What exactly is travel technology? All about this industry game-changer

Marc Truyols

What Is Travel Technology?

How is technology used in travel, real-life examples of technology used in travel, impact of technology in the tourism industry: numbers and stats, how has technology changed the travel industry.

Technology has become an integral part of our lives, completely changing how we work, shop, eat and spend our leisure time. With just a few simple taps on our smartphone, we can order food, purchase home appliances, make dinner reservations, and much more.

Constant technological advances have even made their way into the travel industry. We can now book hotel rooms, flights, sightseeing tours, and other activities, and plan our entire trips – all from a mobile device.

Technology has revolutionized the way we travel , making our travel adventures more convenient and fun. This massive change in the tourism industry is what we now call travel technology . Let’s take a look at some of these travel industry facts and see how you can benefit from them.

In simplest terms, travel technology means using tech to plan trips . It helps travel agencies book trips for their customers, together with airline tickets, hotel accommodation, car rentals, and many other travel-related activities.

Thanks to computerized reservation systems (CRSs) provided by their hotel and airline partners, they can handle everything travel-related in a matter of minutes.

Every reservation system stores and retrieves real-time data, so each travel agent can streamline communication with all the relevant parties.

Travel technology automates bookings, payments, and back-office tasks for travel agencies and enables consumers to make their online bookings without a travel agent .

Hotelmize and similar technology-driven companies and startups are helping the tourist industry implement travel technology. This has been welcomed with open arms.

Travel Tech Definition

Travel tech is the use of IT in the travel, tourism, and hospitality industry .

It is the application of IT and e-commerce solutions in tourism, travel, and hospitality with the goal of automating travel, saving time, reducing costs, and creating a seamless travel experience for consumers, including before, during, and after a trip.

We’ve touched upon some general applications of travel technology to help you understand what this game-changer in tourism is. Now, let’s dig deeper into how tech is used in travel.

Here are some of the latest travel technology trends worth mentioning.

Smartphone as a Travel Buddy

Using your smartphone, you can plan a trip completely hassle-free . More importantly, your mobile device can be your tour guide wherever you are.

You can use it to get real-time updates regarding your flight, check in and out of a hotel, and find your way around your travel destination. It can be your map and compass, instantly locating nearby cafes, restaurants, museums, and anything else you need.

Thanks to voice search and virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and Cortana, your journey can be even more convenient and exciting.

AI and Chatbots

More and more online travel agencies and hotels are leveraging AI-powered solutions to automate bookings and provide personalized service .

One example is chatbots . Not only can they provide 24/7 customer support, but they can also make bookings, provide instant answers to FAQs, process payments, and carry intelligent, human-like conversations. They can be an ideal travel companion.

Thanks to machine learning , AI tools also provide insights into consumer behavior, interests, and preferences regarding travel destinations, hotels, amenities, airlines, car rental companies, pricing, and more.

Armed with such insights, OTAs and hotels can display or send relevant offers to customers.

VR (virtual reality) in travel enables you to transport yourself to another location virtually. You can take a virtual tour of a hotel before booking a room or a restaurant before making a dinner reservation.

You can “teleport” yourself into the Louvre, stand on Times Square, cross the Grand Canyon, or marvel at the breathtaking views from Mount Everest. You could watch a hundred videos on YouTube, but VR will make you feel as if you were there.

With AR (augmented reality) , you can also take room tours and engage in various hotel facilities.

You can take a peek inside an airplane, make sure your carry-on luggage is the right size, access public transportation schedules, overcome language barriers , and much more.

Internet of Things

Internet of Things (IoT) in travel helps personalize and streamline the travel experience.

For instance, hotels that embrace IoT allow guests to control various internet-enabled devices inside their room with their smartphones. They can control the lights, thermostats, TVs , and more.

Some of the most notable real-life examples of travel technology include:

  • TravelCarma
  • TechnoHeaven

Hotelmize (mentioned in the What Is Travel Technology? section) is the first on this list. They use capital market trading strategies and financial technologies, as well as travel industry experience, to help profit optimization efforts.

Trawex is a travel software development company that offers global B2B travel technology solutions. Its Trawex APIs seamlessly integrate with any travel portal and enable travelers to make seamless bookings and payments.

Amadeus is a travel technology company that provides solutions to everyone in the travel industry for improving travel experiences. Several years ago, it unveiled Navitaire , a VR travel search, and booking experience.

TravelCarma offers a suite of travel tech solutions for aggregation, distribution, data integration, and custom UI/UX development. It provides travel agency ERP, travel APIs, B2C/B2B booking engines, CRSs, back office, and more.

Expedia is an online travel company where you can book flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, vacation packages, and plan entire trips.

It also has a chatbot for booking that works on Facebook Messenger, and an Amazon Alexa app with AI voice recognition. There’s also Ex pedia Travelocity , which has a price-match guarantee .

Skift is yet another great example of travel tech, except it’s a media company. It uses industry intelligence to research and define travel trends worldwide. It’s your go-to source for daily news and insights on travel tech .

Technoheaven   is travel technology company that provides  travel technology  solutions for travel and tourism business to help them manage day-to-day operations and increase business efficiency. These solutions include travel agency software,  tour operator software , B2B/B2C Booking Engine, XML API Integration and more. 

According to FCM Travels , 39% of hotel bookings are made on smartphones. The same study found that smartphones are go-to devices for 22% of flight bookings.

Condor Ferries published some very interesting stats on online travel bookings :

  • 70% of travelers use smartphones for travel research
  • 33% of travelers plan their trips with the help of a virtual travel assistant
  • 82% of 2018 travel bookings were made without a travel agent
  • 66% of all travelers make their bookings online
  • 83% of consumers in the US prefer making their travel bookings online
  • 80% of travelers rely on reviews on TripAdvisor before making bookings
  • 72% of consumers won’t make a booking before reading online reviews

Travel technology is definitely on the rise, and the OTA market share confirms that we are slowly going towards a fully-digital future.

Technology has made travel automation possible, making trip planning less time-consuming and exciting for travelers and travel agencies.

You can plan a trip in minutes and easily book accommodation, tickets, flights, and much more. You can have your travel itinerary in the palm of your hand, with your mobile device as the perfect travel buddy.

You can stay connected wherever you are , break down language barriers, and even improve your packing routine with tech such as AR. You can have a personalized experience that makes every trip unforgettable .

