Innovations that have made planning a holiday easy24 April, 2012 by Chad
The invent of the internet has changed the way we live our lives considerably. It has also affected the way we travel. And while travel related websites have been around since the dawn of the World Wide Web, statistically the biggest changes have been in the past couple of years. Internet travel sites have finally overtaken traditional travel agents, with more people planning and booking their holidays online than anywhere else.
Japanese search company Goo recently presented the results of a survey they conducted, compiling the thoughts of what people felt were their most visited types of sites for holiday planning. The results are a good indication of what are the top online innovations to have made planning a holiday a less daunting task.
1. Map Sites
At least in Japan, the biggest number of people survey have voted Map Sites, particularly Google Maps as the most indispensable online tool for planning a holiday. I wouldn’t disagree. The ability to look up any place on earth at a whim or even step through in first person on Google Street View is truly invaluable.
2. Search Engines
For most, Search Engines, or rather Google has become the gateway to the rest of the internet. Making sense of the internet, the search engine helps us sort through a treasure trove of resources on the internet. Be it the means to book your holiday or a site like Supermerlion, through which people can discover travel ideas and new things to love.
3. News Sites
Online News Sites provide readers with up to date information on the region allowing travelers to better plan the timing of their trip. This is especially true when looking at disaster prone areas. In some cases, those curious in a particular country might follow its news, further propagating their interest in the destination.
4. Weather Report Sites
Savvy travelers will know that considering the weather of your destination ahead of time is one of the most important things to do. At the most basic level, knowing the weather forecast will let you prepare the right clothes but also it’ll help you plan an itinerary better and minimize any possible hiccups. Yahoo! Weather still remains the most used source for weather information.
5. Travel Review Portals
Most holiday planners turn to travel review sites for introduction to their destination these days. Many incorporate hotel and flight bookings, as well as charting applications to provide a one stop place to plan your itinerary. While rarely the cheapest option, it provides a convenience that makes them the most profitable source. Popular examples include the Lonely Planet forums and TripAdvisor, possibly Asia’s most popular travel review site.
6. Credit Card Sites
When it comes to genuine offers, it takes major entities like Credit Card companies to offer the best promotions. Many credit cards have tie in with airline companies to provide either a miles program or some other sort of conversion of loyalty points. There’s always the occasional discount offers that might net you tickets for slightly less than their usual price.
7. Airline Company Sites
More often than not, the best Airplane deals can be found from the source. With Airline companies providing their own booking systems, you’ll get the most updated prices direct from their official web pages and the added benefit of being able to check-in online or change your seats at any time.
8. Social Networks
The popularity of Social Networks has changed the way people travel and seek travel more so than any other online presence in the shortest period of time. It is only second nature for most to shove travel photos down their timeline these days in an attempt to make others jealous. In fact, more than 59% of travelers have been found to post status updates about their holiday on Facebook. While not easily quantifiable, this envy is definitely something benefiting the travel industry.
9. Hotel Search Sites
Dedicated hotel pages rank low on the list, which is not unexpected. While all of the tools to plan one’s holiday is widely available, many still do not have the time to sort through all the best options manually. Instead, as statistics show most prefer to opt for the convenience of all in one tools like Expedia or Orbitz (the two market leaders), even if it means paying slightly more.
10. Travel Agents Sites
Enforcing the idea that holiday planning is now an independent task, the online presence for Travel Agents such as JTB or HIS rank at the bottom of this list.
Supermerlion's Webmaster and Editor-in-Chief. Singaporean Nikkeijin with over 12 years of experience in the media industry. Producer at a Japanese entertainment company. Former Web Developer, Graphic Designer, Multimedia Programmer, Manager and Consultant. Shoots with a Canon 5Dmk2 and Sony RX100-2.