Traveling In the Future


By Katelyn Malloy

Photo courtesy of Alexey Potov.

Does the inconvenience of traveling discourage you from ever leaving the confines of your personal comfort zone? Then don’t worry, there is technology currently in development to fulfill your needs and desires.

By 2024, excursionists and adventurers will travel with more ease then ever, according to travel price comparison website Sky Scanner. “The Future of Travel”, their three-part series, maps out how traveling will change substantially in this time span.

“Travelers of the millennium,” they attest, will have the luxury of boarding in digitally designed hotel rooms, pre-customized down to their desired shower temperature. Forget stepping on foreign soil or visiting cliche tourist traps. “Sub-aquatic“ and space tourism will be the most popular travel trend and forbidden zones will become the most visited areas in the world.

Renowned futurologist Doctor Ian Pearson tracks developments across society and technology in order to forecast outcomes and analyze how humans will be affected.

Pearson predicted in Travelodge’s 2011 “Future of Sleep” report that by 2030, hotel rooms will have “medical monitoring” sleepwear to track guests’ stress, relaxation states, or even blood pressure and heart rate. Pillows of the future will feature neck massages while new technologies sense the correct time to wake the traveler.

Audio ambience and virtual walls will become the norm. Shopping will no longer require lengthy lines or crowded malls, because hotel room walls are predicted to transform into a shop’s racks. Why bother getting out of your pajamas when you can order items while lazing in bed?

Across the globe, hotels and resorts are now transitioning into a more innovative era by offering “tablet hotels”.

The Peninsula, a hotel in Hong Kong, installed interactive tablets in 2012. Their settings allow guests to control lights, curtains, room temperature, television, food service, reservations, and plan trips from the comfort of their suites.

Then there are plans to make accommodations even more malleable to suit guests’ preferences. Sky Scanner believes that hotel software will connect to vacationers’ personal social media profiles and digital information, enabling them to book and set specific details to have rooms tailored to their personalities.

Sky Scanner’s prospects have some support. Technology forecaster Daniel Burrus, author of Technotrends: How to Use Technology to Go Beyond Your Competition was quoted as saying that Sky Scanner’s plans with analyzing social media will indeed “be used to aid collaboration between travelers and people on the ground in their destination of choice.”

The hyper-personalization of each room will drastically change the hotel accommodation experience.

How hyper-personal will these rooms get? Sky Scanner writes how their technology will even go so far as cleansing impurities away from the dirty depths of our physical selves:

“Already being prototyped in washing machines, showers of the future will use sound technology to literally agitate dirt from our bodies. An array of lighting, from red to green, will indicate how clean we are.”

Future travel technology proposes to not only improve our quality of life, but also transcend us out of our mere atmosphere. Spending spring break on Mars or relaxing on the moon has been the focus of many travel establishments–and in some ways is the new universal race. Space Adventures is determined to transport tourists to the moon for 17 days by 2017.

“Without question, space tourism will grow and get cheaper. But what is affordable for the general public is a very arbitrary question given we’re a planet of 7 billion people,” Skyscanner’s CEO Gareth Williams commented on Sky Scanner’s 2024 website.

And if traveling to the moon for holiday doesn’t sound exciting enough, underwater adventures await.

Some hospitality developments have already taken place beneath the mighty waves. The Conrad Hilton in the Maldives offers an underwater room as well as a restaurant featuring manta rays, dolphins, turtles, and whale sharks easily visible from all angles. Today, the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai already features some of the most innovative underwater lodgings, paving the way for a better future of “sub-aquatic” accommodations.

For now, travelers remain largely grounded and restricted by contemporary means of transportation, and often stuck staying in hotel rooms that don’t perfectly adhere to their every want and desire. However, keep an eye on the evolution of travel, and you might end up in a rocket ship, a luxurious submarine lodge, or a personalized hotel room predetermined perfectly by data from your social media accounts.