Travel technology has revolutionized tourism, and we can’t wait to see what its next chapter has in store for us! It’s undoubtedly going to be brilliant!

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Marc Truyols

Marc Truyols has a degree in Tourism from the University of the Balearic Islands. Marc has extensive experience in the leisure, travel and tourism industry. His skills in negotiation, hotel management, customer service, sales and hotel management make him a strong business development professional in the travel industry.

Mize is the leading hotel booking optimization solution in the world. With over 170 partners using our fintech products, Mize creates new extra profit for the hotel booking industry using its fully automated proprietary technology and has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue across its suite of products for its partners. Mize was founded in 2016 with its headquarters in Tel Aviv and offices worldwide.

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What is a travel technologist and how to become one

introduction image

A travel technologist is a professional who manages business activities related to travel. They use a travel technology platform to connect travel agencies and travelers with various services such as hotel accommodations, car rentals, and airline tickets. Their responsibilities include organizing and managing networks, tutoring non-certified technologists, and assisting with technical issues. They also help with the installation of new PCs and maintain accurate travel information. To be successful, a travel technologist needs strong attention to detail, interpersonal skills, and math skills.

How long does it takes to become a travel technologist?

It typically takes 2-3 years to become a travel technologist:

  • Year 1-2: Obtain an associate degree in a relevant field, such as travel, tourism, or hospitality management.
  • Year 3: Accumulate the necessary work experience in duties such as booking travel arrangements, coordinating itineraries, and providing customer service.

Avg. Salary $54,755

Avg. Salary $59,228

Growth Rate 6 %

Growth Rate 0.3 %

American Indian and Alaska Native 0.48 %

Asian 6.05 %

Black or African American 5.39 %

Hispanic or Latino 10.19 %

Unknown 4.14 %

White 73.75 %

female 32.79 %

male 67.21 %

American Indian and Alaska Native 3.00 %

Asian 7.00 %

Black or African American 14.00 %

Hispanic or Latino 19.00 %

White 57.00 %

female 47.00 %

male 53.00 %

Stress level is very high

Complexity Level is challenging

7 - challenging

Work Life balance is excellent

Travel Technologist career paths

Travel technologists have a variety of career paths to choose from. They often transition into technician or team leader roles. Some may move into office management or practice management. Others might choose to work in technology, becoming technical support specialists, systems administrators, or even information technology managers or directors. In the medical field, they might become registered nurses, registered nurse supervisors, clinical managers, or imaging services directors.

Key steps to become a travel technologist

Explore travel technologist education requirements.

The educational requirements for a travel technologist are a combination of a certificate, associate degree, and in some cases, a bachelor's degree. According to the data, 72.85% of travel technologists have an associate degree, 16.52% have a certificate, and 10.63% have a bachelor's degree. No travel technologist data was found for high school diploma, master's degree, or doctorate holders.

Travel technologists often pursue certifications such as Certified Surgical Technologist, Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer - Abdomen, and Certified Nuclear Medicine Technologist. Common majors for this role include Medical Technician, Business, Nuclear and Industrial Radiologic Technologies, General Studies, and Liberal Arts. Some of the top schools for travel technologist education are Duke University, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, Yale University, Cornell University, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Most common travel technologist degrees


High School Diploma

Start to develop specific travel technologist skills

A travel technologist performs a range of tasks. They conduct general nuclear medicine procedures, support new PCs for end users, and configure laptop and desktop computer components. They also assist medical professionals in patient care, conduct training on defense travel system vouchers, and provide customer service to military service members.

Complete relevant travel technologist training and internships

Research travel technologist duties and responsibilities.

A travel technologist performs a variety of tasks. They conduct general nuclear medicine procedures, such as bone, thyroid, and lung scans. They also provide support for new computer systems and configure laptop and desktop components. Additionally, they assist in surgeries, conduct training on travel systems, and process documentation for payments. They also adhere to all relevant regulations, such as JACHO and HIPPA.

  • Organize and manage many networks using remote desktop software.
  • Lead the quality assurance (QA) team for this start-up company, with focus on ADSL products.
  • Tutor non MRI certify technologists within the department to achieve certification.
  • Perform diagnostic exams as well as providing c-arm for surgery.

Prepare your travel technologist resume

When your background is strong enough, you can start writing your travel technologist resume.

You can use Zippia's AI resume builder to make the resume writing process easier while also making sure that you include key information that hiring managers expect to see on a travel technologist resume. You'll find resume tips and examples of skills, responsibilities, and summaries, all provided by Zippi, your career sidekick.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Travel Technologist Resume templates

Travel Technologist Resume

Apply for travel technologist jobs

Now it's time to start searching for a travel technologist job. Consider the tips below for a successful job search:

  • Browse job boards for relevant postings
  • Consult your professional network
  • Reach out to companies you're interested in working for directly
  • Watch out for job scams

How Did You Land Your First Travel Technologist Job


Are you a Travel Technologist?

Share your story for a free salary report.

Average travel technologist salary

The average Travel Technologist salary in the United States is $54,755 per year or $26 per hour. Travel technologist salaries range between $23,000 and $125,000 per year.

What Am I Worth?

How do travel technologists rate their job?

Updated June 25, 2024

Editorial Staff

The Zippia Research Team has spent countless hours reviewing resumes, job postings, and government data to determine what goes into getting a job in each phase of life. Professional writers and data scientists comprise the Zippia Research Team.

Travel Technologist Related Careers

  • CT Technologist
  • Cat Scan Technologist
  • Computed Tomography Technologist
  • Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist
  • Diagnostic Technician
  • Imaging Technologist
  • Lead Radiologic Technologist
  • MRI And CT Technologist
  • MRI Technologist
  • Mammographer
  • Mammography Technician
  • Multi-Modality Technologist
  • PRN Radiology Technologist
  • Pet/Ct Technologist
  • Radiologic Technologist Assistant

Travel Technologist Related Jobs

  • CT Technologist Jobs
  • Cat Scan Technologist Jobs
  • Computed Tomography Technologist Jobs
  • Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Jobs
  • Diagnostic Technician Jobs
  • Imaging Technologist Jobs
  • Lead Radiologic Technologist Jobs
  • MRI And CT Technologist Jobs
  • MRI Technologist Jobs
  • Mammographer Jobs
  • Mammography Technician Jobs
  • Multi-Modality Technologist Jobs
  • PRN Radiology Technologist Jobs
  • Pet/Ct Technologist Jobs
  • Radiologic Technologist Assistant Jobs

