Top Travel Innovations of the Past 10 Years

Richard Moor - Feb 3, 2009

50 years ago, traveling was not as popular and comfortable as it is now. The transport was slow and exhausting, luggage heavy and most people were satisfied spending their holiday at home or in a summer cottage. Many things have changed since then that made traveling better and easier. asked its readers what they consider the top 10 most important travel improvements and Tourism Review brings you the results of the poll.

10. Online Maps

An online map is definitely a useful tool. Not just that you can look at the place you are going, the map also shows you the shortest or fastest way from your airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the nearest restaurant or museum. An even better idea is the photomap. It gives you the real impression of things and places almost anywhere in the world.

9. Digital Photography

Everybody knows it – with the “old-school” camera, you make hundreds of photos on your holiday, half of which are blurred, yet you only find out which half it is after you pay for developing them. With digital camera, you can make thousands of photos, check them on your computer, delete 90% of them and have only the best ones developed which saves time as well as money. Brilliant, isn’t it?

8. Online Flight Check-in

People who often travel by air do not have to spend minutes and hours in the ticket counter queue with other nervous travelers waiting for their boarding pass. All you have to do now is check-in online and print your ticket right away. You can even choose your seat or change it in case you simply must have the bulkhead seat.

7. GPS Navigation

Pretty cool thing to have in your car. Orientation gets much easier in cities you have never been to. All you have to do is set the precise address you want to reach and the smart little thing does the rest. It tells you when and where to turn and can even inform you about a traffic jam ahead and figure out the shortest detour. The era of straying is over.

6. Worldwide ATM Access

Anywhere in the world, any time you want, quickly and comfortably, you can withdraw your money from your account in the local currency, be it dollar, euro, crown or rouble. You do not have to wait until the bank opens and then explain the lady at the counter, who often doesn’t speak any language you know, how much money you want, or search for an exchange office. Very practical.

5. Cell Phones

No more looking for phone booths and carrying coins around in your pockets. If you get into trouble, all you have to do is dial the emergency number, anytime, anywhere. It has some cons too, though – your mama can check on you every day. Yet the pros prevail.

4. Global Internet Access

Internet access is a common service in many hotels and there are internet cafes in virtually every city of the developed world. You can thus operatively change you itinerary, book a flight ticket or keep in touch with your friends and family even while traveling to the opposite side of the world and send them fresh photos and news every day.

3. TripAdvisor

If you are not sure what destination to choose and which hotel to stay in, TripAdvisor is here for you. You can browse for other people’s – real people’s – real opinions and experiences and thus avoid a wrong choice. No more dirty beaches, lousy hotels with creepy staff and awful restaurants. On TripAdvisor, you can find information that would be quite hard or even impossible to get from any other source.

2. Online Travel Booking

Online travel booking is a true revolution in tourism. It enables you to plan your trip yourself and change plans as often as you like it. No more are travelers dependent on the travel agencies. You can find your destination online, book a hotel and a flight ticket or even reserve tickets for the theatre without having to leave your living room.

1. Roller Bags

The winner of this poll is quite surprising. One would guess that GPS or some other revolutionary technical innovation would make it to the very top, but all the smart digital machines got beaten by something as simple as a suitcase with tiny wheels. Yet, “vox populi,  vox dei”, the majority of travelers consider the roller bag to be a thing that contributed mostly to more comfortable and pleasant traveling.

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