Technology has undeniably changed the way we travel. When I plan a vacation, there are usually multiple spreadsheets of potential itineraries and budget numbers, docs full of information on certain places I want to visit within a destination, and things I want to do while there, and maps annotated to the point where it probably wouldn’t be surprising if yarn got involved.
I book my plane tickets online or check out the best gas prices on Google Maps if I’m driving. There are apps involved in nearly every aspect—Tock for restaurants, Booking.com or Airbnb for lodging, Rome2Rio for public transport info, Gaia GPS for navigation while out on trails, Google Translate to facilitate that I am not the polyglot I wish I was—and the list goes on. Sometimes I truly am astonished when I reflect on the fact that as a kid my parents would doggedly print out MapQuest turn-by-turn directions when we ventured out-of-state; and when that failed, they figured it out with an atlas. They called an airline’s booking hotline to buy airplane tickets on the two occasions we got to fly as a family—without even being able to compare prices instantaneously against other airlines to make sure they were getting the best price possible. It’s a glaring reminder that in my relatively short life, technology has massively changed how we travel, and it will continue to do so.
Entering the chat: ChatGBT, and the burgeoning world of artificial intelligence. In the past week, several major media outlets have published news on how AI is going to change how we travel—or will it really change anything at all (we’re looking at you, Clubhouse). We’ve got the short version of their findings here.