What Similar Roles Do

  • What Does a CT Technologist Do
  • What Does a Computed Tomography Technologist Do
  • What Does a Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Do
  • What Does a Diagnostic Technician Do
  • What Does an Imaging Technologist Do
  • What Does an MRI Technologist Do
  • What Does a Mammography Technician Do
  • What Does a Multi-Modality Technologist Do
  • What Does a Senior Technologist Do
  • What Does a Staff Technologist Do
  • What Does an Ultrasound Technologist Do
  • What Does an X-Ray Technician Do

Resume For Related Jobs

  • CT Technologist Resume
  • Imaging Technologist Resume
  • MRI Technologist Resume
  • Mammography Technician Resume
  • Radiologic Technologist Assistant Resume
  • Senior Technologist Resume
  • Staff Technologist Resume
  • Ultrasound Technologist Resume
  • X-Ray Technician Resume
  • Zippia Careers
  • Healthcare Practitioner and Technical Industry
  • Travel Technologist

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travel tech what is

What is travel technology? An overview and its role in the travel / tourism industry

12 Feb 2024

travel tech what is

Travel technology refers to the application of innovative digital solutions and software in the travel industry to enhance various aspects of the travel experience. This encompasses a broad spectrum of tools, including online booking platforms, mobile applications, data analytics, and emerging technologies. At the core, travel technology streamlines and automates processes that fosters a more agile, responsive, and interconnected travel ecosystem

What is travel technology?

Travel technology encompasses a variety of platforms and technologies, including those provided by travel management companies (TMCs), mobile apps, and online travel agencies (OTAs), and their primary aim is to simplify and expedite the travel booking process. The travel / tourism sectors are increasingly leveraging technologies for efficiency and improved customer satisfaction.

Through automation, travel businesses are benefiting from time-saving methods, cost reduction, and a seamless travel experience for their clients.

The advent of online reservation systems is one of the most groundbreaking changes brought about by technology. Travelers can now plan and book their trips end-to-end with just a few clicks. Due to the user-friendliness, evaluating options, comparing costs, and consulting reviews before making a purchase is commonplace in the modern digital era.

Why is technology important for the tourism industry

In contemporary times, the symbiotic relationship between technology and the tourism industry goes beyond mere operational enhancements; it has become a pivotal force shaping the very essence of travel. One of the most noteworthy impacts is the accessibility brought about by online booking platforms and mobile apps. Travelers now have the ability to plan and organize an entire trip with a few clicks- from booking flights and accommodations to confirming activities and transportation.

The integration of advanced data analytics has propelled the industry into a new era of personalization. Travel companies leverage data to understand user preferences thereby offering tailored recommendations that align with the unique needs of each traveler. This is a crucial step in enhancing the overall travel experience resulting in customer loyalty.

Technology has facilitated seamless communication and connectivity throughout the entire travel journey. Real-time updates, mobile notifications, and instant access to information have become integral components of the modern travel experience. From flight delays to last-minute itinerary changes, travelers are kept informed, contributing to a smoother and fulfilling experience.

As technology continues to evolve, innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are poised to further reshape the tourism landscape. These advancements hold the potential to enhance security, streamline transactions, and provide even more personalized and efficient services to travelers.

In conclusion, the amalgamation of technology and tourism has ushered in an era of unprecedented convenience, customization, and connectivity. The ongoing evolution of technological solutions ensures that the travel industry remains dynamic, adaptive, and attuned to the evolving needs and preferences of modern-day travelers.

It further serves as a catalyst for evolving business strategies as far as travel management companies are concerned. Technology enables them to cater to the demands of contemporary clients while maintaining a competitive edge in a highly dynamic and demanding industry.

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Travel Technology Trends

Rebecca Somes

By Rebecca Somes

travel tech what is

We recently caught up with Traveltek’s Senior Vice President of Sales for the Americas, Francis Riley, to discuss his views on the importance of technology in the travel industry and the tech trends he believes travel professionals need to follow to stay ahead of the game. Three months into his role, here’s what Francis had to say…

How important do you think technology is for the travel industry?

In today’s world, those in the travel industry need to remain relevant, competitive and efficient if they are to prosper. Various pain points such as working with older systems or multiple systems, limited customer data, slow and inaccurate manual processes and duplication of efforts all put considerable pressure on top line sales and business costs. Technology minimises, and can even eliminate, these pain points to maximise sales and conversion rates.

How do you think Traveltek technology can benefit travel professionals?

In a fiercely competitive global marketplace, the powerful technology solutions we provide at Traveltek ensure clients can remain relevant to their customers and enable them to work smarter. The end-to-end solutions we provide offer a unique “one-stop shop” for multiple functions across a single selling platform that can include reservations and bookings, documentation and even supplier payments. In addition, our platforms allow users to manage their margins as well as provide booking solutions that are multi-lingual, multi-channel and multi-currency.  In consumer and business to business markets, it offers the flexibility and choice they need to manage their distribution to consumers and agents.

How does Traveltek work with those who aren’t very tech-savvy?

The team in the US, like me, are not all necessarily from a technology background. We come from sales, marketing and commercial disciplines and part of the consultative approach we adopt when working with customers or potential customers is to translate the technical requirements into practical solutions. While our platform is extremely robust and complex in the background, the front-end couldn’t be simpler to use. It’s been built and developed in consultation with some of the world’s leading travel companies, with their needs front of mind. It’s there to make the travel booker’s life easier and ensuring it’s intuitive and user-friendly is all part of that.

We also offer extensive training, training guides and 24-hour support so it’s really not the case that once the system is built, you’re on your own. Far from it, in fact. We really value our clients and we see the relationship as a partnership. Ensuring they get the very most out of the system and that it really transforms their business is what we’re all about. I don’t believe anyone should fear technology just because they are not tech savvy. On the contrary, what they do comprehend is their business and the need to change and maybe adopt a new process to grow. And technology can help in so many ways.

What current travel tech trends should the industry be aware of?

One area that I have seen considerable engagement with us from a technology standpoint has been the ability of the travel partner to curate and package cruise and tour offers. Consumer demand and the appetite for this travel offering seems to be on an upward trajectory and, as such, providing technology solutions to help and assist the sales of these products becomes increasingly important. The ability to integrate cruises or tours with a range of add-ons, priced and displayed in the currency and language of choice allows for improved sales and improved customer satisfaction.

