This year marks the decade anniversary for many things in my life such as being employed, being in a relationship and when I properly started to travel (directly correlated to being employed lol). I am also aware that this post also absolutely shows my age!
It got me reminiscing of what I did 10 years ago and scrolling through my Facebook timeline triggered so many memories that made me realise how different travel was a decade ago to now.
Researching Destinations and Holidays
First of all actually researching where to go was so different. I remember flicking through travel brochures at travel agents, or guide books. To check out hotel reviews, we relied heavily on TripAdvisor ratings as well as to see Traveller photos, as opposed to the professional photos shared by the hotels.
Nowadays, we research and learn more about destinations through blog sites (this is not a shameless plug), destination websites curated by tourism boards, online articles, friend’s photos on Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest.
Pinterest boards are so handy to save ideas and articles and share it with your travel buddies. You can even make private boards if you are planning a surprise, for example.
Once we have picked where we want to go, the way in which we book the trip now compared to a decade ago, has also changed.
I used to book through travel agents a lot but now tend to carry out the price comparison of booking each part of my trip separately vs as a package myself, online and then book accordingly.
I used to actually receive the travel confirmations and trip details in the post, such as the example pictured below from Virgin Holidays, when we had booked our first big long haul trip to the Caribbean, to Antigua and Barbuda. Now everything arrives via email 🙂
The choice used to be limited to conventional hotels or hostels or pitching up with friends. Now there are design hotels, boutique hotels, Airbnb, unusual accommodation such as the option to stay in igloos, as well as the rise in popularity and change in perception of cruises.
This decade has seen an increase in budget airlines, as well as some of the traditional players starting to charge for aspects of the flight which used to be free.
For example, we recently flew British Airways from London to Athens and realised it was a hand luggage only flight so if you wanted any checked in luggage you has to pay per bag per leg of the journey. My advice if you find yourself in this predicament is to take one bag (if it is a short haul flight or a short trip you do not need that much) and pay for it in advance to avoid any shocks at the airport.
Food is also sometimes not complimentary so you need to check these things and consider them when choosing an airline to fly with.
Travel documents are becoming paperless now with the ability to do online check in 24 hours before your flight and have your boarding passes emailed to you or texted to you.
You no longer have to carry your own luggage to the airport either if you don’t want to! There are services such as AirPortr, that my best friend recently used, where they pick up your bags from a London home address or office and take it to the airport for you.
Technology has meant that you can watch movies on your own devices, read books on your kindle and even chat to family and friends using onboard wifi on some airplanes! You are no longer limited to the movies shown by the airline or worse, have nothing to do as they don’t have TV screens in the case of some of the budget airlines.
Types of holiday
The types of holidays people are opting for are changing from cliche and conventional destinations towards more experience driven, unusual and off the beaten track trips. Solo travel has vastly gained popularity and people are travelling more than ever due to it becoming more accessible and affordable over the years.
Once you are on your holiday, you no longer have to take photos on a crappy mobile with low mega pixels, or lug your camera leads and laptop in order to share better quality pics, or wait till you are back home. The Camera quality compared to now was really different (or my photo skills were very questionable or both).
Technology and changes in social media platforms have meant that we can instantly share our experiences through video clips and photos using services such as Facebook Live, Insta Stories, Instagram and Snapchat.
Newer cameras now have wifi inbuilt which means you can upload the photos to your smart phone in minutes and share in seconds, after adding the appropriate filters!
The photo quality on smart phones has improved drastically and newer trends are coming in such as using drones. (Dear Santa, I am going to be good all year if I can have a drone as my present please).
Go Pros are also gaining popularity, especially for more adventurous or sporty holidays.
Selfies are now normal so if you are somewhere and you really want a photo of you and there is no tourist walking about who you can ask to take the photo for you, simply take it yourself 😉
Sharing pictures or staying in touch with family and friends whilst abroad no longer costs the earth too thanks to wifi being available more widely as well as roaming charges being so much cheaper compared to previous years.
Calling is also free thanks to Whatsapp and Facebook both having free calling services, as well as FaceTime which has taken over from Skype. No more £5 call cards that last 20 minutes!
Navigating whilst on holiday
There is less reliance on using physical maps (apart from my husband who swears by them) in favour of google maps and navigation tools available as apps on your smart phones, which are international, so you literally have no excuse to get lost or to not find that amazing restaurant you read about on my blog (nope not a shameless plug).
Guide books are becoming less favourable as now you can simply read blog posts, google things or have an e-book version on your phone or kindle.
Complaints and Feedback
While on holiday, if you encounter a bad (or good) service and want to share it with the airline or hotel, you no longer have to do it in a formal way. You can now tweet most of them directly as well as message them on their Facebook pages. This is a much faster way of getting a response, especially as many organizations see the value of keeping on top of their social media accounts due to reputational damage.
Sharing your holiday memories
Once you are back, some things have stayed constant, such as printing out your favourite holiday photos and framing them! Although saying that, you now do get digital frames in which you simply stick in a USB with your chosen photos and they play as a slideshow.
You can also upload your photo albums to Facebook, share your photos on Instagram or send them using services such as Google Drive, if they are big attachments.
You can even play around with video clips or if you are brave enough, upload them on YouTube.
I think this must have been an early attempt at blogging for me!
I would love to know if any of this resonates with you or if there are other things you have noticed that have changed in the travel space over the years. Drop me a comment in the comments section below 🙂