Chances are when an idea for a destination pops into my mind, I was already checking something out online and it manifested into a possible trip as a result. So the internet is made extensive and perhaps even exclusive use of in the planning of a trip, long before it becomes officially confirmed as a forthcoming one.
That brings into view the question of just how people travelled prior to the prevalence and widespread access to the World Wide Web. I mean sure, being on my laptop or sitting in my study, at my desktop PC is perhaps the ultimate in devices I prefer to use in the planning of everything that has to do with an upcoming trip, but otherwise I can’t imagine how it would be if I didn’t have my smartphone in my pocket. Seriously – even if I’m just messing around and randomly checking out possible cheap flight dates, accommodation and just looking through some possible destinations I might like to visit, everything pretty much plays out online.
You read reviews online, because that’s where they’re concentrated and organised best so that you can perhaps sift through a really wide scope of the associated experiences. You book accommodation online. You book your flight ticket online and perhaps use your favourite booking platform so that you can accumulate some loyalty rewards points, etc…
Pretty much everything is done online…
I think it’s safe to say that the internet has indeed blown the travel industry wide open and it has effectively allowed many more travellers to actually follow-through on their desire to travel, but judging by how things operate as a standard around that, it’s really hard to imagine a world when people didn’t have access to the internet as a tool with which to plan and manage virtually every single last aspect of their travels.
There were traditional travel agencies, for one, some of which still exist to this day, but many of these have since migrated to some kind of operation in the digital space. Even your grandparents aren’t likely to visit a traditional travel agent’s office as it would be located in someplace like a mall or something along those lines. They’re more likely to ask you for your help searching via online booking platforms, aren’t they?
That’s only if they actually need your help, otherwise it has become so easy that even underage kids would otherwise be able to book epic trips around the world, to the extent that some kind of identity- and age-verification is required.
Google Maps – just imagine how life must have been without that kind of interactive navigation power contained in your pocket! They did indeed have map books and those fold-up paper maps, which would have undeniably been a lot more expensive than they should be.
A traveller will always find a way though, so I guess the true traveller’s spirit shone through, regardless of the evidently bigger challenges they had to contend with to account for organisational elements we take for granted today, thanks to the World Wide Web.