Travel and technology have always gone hand in hand, and recent decades have been no different. The internet, in particular, has enabled holidaymakers real-time access to travel and accommodation deals that used to require a visit to a high street travel agency. Indeed, almost 90% of Indians already book their entire trip via their phone.
But, while online innovations will continue to streamline the booking experience, there are plenty of other products hitting the market this year that could prove just as helpful once you’re on your way. Read on for four that we’re particularly excited about.
Goodbye motion sickness
Starting with the absolute basics, motion sickness is an incredibly common condition, which can make even short road journeys miserable for the many it afflicts (especially children and pregnant women). A conflict between the senses – hinging on the fact the sufferer is moving while sitting still – can thus trigger dizziness and nausea which can greatly limit not only their travelling options but that of their whole family.
But a solution may just have hit the market. French auto company Citroen investigated the tricks sailors employed to battle through sea-sickness, a very similar condition. And what followed is a deceptively simple-looking device which reportedly promises to resolve symptoms for 95% of users within a matter of minutes.
Called Seetroen, the miracle product is an admittedly strange-looking pair of glasses that offer a pleasingly old-fashioned way to trick the brain into accepting the mixed signals it’s receiving. Coloured liquid in the glasses’ frame mimics the horizon, freeing the user to relax and – finally – enjoy the ride. And, though they’re not cheap, the difference they could make to family holidays everywhere suggests they’re an investment worth making.
Meanwhile, off the roads, hikers have already benefited a great deal from new technology in recent times. Smartphones have made GPS accessible to all, and regular innovations in all-weather clothing introduced more lightweight and breathable fabrics, plus – most crucially of all – footwear which is both comfortable and enduring.
Likewise, the humble backpack has seen a whole host of improvements over the last decade, but these have mostly been ways to maximize storage space. However, a new iteration called (promisingly) the HoverGlide could dramatically change the experience of traveling under a load.
This is because the pack is attached to a double-frame as well as a suspension system, which its manufacturers say will reduce the stress the weight would cause the walker’s body by over 80%. The prospect of reducing injuries, strains and even fatigue is considerable.
Funded via KickStarter, the HoverGlide has now comfortably exceeded its total (in fact, it tripled it) and the first bags have already started shipping.
For the weary traveller
For all the improvements made across the travel sector, there’s no way to eliminate waiting, but airports are starting to offer better options for those stranded there.
And one innovation that could really transform a long stay awaiting a connection is the AirPod – by which we don’t mean the wireless earphones, but a capsule which can be rented by the hour. The AirPod seals to offer privacy, but the plush seat which takes up the bulk of the space reclines into a bed, allowing space to nap. There are also charging ports for your technology, and boredom-banishing Netflix shows available as standard. Plus, you can set an alarm to make sure you don’t get so settled you miss your flight!
Apparently, the pods are also designed to self-disinfect 90% of bacteria via a powerful LED light and dispel odors as and when they occur. Currently being trialled across Europe, the company hope to roll out much more widely soon – and eventually offer two-person pods as well.
To stay connected
One thing it’s hard to predict before arriving at your destination is just how good the Wi-Fi will be. And, if you’re travelling in a group, pleasing everyone – and all their devices – can be a real headache.
But there’s a simple way to make sure you’re almost always covered – TP-Link offer a range of mobile routers each of which will connect up to ten devices. It’s a hotspot you can fit in your pocket, and – what’s more – its screen will detail the signal strength, active connections and more.
And this isn’t just for the hotel – properly charged, the router will keep you connected for eight hours at a time even on the go. There’s even a MicroSD card slot for storage, should you need it.