By Sandra Atemo
Ones destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things ~ Henry Miller
There is no better feeling than the idea of packing your bags and heading to a far off destination either to seek adventure, to learn, to explore, or just to escape from the harsh reality happening around you. Looking back over the years, so much has changed with regards to travel; from travel bookings, transport, and other travel activities. Thanks to the continuous growth and evolution of digital age, travel is much simpler, fun, and life fulfilling.
I remember when my family took a trip to the United Arab Emirates in 2006 and we used a travel agency to make the travel arrangements. We overlooked the internet and thought it was best to use the agency because they were more knowledgeable and experienced. The agency went ahead and booked us two units of one bedroom self catering apartments. When we arrived in Dubai, we found out that we had the choice of paying for one apartment and request for extra beds to be added in the living room instead of paying for two apartments which was double the expense! When we later looked up this information on the internet, all this information that the agency failed to provide was available. The agency did not give us a choice.
If we had used the internet to go about our travel plans, we could have saved more money and extended our visit. With a click of a button or a tap on a screen, one can effortlessly plan their entire trip. The Internet has made it possible for industries dealing with tourism to establish platforms in which they can market to their customers and communicate directly with them. Tourists have grabbed this opportunity and are now booking flights, hotels, planning their transport in their destinations; all in the comfort of their own homes. This experience certainly made me have a different outlook on how the internet can be a life and be a money saver.
With increase in popularity on travel, there has been as significant growth in travel websites and applications that act as a platform where tourists can get travelling advice and travel guides to make their trips ore adventurous, unforgettable, and most importantly, more comfortable. Sites such as Trip advisor https://www.tripadvisor.com/ were created to offer any important information that tourists would benefit from, from hotel choices, best restaurants around the globe, most popular places in your current destination, hotel reviews, hotel rates, vacation rentals and information on flights. Other popular sites such as Road trippers https://www.tripping.com/ and Google maps provide a platform where tourists can get information on car and home rentals, traffic flow, directions and good places to stop en route to their destination. Expedia https://www.expedia.com/ is another great example of a popular application that tourists often use to search for travel, booking and rental information. In addition, this site gives suggestions to travelers involving the most exciting destinations with the most exciting travel activities and experience in general.
Not only has the internet contributed to exciting adventures and experiences, it has also provided a platform for individuals to share their travel experiences with other people. Today, travel blogs are popping up every minute. Individuals have now realized that they share their experiences through you- tube videos by creating channels and posting their adventures in form of episodes; also known as you tube blogs. Moreover, creatives have grabbed this opportunity and through the media, they have produced television programs with the aim of travelling to different destinations and sharing their experiences with the world hoping to motivate and influence viewers to travel more and explore the world. Just recently, hotels at the Coast of Kenya and Lamu Islands promoted tourism and travel through Kenya’s most popular lifestyle bloggers and television personalities like Sharon Mundia, Mandi Sarro as well as the country’s most popular photographer, Victor Peace.
Consequently, before we travel, my family and I now take to the internet and search for hotels. We are able not only to make a choice of hotel but even view menus, have a feel of the rooms and even chat about the hotel before we settle on any one. When we finally are on holiday, with platforms like Instagram and Snap chat, I am able to freely share my experiences with the world and look back at them in future.
Through my experiences in travel and by following other people’s travel escapes, I can say that travel has greatly changed for the better due to the internet. Travel plans are achieved so effortlessly because any information that travelers are likely to seek is available within a click of a button. I am excited to see the amount of growth in travel as years go by and appreciate the magnitude of influence that digital age has played in this field.