At Traveltek, for example, we offer market-leading cruise booking tools that will allow the travel company to present multiple pre and post cruise, flight, hotel and transfer options that take the cruise itinerary to the next level. Not just set packages either. In consultation with agents around the world, we have crafted the technology whereby consumers or agents are empowered to handpick flights, hotels, transfers and attractions to create tailor-made packages around the cruise of their choice, all in one simple booking journey.

What is Traveltek’s ultimate goal for the travel industry?

Our mission is simply to help travel businesses grow and prosper. With over 400 clients across 35 markets around the world we have been true to this promise and perhaps its testament to our relationships with our clients that, for many, we are an integrated part of their own business strategies.

Our consultative approach, a worldwide team across multiple offices and a bench strength of product and technology expertise are all reasons why we believe we are world leading and our technology solutions set us apart from the rest. It’s also probably why Traveltek has been recognized globally by the World Travel Awards for the “World’s Leading Dynamic Packaging Solutions Provider” for the last four years and last year also recognized as “Europe’s Leading Travel Technology Provider.”

Further notes from our head of digital marketing Rebecca Somes:

Technology Trends in the Travel Industry

Many travel agencies have already reported record sales days in January, making it clear that 2024 is poised to be a big year for travel. 

And to keep up with the levels of demand, travel companies have to digitize to survive. According to a report by Statista , the global market for travel technologies was estimated to be worth  8.6 billion U.S. dollars  in 2020.  By 2026, the size of this industry could increase by approximately  45 percent . There is much growth to come in this market and investing in travel technology has never been more important.

What is Travel Tech?

Travel technology trends cover the most recent advancements in digital and technological solutions within the travel industry. They play a pivotal role in elevating the customer experience, optimizing operational processes, and opening up fresh avenues for customisation and effectiveness in travel planning and administration.

With this in mind, here are Traveltek’s predictions for the top technology trends in Travel for 2024.

Automation : In recent years, we have certainly seen an increase in RPA (robotic processing automation) and we think this is the year that will propel businesses embracing this trend and not fear robots are here to steal jobs. There are plenty of use cases now, where its clear RPA can efficiently drive process improvements, with less error and a significant ability to scale.

Adoption of AI (artificial intelligence) & ML (machine learning ): As with many other industries we expect travel companies and travel agents to look at ways they can embed AI into their day to day lives. Whether this is utilizing simple tools like zoom AI companion summary, ChatGPT to help write destination guides and literature (of course complimenting industry expertise) we’ve seen how these tools can compliment industry expertise. It’s becoming clear that AI is here to stay and this trend will continue to gain momentum. So  it’s key that we embrace this and don’t simply ignore it.

Payment Simplification: Travel is a complex beast and currently payment processes are arduous and expensive. Although change has started in this arena, we predict big changes to come in 2024.  New players are now challenging the status quo, allowing travel companies to aid payment options and credit options to personalize this for consumers. We expect to see new payment players making their entry in the travel world in 2024.

Online Cruise bookability : As a business synonymous with Cruise, perhaps we are a little biased here, but the data for Cruise is unarguable. 4 million new to Cruise customers need to be enticed by 2025 to fill the new ships entering our waters according to CLIA . This has sparked a demand for online cruise book ability. We predict innovation and new entrants to the cruise world to take advantage of this natural growth. 

Buy v Build: Of course it goes without saying that the travel sector was hit hard in recent years and the industry has been hard at work to rebuild since the pandemic.  Many companies who are still wrestling with legacy tech are now debating whether to buy or build, across their infrastructure. We predict a growing trend in businesses that choose to connect with each other and focus more on buying in the tech they need rather than building everything in house themselves. This is a trend which will also see a greater collaboration between tech companies in 2024.

To learn more about how Traveltek can help your travel company stay ahead of the curve and the competition, contact us today.

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6 Ways Travel Technology Is Improving Your Trip in 2024

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Table of Contents

1. Apps for booking hotels — and picking your room

2. smart devices as digital room keys, 3. the rise of virtual queues, 4. delivery apps to replace room service, 5. robotic and app-powered food delivery in airports, 6. the growth of app-powered car rentals.

These days, travel and technology go hand-in-hand. Many of these technological advancements were spurred by early pandemic pressure for contactless payments, food service and more. For example, between February and March 2020 alone, Mastercard saw the number of contactless payments at grocery stores grow twice as fast as non-contactless transactions. Meanwhile, the number of active restaurants on the Uber Eats food delivery app grew by over 75% between Dec. 31, 2019, and Dec. 31, 2020.

Technology is seeping into travel in a way that most travelers are finding enormously beneficial. Whether shortening queues, helping travelers save money or eliminating the need to get within six feet of others, here are some of the top travel technology evolutions to know about in 2024.

Most large hotel chains have long had free apps with features like booking and live chat, but many recently got big-time improvements.

Hilton launched a feature in June 2021 that lets you book and instantly confirm connecting rooms on its app and website, which has proven especially helpful for groups.

Its app also can display a map of the hotel and allow you to select your exact room of choice, whether it’s the peaceful room farthest from the elevator or the one nearby for easy access.

travel tech what is

The Hilton app can be used to unlock rooms at many U.S. properties so you never need to go to the front desk to retrieve a physical key card. (Photo courtesy of Hilton)

Some apps serve as a digital front desk, which then allows you to use your smartphone and smartwatch as digital keys. For example, digital keys in Hyatt’s mobile app use Bluetooth technology to let you unlock your hotel room with your phone at more than 600 hotels worldwide.

Hyatt made things even easier for Apple users in December 2021 by becoming the first hotel brand to offer room keys in Apple Wallet. At certain Hyatt hotels, you no longer need to open the Hyatt app; instead you can tap your iPhone or Apple Watch to unlock rooms.

Over at Hilton, which has offered digital keys to some degree since 2015, last year saw a huge update in Digital Key Share, which allows more than one guest to have digital access. The feature is currently available at about 80% of Hilton’s hotels worldwide.

travel tech what is

(Photo courtesy of Disney)

In January, Clear 2021, a private biometric screening company that lets paying members bypass certain security lines at busy areas including stadiums and airports, announced that it had acquired another company designed to reduce wait times — Whyline. The acquisition could allow Clear to improve virtual queues for processes like checking vaccine status or accessing airport lounges.

