Outer space, underwater suites, digital "travel buddies" and more await the future of travel, according to research professionals at Skyscanner.
Travel has come along way from the days of sitting at AAA planning out your mapped routes and hotel booking. We have the internet, and more importantly, we have hundreds of smartphone apps catered to making travel and the booking process as easy as possible. So how much further can we take it?
Skyscanner recently released a report called "The Future of Travel" detailing what travel may look like in just ten years. Among their findings are changes in booking, changes in transportation, and changes in destinations.
The booking process will be "as easy as buying a book on Amazon," with something called a Digital Travel Buddy being readily available and affordable to all travelers, which functions as an artificial intelligence device programmed to know all our travel preferences -- oh, and it will be able to simulate virtual travel experiences, so you can try out an hour in the Amazon before actually booking the trip.
In the second half of the report, Skyscanner depicts what going to the airport may be like. They suggest that, with your digital travel buddy (which would be in the form of a watch or an earpiece) will allow you to check in and drop your bag off at any spot in the airport, such as when you're buying a burger at McDonald's. Long lines no more. Boarding passes will no longer be in paper form, but will only require a simple facial-recognition scan to let you on board. And those dreaded security protocols? In 2024, new laser molecular scanners will check both passengers and their bags in a fraction of a second as they pass freely through the security area. Finally, in your seat on board, a built-in holographic media center will allow you to make 3D calls with your family as you're flying over the Atlantic.
The third and most exciting portion of the report details how destinations are going to change. New smart technology will allow hotel guests to control lighting, temperature, blinds, room service and more before stepping foot in their room. Guests may be confused by the blank picture frames upon arrival before realizing they're computer-controlled to allow guests to show pictures of their families, favorite band, movie poster or any other image that makes them feel at home. Ever wondered how clean you're actually getting in those low-pressure hotel showers? New technology will include sound waves that literally pull dirt from your skin, as well as ultra-violet lights showing what spots need a good once-over.
As far as destinations go, travel experts predict space travel will become readily affordable for most travelers by 2024, with many commercial airlines already planning their ticket costs to the moon. Starting in just 2016, World View Enterprises will carry passengers 20 miles above the Earth’s surface in a pressurized cabin suspended beneath a high-tech one-gallon helium balloon for an experience only astronauts have yet to have. If space isn't your bag, underwater hotels already exist but are growing in numbers, allowing visitors to stay in glass rooms with the ocean being their only walls.
Of course, Skyscanner is only estimating that this is where travel will be by 2024. But we sure can dream! Read on here for the full report.