Experts Identify 7 Innovations That Will Change Our Travel Experience

Top 7 Travel Innovations
Travel Pulse

If we are lucky, some of the things listed below will actually come to fruition. Vacationers heading out for one of the best all inclusive resorts in the Caribbean should consider the travel innovations that are here today or coming to a trip near you soon.

While we have given up on the prospect of soaring through the skies in a DeLorean that can travel through time, we have welcomed the idea of self-driving cars, virtual reality and RFID chips.

We asked TravelPulse writers to consider the year that was and come back with those innovations that really sparked a revolution in the industry.

Presented for your consideration are those things that left the travel world forever changed. And as you will soon see, they left it changed for the better.

MIKE ISENBEK, SENIOR EDITOR: Self-driving vehicles will take off, though the technology hasn’t been perfected yet, but given enough time, the kinks will be ironed out. Think about it, a decade or so from now: you land at the airport (on a plane that already has autopilot), take a cab to the hotel, then a bus around a city for sightseeing, and maybe go on an excursion out of the urban area — and all these vehicles transporting you won’t have drivers.

JANEEN CHRISTOFF, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: I think that VR is going to start to really change how we travel. Travel companies have begun to use this technology already and it can be a powerful selling tool. To actually be able to see yourself in a destination has a big impact on potential travelers and as this technology becomes more attainable, I think that more companies and travel agencies will begin to use it.

GABE ZALDIVAR, SENIOR WRITER, TECH TRENDS: Artificial intelligence has become far more ingrained in the industry than it has in the past. Sadly, this doesn’t mean we have androids that hang out around our homes as we have seen in the movies. However, it does mean we have OTAs, email services and apps that easily and seamlessly scour the Internet and our own drives for travel suggestions, advice and help.

Take a look at Hipmunk’s Hello Hipmunk for example. It seamlessly uses chat and email to make travel an infinitely easier enterprise. This will only continue across the industry and we should embrace that fact.

PATRICK CLARKE, SENIOR WRITER, BREAKING NEWS: Although digital check-in isn’t something hotel guests can utilize at any property around the globe at this point, the industry made significant strides with the technology in 2016 and news that is trialing a mobile app capable of generating electronic room keys is also promising.

While the traditional front desk likely isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, there’s something special about being able to check into your hotel, in some cases selecting your room and then being able to unlock your door with nothing more than your smartphone.

DONALD WOOD, SENIOR WRITER, BREAKING NEWS: In 2016, ride-hailing service Uber unveiled a new fleet of self-driving cars, which the company tested in the Pittsburgh market. The self-driving cars were equipped with level-three autonomy that allowed the vehicles to accelerate, brake and steer on their own. Each car will still need a driver to ensure everything goes according to plan, but are we looking at the future of the car rental and ride-hailing industry?

MICHAEL SCHOTTEY, SENIOR EDITOR/WRITER: Expedient travel isn’t a zero-sum game. Many in the business travel community would love it if they were the only ones with Clear, TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, but it’s just not that way.

So, it doesn’t actually help a traveler on the go for others to go more slowly. Think of it this way: If everyone was moving as quickly as the most experienced travelers, customs agents wouldn’t need to waste their time on those lagging behind—freeing them up to help you! Mobile Passport has some kinks in the early stages, but is a great way of keeping customs lines moving for the people who don’t travel enough to need Global Entry.

BARRY KAUFMAN, MANAGING EDITOR: The edible tech rolled out by British Airways is just part of an odd trend in blending technology with our bodies – recall the embeddable boarding pass we covered last year. There may come a time when a quick retinal scan or a speedy check of your built-in RFID chip will be all you need to clear security and board your flight.

Which is terrifying, as the future often tends to be.

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About Jake Johnson 247 Articles
Jake Johnson is a full-time travel bum, who prefers warm climates where the women wear less clothing. We've tried to teach him things like manners and diplomacy, but we've given up and simply rely on our editors to remove the most offensive bits from his articles. We take no responsibility for his inane ramblings opinions - they are his own.
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