» Learn more: Is Clear worth the cost?

Meanwhile, Disney rolled out a feature in its U.S. theme park apps in October 2021 called Genie, which is intended to help vacationers better plan their day. By analyzing current lines and crowds, it can suggest more efficient itineraries.

Food delivery apps have been disrupting room service lately by delivering food from around town — and eliminating the need to pay $10 for a bowl of room service cereal.

Hotels are leaning into the idea of letting other companies handle it . For example, Hyatt launched a pilot program with snack delivery service Gopuff in 2021 to deliver prepackaged and hot meals to rooms at select Hyatt Place locations. Hyatt says the program has been successful, and has since grown to more properties nationwide.

travel tech what is

(Photo courtesy of AtYourGate)

Speaking of food delivery, the days of waiting in long airport restaurant lines might be gone. Apps like AtYourGate allow you to order, pay and pick up food from participating airport restaurants.

More recently, AtYourGate is testing services where you don’t even need to physically grab your food. Instead, robots bring it to you. A pilot program that launched in September has robots roaming around Los Angeles International Airport, bringing food directly to your gate.

The rental car industry has sometimes been brutal to travelers, but peer-to-peer car-sharing alternatives are expanding, providing consumers with more choices.

Getaround cars can be booked on an hourly basis, and there’s no need to meet up with the owner to exchange keys. Cars are booked and unlocked through an app. Getaround expanded to Hawaii at the end of 2021, marking the 10th state that Getaround added to its portfolio in 2021 and the 22nd state in its history.

» Learn more: Rental car alternatives you might not know about

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023 , including those best for:

Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

No annual fee:   Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Flat-rate travel rewards:  Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card  

Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

This article was written by NerdWallet and was originally published by The Associated Press.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

1x-5x 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.

60,000 Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

1.5%-5% Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

Up to $300 Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

2x-5x Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options.

75,000 Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

travel tech what is



What is Travel Tech?

Travel technology has made it easier than ever to explore the world. From booking flights and hotels to finding the best deals and navigating our way around new cities, travel technology has changed the way we plan and experience our trips.

Travel tech is the use of technology to make travel easier, more convenient, and more enjoyable. This includes everything from online travel agencies (OTAs) and metasearch engines to mobile apps and wearable devices.

How Has Travel Technology Changed the Way We Travel?

Travel technology has changed the way we travel in a number of ways:

  • It has made it easier to plan our trips.  We can now research destinations, book flights and hotels, and even get directions all from the comfort of our own homes.
  • It has helped us save money.  We can use travel technology to find the best deals on flights and hotels. We can also use travel hacking techniques to get even more discounts.
  • It has made it easier to stay connected.  We can use social media to share our experiences, and we can even video chat with our loved ones while we’re traveling.
  • It has made it safer to travel.  We can use apps to track our location, and we can also use apps to report crimes or emergencies.
  • It has reduced some communication barriers . Language barriers, once formidable, are now easily overcome with the help of real-time translation apps. Whether you’re haggling in a bustling marketplace in Marrakech or connecting with locals in Tokyo, apps like Google Translate facilitate meaningful interactions and enrich your travel experience.

How to Use Travel Technology Responsibly

While travel technology can be a great way to make our travels easier and more enjoyable, it’s important to use it responsibly. Here are a few tips:

  • Protect your personal information.  When using travel technology, it’s important to protect your personal information. This includes using strong passwords and enabling two-factor authentication.
  • Be aware of your data privacy.  Travel tech companies collect a lot of data about us. It’s important to be aware of how your data is being used, and to make sure that you’re comfortable with it.
  • Don’t let travel technology take over your trip.  It’s easy to get caught up in using travel technology, but it’s important to remember that it’s just a tool. Don’t let it take over your trip and prevent you from enjoying the experience.

The Future of Travel Technology

The future of travel technology is bright. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more innovative ways to use technology to make travel easier, more convenient, and more enjoyable.

Some of the emerging trends in travel tech include:

  • Augmented reality and virtual reality:  These technologies will allow us to experience destinations virtually before we even book our flights.
  • Artificial intelligence:  AI will be used to personalize our travel experiences and recommend the best deals and activities for us.
  • Blockchain:  This technology could be used to create a more secure and transparent way to book travel arrangements.
  • 5G:  This new wireless technology will allow us to stream high-quality video and data while we’re traveling, making it easier to stay connected and entertained.

I’m excited to see how travel tech continues to evolve in the years to come. I believe that it has the potential to make travel even more accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

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When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form .

The best travel gadgets you can buy: Chargers, headphones, and more


The holiday season is here, and with it, lots of plans for travel to see family or just to get away. If you're already starting to stress about some of the logistics, don't worry -- there are things you can do and pack that make travel easier, less stressful, and combat some metaphorical turbulence. For example, you can slip an AirTag into your bag to at least know the whereabouts of "lost" luggage.

Also:   The best travel VPNs you can buy

AirTags, however, aren't the only tech travel gadget you should consider as a stowaway. There's lots of tech out there that can save you space, battery, trip memories, and all three combined. To find the gadgets best suited for the job -- and your luggage or even car --  I talked to travel experts and enthusiasts to see what they consider essential, and you should, too. Our pick for best travel tech gadget overall is Anker's 747 GaNPrime 150W charger  due to its compact form and its ability to charge up to four devices quickly. However, this charger is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to essential travel gadgets. Check out the rest of our top picks below. 

The best travel gadgets of 2024

Anker 747 ganprime 150w charger, best travel tech gadget overall.

  • Can charge up to 4 devices quickly
  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices
  • USB-A and USB-C charging ports

Anker 747 GaNPrime charger features:  3 USB-C ports and 1 USB-A port | Can charge 2 laptops at once | Can charge up to 4 devices at once | 38% smaller than Apple's 140W charger, but packs in 10 more Watts (150W)

When you're traveling, it's important to keep all your devices powered and ready to go. Has anyone else ever had their phone die just as you're scanning your mobile boarding pass? To avoid that embarrassment, world traveler  Nick Yiu is saving up for the Anker 747 charger to power all his devices for the five flights he has coming up. Even though the brick is smaller than a standard Mac charger from Apple, it offers three USB-C style ports, a traditional USB-A port, and all at a whopping 150W total output. To put it in perspective, it's powerful enough to charge two laptops in a short amount of time. 

"This would replace the need to carry any additional power bricks, so you just need this one alone," said Yiu. 

