If you like gadgets as much as travelling, here are some emerging travel tech innovations to check out:
Stop The Baggage Check-In Madness
How can you stop baggage madness at check-in? You know, the long lines and delays, and all because you need to tag your bag. A new technology has been created by Unisys Corporation that allows travelers to print out their own baggage tags before leaving for the airport. It is being tried out at Denmark's Billund Airport. All you have to do is:
- Do a web check-in.
- Enter checked bags then print tags and boarding pass.
- Tags are assigned numbers associated with a boarding card and can be tracked.
- Insert properly folded tags into holders provided at the airport.
- Drop off pre-tagged bags at the designated area.
- Smoothly move to the necessary security checkpoints.
Voila! NO MORE LINES! Except to have your person scanned or patted down by security agents.
France is trying out new SITA technology developed for Blackberrys. Travelers who visit the Toulouse Airport can simply have their Blackberry device near special technology scattered throughout the airport. All sorts of information is automatically updated:
- Flight details
- Parking garage access
- Passenger lounge information
- Boarding area information such as wait times
Certain functions are authorized:
- Access to priority security lanes for quicker processing
- Automatically receive boarding passes
Although having a blackberry seems like old technology, even if a traveler doesn't have one, they can still take advantage of the technology. It just involves the extra step of some tapping.
Put Up Your Feet Quicker
Not only do travelers get through some of Europe's airports quicker, they can also get into their hotel room more quickly. NCR Corporation offers travelers the option to check-in to their hotel from a smart device. Once you arrive at your destination's airport, log on to a check-in kiosk. All that's left to do is breeze through the lobby, pick up the key then head to your comfy quarters to loaf off the jet lag.
Finding Your Way
Once a traveler recoups in their hotel, they are ready for the excitement of tours and excursions. If you like the concept of crowdsourcing, how about community wayfinding? That's what smart technology offers. Any number of travel or pedestrian apps provide tourists with live video feed making it easy to recognize landmarks. Touchscreen maps allow quick customization of routes.
Experienced world traveler, Rick Steves, recommends replacing the traditional human guide with apps like iPhone's "OffMaps". "Field Trip" is perfect for Android users looking for a mapping app, but you may also want to try "Detour". Android's "Cities Talking" app goes beyond the map and features audio tours throughout Europe. "History Pin" will give you a history lesson as you stroll through ancient points of interest, which is practically all of Europe. The bottom line is, when traveling to Europe, don't leave your phone or tablet behind. And make sure your service plan provides international service.
Touring Made Easier
Travelers are not always interested in a walking tour. Sometimes they like to take a drive. After all, why be confined to the general vicinity around your hotel? Why bother with hailing cabs or knowing the local bus schedule? Rent a car and tour even more of Europe with the time you have to spend.
Travelers may view driving in a foreign country with trepidation. Have no fear. Foreigners do it all the time. Travel pros advise booking a car in advance with a reputable agency. Go beyond the bottom dollar and check out options such as:
- Pick-up & drop-off locations/hours
- Replacement car availability should you have car trouble
- If you have the skills, opt for a standard stick-shift in Europe to same money and have more models to choose from
- Smaller is better for the narrow, winding roads often found in Europe
To get mobile in Europe, please contact us.
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