How smartphones are altering the way we travel
Think about the last time you went on vacation, travelled for work or visited family outside your home town. Did you take a picture and send it to loved ones? Or maybe you opted to have your airline ticket emailed to you instead of picking it up at the airport kiosk? Whether we recognized it was happening or not, smartphones have moved from being optional to absolutely necessary when travelling.
From the moment you decide to book a trip until long after you’ve returned home, smartphones are now an integral part of the journey.
Inspiration & Dream
It’s the moment of inception. A single glance at a poster or beach image on Instagram. There’s always a moment when the idea of travel is introduced into your consciousness and more often than not, those moments and inspirations are being generated and communicated via our smartphones. Instagram feeds, newsletters, email giveaways and Facebook ads are all aimed at inspiring our next great adventure.
Now that the idea is sparked it’s time to dig into the details. Where will go you? How will you get there? What will you do when you arrive? Where will you sleep? The list goes on and on. Between the inspiration stage and the moment you book, the average traveller will visit over 20 different sources of information, many of which are increasingly being viewed on mobile devices.
There’s a magic moment in the path to purchase that happens after a certain amount of comfort has been reached through research. Predicting when that moment will happen isn’t an exact science but tour and travel operators want to make sure that when the moment hits, the “book” button is at your fingertips. It could be on your morning commute when you get a notification that airline prices have dropped or after hours of searching “hotels within walking distance of the beach.” Either way, when you’re ready to book you want to do it then and there and mobile devices have made that reality.
We’re increasingly using our smartphones to alter our experiences: online check-in, e-tickets, translation apps, high quality photography, directions, restaurant recommendations. You name it, chances are someone has used a smartphone to search it.
Gone are the days of vacation slideshows to family and friends upon return. Today, if you’re not Snapchatting, Instagramming, and geotagging on Facebook did it ever really happen? Some will argue it has made travel less of a novelty. Whether you agree or disagree, there’s no debating that the age of the mobile sharing is here to stay.
So what does this mean? For marketers it signals endless opportunities to target and sell to established and new demographics. For travellers it’s now easier than ever to have all the answers at your fingertips while feeling like you’re still gaining valuable, customized experiences.