The 747 also employs Anker's GaNPrime technology , which is a faster, more powerful, and even more sustainable semiconductor than traditional silicon chargers. Anker's ActiveShield 2.0 technology also monitors temperature throughout the day and makes the appropriate power output adjustments, safeguarding connected devices. For these reasons and more, this charger is even essential for ZDNET contributor  Jason Cipriani  when he travels for work. 

However, Cipriani points out that while the brick is compact, it is heavy, "falling out of most outlets, which is why Anker includes a plate that fits around the adapter and has a bunch of small suction cups to hold it against the wall." Aside from its density, the only other downside of the 747 power brick is the $110 price tag. However, when you factor in its adaptability and power, you're really paying for multiple charges rolled into one. 

Tessan International Plug Adapter

Best adapter for international travel.

  • Lightweight
  • 5 total USB ports
  • Can use adapter for almost any country
  • Enough wattage to charge a laptop
  • Only compatible for 100V to 250V devices
  • Max of 15W on USB-C

Tessan International Plug Adapter features: 2 USB-A ports (12W) | 3 USB-C ports (15W) | 4 different built-in plugs, which covers over 150 countries | 6 in 1 travel adapter outlet 

The New York Times' recent daily crossword  acknowledged that the most "annoying thing" you can forget to pack for a trip is, by far, a charger. Even more frustrating is remembering a charger, and don't forget that if you're traveling abroad, there's a high likelihood your charger won't work. Enter the Tessan International Plug Adapter. This compact tool has four different built-in plug types, which covers over 150 countries, and also includes a universal AC outlet that can convert plugs from the ES, EU, UK, and AU to fit your chargers' socket. 

Featuring five total USB ports, three of which are USB-C, this can also be used both internationally and domestically as a multi-charging brick. In fact, the executive editor of The Points Guy, Scott Mayerowitz , says this is one of his biggest tricks since they easily plug into airplane outlets and can be a one-stop, compact shop to keep track of different cords. 

This is especially a good option if you don't want the heavy price tag or physical weight of something like the Anker 747. It may not be as fast, but it's definitely efficient and price-conscious. However, keep in mind that devices requiring a higher voltage, such as a hair dryer , are only compatible with devices in the 150V-250V range. 

Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones

Best travel headphones.

  • Noise canceling quality is best in class
  • Long lasting battery life
  • Advanced voice chat quality makes for quality video conferencing
  • Over-ear headphones take up more space than earbuds
  • Larger carrying case than previous generations

Sony WH-1000XM5  headphone features: Over ear, closed back | Bluetooth 5.2 | USB-C charging port | Up to 30 hours of battery (3 hours on a 3-minute charge) | 4Hz-40,000Hz frequency response 

Sony's WH-1000XM5 headphones are a cult classic. With market-leading active noise cancellation and up to 30 hours of battery, they've rightfully earned the top spot on our best headphones and  best noise-canceling headphones  list and in Lonely Planet Managing Destination Editor Alex Howard's favorite travel bag . 

"The drone of the engines disappears into a pleasant background hum, and you can focus on catching up with the Last of Us instead of the screaming baby a few rows over," Howard said.  

Excellent sound quality isn't their only travel perk; the Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones include a folding design and compact carrying case, making them easy to take on the go for short and long trips alike. 

AirPods Pro 2

Best travel earbuds.

  • Transparent and noise canceling quality is best in class
  • Wireless charging
  • Integrates Apple's FindMy system
  • Remain some of the most expensive earbuds on the market
  • If you have multiple Apple devices, beware of connectivity chaos
  • Not the greatest for non-iPhone users

Apple AirPods Pro 2 features: 6-hour battery life and 30 hours in the case | IPX4 waterproof rating | 5.3 g each | Wireless charging | New Apple H2 chip 

Over-ear headphones are a powerful sound blocker, but they're not necessarily space-conscious. If you're not ready to sacrifice precious luggage real estate with headphones, no matter how compact or portable, a pair of pocket-sized noise-canceling earbuds can be just as effective. I personally never leave my apartment without my Apple AirPods Pro 2 or get on a plane without them. What I love about the second-gen AirPods is that they deliver outstanding sound quality in both noise-canceling and transparent modes . 

Also: Flying soon? Flighty is a must-have iOS app for air travel

Sure, it's great to block out the rattles of the subway car as I make my way to the airport or the crying baby on the plane, but it's also important to be aware when traveling. And with my AirPods, I can clearly hear the flight attendant announce which carousel my luggage has (hopefully) arrived at without having to pause Taylor Swift's "Welcome to New York" as I fly into the city, per Scott Mayerowitz's suggestion.

Plus, there's a built-in case speaker that makes it easy to ping your AirPods case if it's lost in the depths of your bag or waiting to be rescued from the airplane seatback pocket. Apple's FindMy feature also comes in handy to keep track of all Apple-associated devices when you're on the go, sending you a notification when one isn't on the move with you. The second-gen Pros also employ wireless charging, even via the Apple Watch charger, which may save you packing one less cable. 

Review: AirPods Pro 2 offer two big upgrades but connectivity chaos hasn't been tamed

Best travel tablet

  • 12.9-inch screen and high resolution display
  • 1600 nits at peak brightness
  • Lightweight for an iPad Pro
  • Doesn't have the newest M2 chip
  • Camera suite isn't as updated as newer models

iPad Pro (2018) features: M1 chip | 12.9 inch Liquid Retina XDR display | WiFi 6 connection available | 12MP Ultra-Wide camera | 4K video recording at 30 fps or 60 fps | Five microphones and four speakers | FaceID | USB-C charging port 

Speaking of Apple, Alex Howard relies on his iPad Pro for inflight entertainment. But his main pro tip is to upgrade to a bigger storage size to "accommodate extra seasons of your favorite TV show when Wi-Fi is spotty." 

While a few years old, the 2018 iPad Pro features Apple's fast-performing M1 chip, a 12.9 Liquid Retina HDR display that makes for sharp and vivid visuals, and 1600 nits at peak brightness. Plus, if you take Alex's suggestion and opt for more storage, you won't face much latency and can let the high-res graphics shine. 

At  22.26oz and around $480 at most retailers, you won't be adding too much weight to your travel gear or your wallet, especially compared to the most recent iPad Pro model. Additionally, the iPad Pro 2018 (3rd generation) is compatible with the more sleek, capless second-generation Apple Pencil, which simply attaches to the magnetic strip to pair and charge . And if you're like me, it's great for taking notes that can even sync to and stay on your other devices while you're on the go. 

