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Tech has changed travel for the better: Why we can no longer travel without the internet

The internet has done more for travel than creating virtual tourists.

They say travel broadens the mind, which is true. However, in the digital age, we can turn this saying on its head thanks to the internet. Not only does the internet broaden the mind, it broadens people’s horizons, quite literally. People can get distant insights from faraway lands by surfing the internet. Indeed, even a quick search on Google maps provides street views of every major city in the world. That’s great, if you’re researching travel destinations, but the internet has done more for travel than creating virtual tourists.

New opportunities await online travelers
The internet has actually made traveling to different countries easier. What’s more, it’s created new ways for people to unlock travel opportunities. For example, if you’re a blogger with a large enough audience, hotels and travel companies are willing to send you somewhere for free. Then there are loyalty schemes.

Exodus Travels, a company that specializes in excursions to places such as Everest, has a loyalty scheme. Members can join the Globetrotter scheme online and receive up to 10% off bookings as well as other perks. Online betting companies offer a similar service. Although online US sportsbooks might seem completely disconnected from the travel industry, they too have loyalty schemes through which customers can earn free trips.

BetMGM, for example, has a reward scheme through which sports bettors can earn points. These points contribute to a customer’s VIP status which, in turn, unlocks rewards. These rewards include free stays at MGM hotels, discounting Avis car rental, airport transfers, and complimentary flights. Again, thanks to the internet, people not only have more ways to travel but travel for less.

Digital tech makes traveling easier
Beyond the benefits of discounts and free trips, the internet has made the actual process of traveling easier. Today, we think nothing of booking flights, checking in for flights, and monitoring takeoff times via our smartphones. Go back 25 years and none of these things were possible. It’s the same for booking hotels and transportation. Then, of course, our phones ensure we get from Point A to Point B in the quickest time through route planners such as Google Maps.

We don’t really even need to exchange our money anymore. Yes, it’s always a good idea to have at least some local currency, but carrying bundles of cash is no longer necessary thanks to challenger banks such as Monzo. Because they purely exist online, Monzo et al don’t need to charge additional fees for using your card abroad. Instead, they let you make payments at the daily exchange rate. This makes it cheaper to use your card and, in turn, easier for you to spend while you’re abroad.

All of these innovations demonstrate why travel companies in the US spend over $3.5 billion on digital advertising alone. Executives know the value of the internet and the value it’s brought to the travel industry. Booking.com alone had over 510 million visits in October 2022. Travel and digital technology are now intimately linked. Almost all of us book holidays online, find discounts online, manage our trips online, and much more. So, while it’s true that travel broadens the mind, it’s also true that the internet has broadened the travel industry’s mind.

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