier to talk to the locals. Just type the phrase into the translator and let it do the rest.
Provided you have coverage, you don’t need to be a part of a tour to get the information you need about the site you are visiting. For example, say you are visiting a gallery. You can search online for the biography of the most prominent artists whose works are displayed there. You can also learn more about their art, its meaning, and inspiration. The same goes for museums and historic sites.
Some of the most common souvenirs people would bring from the trip are pictures and postcards of the place. Now, every smartphone is equipped with a decent camera, so it is easy for you to take pictures of the places you are visiting, as well as the mood of the situation you are in. This renders postcards obsolete, as people tend to immediately post their pictures on social media.
We had boredom. Bus and train rides, delayed flights, and barely missing a ferry meant that you would have to find a way to entertain yourself and your companions with some games or chatting. The lucky ones had a book or two they could use to pass the time. Nowadays, all the fun you need is just a click, or swipe, away. You can download a new game in a matter of seconds and, as soon as you’re bored of it, move on to something else. You can also listen to music and watch movies with your phone.