Once in a while, special days remind us of where we come from and how much we have achieved as a society. This week, on 13 September, we celebrate International Programmers’ Day on 13 September, a day that acknowledges the positive changes that programmers make to improve our everyday lives.
As the day falls in the middle of South African Heritage and Tourism Month, a significant way in which digital innovations have made life so much easier and more convenient is in travel. Modern tech has changed the way we travel to such a large extent that there are many adults who have never hauled out a map book to find out where they are going, instead only using Google Maps. This is also a generation who hasn’t ever had to go to a brick and mortar travel agency and wait in a queue for an agent to help them book their holiday – instead knowing all about how to find the best accommodation deals online.
Undoubtedly, digital technology has made modern-day travelling easier – from booking a stay to going on the actual trip, and everything else in between.
Booking stays digitally gives you more control
Modern tech gives you control over your own travel preparations, from helping you ensure quality of stay through other traveller reviews, to providing a plethora of options to choose from through online booking platforms.
Tech also helps you save time and money. Head of Marketing and Communications at online booking platform Jurni, Tshepo Matlou says, “A platform like Jurni takes away the hassle of having to look up accommodation providers in brochures and magazines, and then having to call them to secure your stay before paying – or alternatively having to pay a travel agent. That process was laborious and costly, and it’s almost hard to believe that what often took hours of effort now is something you can do in a minute online.”
“Modern travellers look for, and book, their stays online. An effective online presence is therefore a must have for all accommodation providers who want to remain competitive in the market. Digital convenience will only grow from here on, with travellers becoming ever more reliant on its ease-of-use and the many options it affords them,” he adds.
Affordable digital car insurance protects you further when you travel
We all know car insurance is a must-have, to financially protect us in case something unforeseen happens to our car. Make sure your car is covered at all times, to have peace of mind when you travel – especially important if you are going on a long trip.
Digitally based car insurer, MiWay Blink’s app makes it convenient for you to sign up to the insurer’s products and, more importantly, when dealing with a tight budget, to use the dynamic pricing aspect while you are toggling the app. This means that you can add extras like car hire, credit shortfall, car extras and change your excess on the app, so that your monthly premium suits your lifestyle and your pocket. Should you go over budget while making your purchase decision, you can adjust features according to the base premium you are presented with before taking up the policy.
The technology is also seamless and quick, reducing the time spent in a sign-up process – which typically would be a long phone call – to around five minutes.
Discover new places while navigating your way through your vacation
By checking out reviews on Google Maps you can decide which locations or experiences are worth doing or seeing before you take off. Simply search for the location you’re looking for and under the Reviews section of its information page you’ll find a star rating, date, and pictures from people who have visited that location before. Outdoors enthusiasts can also search for specific words like “hiking trails” to quickly sort through reviews and find the best trails and experiences.
Additionally, making use of the Lists feature, enables you to save your bucket list of locations you’d like to visit in one consolidated place – where they’re easy to find and follow during your trip. You can also easily create custom maps with the places on your lists for viewing on the Maps mobile app and finding places on-the-go.
If you don’t know what you’d like to do or where you’d like to go during your vacation, you can use Google Maps’ Explore feature to find places compiled and made public by other users. Their saved places will then be made available in Your Places and will appear as suggested locations in Google Maps. More adventurous travelers can use Lists to find recommended adventures curated to their wilder tastes.