Of course, the iPad Pro 2018 also integrates Apple's FindMy system, making it easy to track and find as you destination hop. 

Duex Plus monitor

Best travel monitor.

  • Folds up and flips out easily
  • USB-C connectivity – no HDMI cords
  • 1080p resolution
  • Adds bulk to your laptop
  • Pricey at $280
  • Drains laptop battery

Duex Plus monitor features: 13-inch display | Compatible with Mac and Windows laptops | Auto-Rotation display | Multi-device compatibility | 1.33 mm | USB-C plug-and-play 

Traveling doesn't mean you have to sacrifice work productivity. If you, like me and many other working professionals, rely on a monitor to multitask, the Duex Plus is a great portable option. Coming with four adhesive magnets, the monitor easily attaches to your laptop cover and flips out hassle-free. From there, it's as easy as connecting via USB-C to either your Mac or Windows laptop -- no extra HDMI cord is needed. 

ZDNET's June Wan reviewed the monitor and was not only impressed with the easy setup but also with its ability to enhance his workflow, from responding to Slack messages to video editing. 

What makes the Duex optimal for travel is its ability to slide in and out from the laptop lid and then just collapse and act as a makeshift case before you pack it away in your back. While there's no need to lug around an extra bag or pack the monitor as a new entity, it unsurprisingly does add some bulk to your laptop. 

Review: This flip-out portable monitor is my productivity secret weapon

Insta360 X3

Best action camera for travel.

  • 360-degree footage
  • Compact and rugged for adventurous travel
  • User-friendly
  • 2.29-inch display makes for an excellent viewfinder
  • Software support can be sluggish
  • 360-footage requires a larger MicroSD card

Insta360 X3 features: 180g | 2.29-inch touchscreen | ½" 48MP sensor | Up to 5.7K resolution | 1,800 mAh removable battery | USB-C or MicroSD connectivity | Waterproof up to 33ft 

The best part of traveling is making memories and capturing them. However, lugging around a big camera takes up space, adds weight, and places limits on capturing fun action shots. As of right now, travel buff Nick Yiu likes throwing in his tiny but mighty GoPro to take versatile footage but has his eye on the Insta360 X3 action camera. As the name suggests, the camera films at every angle and assures you won't miss a shot -- even if you're skydiving. 

ZDNET's June Wan did have the chance to go hands-on with the Insta360 X3, and his experience confirmed that it's worth a spot on Nick's packing list and our best travel tech list. 

"Whether you're a professional or a beginner, the X3 brings a lot to the table for all to play," said Wan. 

This third-generation action cam is the Insta360's most compact, refined design yet and, according to Wan, "the exterior is gilded with a rugged blend of rubber and texturized ridges which assures you that the X3 can hang in the toughest outings and/or within the slipperiest of fingers." 

Perfect for long adventures, the camera is also capable of lasting two to three days on one charge, limiting yet another device you have to charge on your trip. Additionally, Insta360 puts "art" in artificial intelligence, as June Wan puts it, packing a suite of photo editing AI features on the back and front end. 

Review: Insta360 X3 360-degree action cam will blow you away  

Guide AI trip planner

Best travel planner.

  • Personalized travel itinerary
  • Hotel booking
  • Can modify recommendations
  • Group planning enabled
  • Only available as a website
  • No flight, transportation, or restaurant booking

Guide features: AI trip planning tool | AI chatbot to ask questions | Free | Can book hotels | Group planning

If you want to make your trip as seamless and efficient as possible, you need a trip planner. While not a tech gadget per se, a planner can help you stay organized before and during your trip, making travel much less stressful.  Guide is an AI travel planning tool that helps you create personalized itineraries based on your trip preferences. (Full disclosure: It's also ZDNET's sister brand. It's currently in private beta, but you can join a wait list.) Once you create an account, you can input your travel details, and Guide will generate a customizable schedule for your desired trip, with hotel, restaurant, activity, and attraction suggestions. 

You can modify Guide's suggested itinerary to your liking by adding new activities and restaurants or by moving current suggestions around -- a feature ZDNET associate editor Gabriela Perez Jordan loves. In a recent trip, she used Guide to find the top activities and restaurants to visit in Austin, Texas. 

With Guide, you can also send your schedule to friends and family to assist in the trip-planning process, or you can use its chatbot to ask your most burning questions regarding your destination. While you currently can't book any flights, transportation, or restaurant reservations through Guide, you can book and find great hotel deals powered by Expedia. 

What is the best travel tech gadget?

There are lots of tech gadgets that can optimize travel, from canceling out distractions on a long flight to capturing memories around you, and a device to power all of those devices. The items on this list consider functionality, durability, build, battery life, and more that hopefully enhance your journey.

 *Lowest price at the time of writing. Please note that prices may vary based on retailer and available promotions, sales, or discounts.

Which travel tech gadget should you buy?

All the items on this list were carefully selected, as most have various functionality for different needs, preferences, and even budgets. Here's a further breakdown if you're trying to decide which gadgets are essential for your next trip. 

How did I choose these travel tech gadgets?

To compile my list and decide which travel tech was the best of the best, I turned to experts and enthusiasts. I consulted Nick Yiu, who took 15 flights in 2022, the executive editor of travel publication The Points Guy,  Scott Mayerowitz , and Lonely Planet Destinations Managing Editor Alex Howard. As a frequent traveler myself, I also drew from my own experience and looked at products ZDNET has reviewed.  Ultimately, I weighted the following aspects when curating this list: 

  • Design: When selecting travel tech gadgets, portability and design were top of mind since you must always consider where you will store your devices during your trip. Most, if not all, of these devices are lightweight and compact, perfect to store in a purse, backpack, carry-on, or suitcase. 
  • Durability:  No one likes to buy products that break at first use, which is why I only included items you could buy and count on their performance for years to come.
  • Price: Useful travel gadgets don't have to be a hefty investment, especially when you have hotel, transportation, and flights to consider -- or, let's be real, you can easily forget the gadgets in a car or hotel. The devices on this list are top-quality devices that won't break the bank. 
  • Functionality: Traveling requires fitting all of your essentials in a tight, compact space. This means you should only take devices that advance common traveling components, such as charging your phone, tuning out noise on the plane, or storing and recording memories.  

