July 18, 2016 –

How digital design is changing the way we travel

Author: Leah Benzie
Leah Benzie
Digital Account Manager
Photo by: Suhyeon Choi
It’s July and, if you’re lucky enough, you’re one of the thousands of Brits fleeing the UK in the next few days/weeks in search of sun, before the autumn season is upon us.

The only thing left to do after you’ve booked your holiday is . . . well, everything: packing, putting all those little liquids in the clear-plastic bag, airport check-ins, security, flights, taxis, hotels . . . the list is endless. And, yes we are all agreed that travelling is a pretty stressful business. But digital design and new apps are changing the way we travel, trying to make the whole thing smoother. Below, we’ve listed the top 4 ways in which digital technology is changing travel.

Airport Apps

Smartphone apps have quickly become essential to holidaymakers. There are now apps to find your way around a new city, meet new people, drink and eat, and even translate languages. But it’s the app that simplifies the airport experience that wins out – offering notifications regarding gate location, flight information, estimated and waiting times for airport security checks. The aim is to let users relax in the terminal, without having to spend all their time sat next to a departures board watching the screen. There are also apps now, from British Airways, EasyJet and Fly Emirates, that allow passengers to board electronically, with their passes stored on their smartphones.

Smart Luggage

Suitcases are getting an upgrade, in an attempt to appeal to the tech-savvy traveller. “Smart luggage” is designed to make long-distance less worrisome. The latest range from Bluesmart features GPS tracking, in-built Wi-Fi hotspot and biometric fingerprint locking features. The aim is to sync travellers’ luggage with their smartphones, sending messages to let people know where their bags are, and even letting them know if they’ve been opened.

New Accommodation

The whole accommodation economy has been flipped on its head thanks to services such as Airbnb. The online marketplace – which enables people to both list and rent vacation properties – is cheaper than booking a hotel, and is exceeding all expectations, having taken some time to find its feet since its launch in 2008. The platform is making it easier to discover, reserve and stay in the local neighbourhoods of your travel destination, and is making booking and finding the most convenient location a stress-free experience.

Cheaper Airfare

There is nothing worse than booking a flight, only to find that a day later, the price has fallen. Airfares yo-yo notoriously, and it can be hard to get a great price. But it turns out that Yapta, which began life in 2007 as an airfares tracker, has remedied the problem. The company has turned it fare-searching technology into a tool to hunt for lower airfares and hotel room rates after your trip is booked. Whenever a price drops the first 24 hours after purchase, or when that cost drops lower than the airline’s change fee, Yapta sends you an alert, and allows you to rebook at a lower price.