What should I look for in a good piece of travel tech?

According to The Points Guy Executive Editor Scott Mayerowtiz, it's important to travel with tech that is lightweight, compact, and durable. 

"You might have to pay an extra $10 to $15, but it's well worth it to have the lightest device or the one with the battery that lasts that extra 20 to 30 minutes. It makes all the difference when you're on the road or in the air," he said. 

That said, it's also important not to get the most expensive item on the market, "How many chargers have you left in a hotel room when checking out in a rush?" joked Mayerowitz. "Maybe it doesn't have to be the 'best' product out there. Be mindful that things on the road get damaged." 

I considered Mayerowitzs' tips on what to look for when compiling this list -- making sure I talked to someone who had hands-on experience with every product and could vouch for it's quality. 

Is smart luggage worth it?

Smart luggage has been a hot-button item, but they don't necessarily make travel easier. If a smart suitcase has a lithium battery, you'll have to remove it before even getting to the airport. However, certain smart suitcases, like the Away suitcase, can be purchased without the lithium battery pack. 

Are there alternative travel tech gadgets worth considering?

While deciding on the best products on the market, we tried to find the best options to throw in your luggage and make your next trip as stress-free, entertaining, and easy as possible. 

However, there are also other options worth considering, depending on your different preferences and how you like to spend your travel time. 

ZDNET Recommends

Don't forget these 5 gadgets when you travel this week, my tech secrets to stress-free travel: 9 essential gadgets and how i track everything, the best travel vpns: expert tested.

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Delivered every Wednesday, Travel Tech’s Passport newsletter keeps industry leaders up-to-date on current and emerging policy issues facing the travel tech industry.

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Travel tech: What is it? How is it changing the world?

Posted by admin | Jun 30, 2022 | Headline News , Technology | 0 |

Travel tech: What is it? How is it changing the world?

Over the last few decades, this impact has become more pronounced as new IT services have come into the picture. These services are changing the game and are raising competitiveness among travel companies.

Travel and technology have become so well integrated that every little booking in today’s time is made with the help of technology. From airline tickets to hotel bookings, everything is available with just a tap of the fingers.

Newer IT solutions also cater to the e-commerce needs of businesses and help utilise technology in a better way. These services also help ensure that customers have a seamless experience and can manage their bookings in an efficient way. Despite the ongoing revolution, a wider technological boom is expected to hit the travel industry, giving rise to travel tech.

Here is a look at what this might entail.

What is travel tech?

The definition of travel technology can be boiled down to using technological services to plan a trip. It is an efficient system that makes managing bookings easier for travel companies. Computerised reservation systems (CRS) help achieve the target of managing hundreds of bookings in real time. These systems store and retrieve data in such a way that the booking system can be easily streamlined.

In essence, travel technology enables the automation of bookings, payments and all the interlinked processes. It is a faster way of communicating between customers and tourism provider companies. Some might say that travel tech has the potential to remove the need for a travel agent.

Many companies have increasingly adopted travel tech due to the efficient mechanism that helps customers conduct their bookings.

travel tech what is

How is travel tech used?

There are several ways in which technology is integrated into travel:

  • Mobile technology : Cell phones have undoubtedly been the biggest facilitator of change for the tourism industry. Digital maps and travel apps are becoming the new guiding light for potential travellers. Mobile technology has been the biggest aid for travellers as it brings all trip-related information highly accessible to users.
  • AI and chatbots : Artificial Intelligence has changed many industries and helped ease the automation process. Chatbots also help deliver personalised services to users and help solve their queries one at a time. AI tools also help understand the requirements of customers and the booming preferences across the travel sector.
  • Virtual Reality : Virtual Reality (VR) is another advanced technological revolution that has changed the game for the travel sector. Users can take a virtual tour of hotels and travel destinations even before reaching there. Augmented reality also helps conduct fun activities across these locations.
  • Internet of Things : The Internet of Things (IoT) is another modern-day tool that helps enhance user experience during trips. Hotels that utilise IoT are able to control various aspects of their hotel rooms with just their smartphones. These include lights, thermostats, TVs, etc.
  • Big data : Some hotel chains also utilise information about their guests to make their stay a more fulfilling one. This information forms a part of big data, which helps companies in their marketing campaigns.


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travel tech what is


travel tech what is


travel tech what is

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Opinion The top travel-tech trends set to revolutionize tourism in 2023

Technology-driven innovations are reshaping the travel industry, with smart hotels, ar/vr experiences, contactless solutions, and ai-powered personalization leading the way towards a more seamless and efficient travel journey.

Jonathan Abraham

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The tech trends driving a much-needed travel sector transformation.

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Many startups are developing technologies that solve the problems of unnecessary human contact and ... [+] friction throughout the airport experience.

Tech innovation in the travel sector has always been uneven. While some aspects of the travel experience have been greatly enhanced by technology in recent times, these innovations have had to co-exist alongside clunky manual processes that have barely changed for 40 years.

Now, however, the pandemic has given the travel sector a severe stress test. Not only have passenger volumes fallen off a cliff since the arrival of Covid-19, but the

passenger experience has been pushed back decades due to the added bureaucracy and hassle of tests, checks, locator forms, quarantines and more.

These setbacks have brought into focus those aspects of overseas travel that are no longer fit for purpose, and a host of startups are already developing more convenient, frictionless travel experiences to entice the public back out into the wider world as the Covid situation eases. It could be just the shake-up that the sector needs.

A pathway to contactless travel

The pandemic has emphasized the sheer amount of human contact involved in international travel and led to sweeping changes in how accommodation providers operate.

According to James Jenkins-Yates, CEO of Airbnb management provider Houst (formerly Airsorted), “Keeping everyone as safe as possible has been our priority during this period, and we’ve succeeded in making sure some of the most crucial processes are handled in a Covid-secure manner. Our guests are always able to check themselves safely into properties. According to a recent Airbnb survey, this is now the preferred option for the vast majority of guests, so our goal is to ensure there’s no need to meet anyone before, during or after the stay.”

Best Travel Insurance Companies

Best covid-19 travel insurance plans.

However, the problem of unnecessary human contact remains particularly acute within airports. Checking in baggage is convoluted and time-consuming. Repeated identity checks become particularly frustrating when you find the person in front of you hasn’t filled in their paperwork. This is made worse in the age of Covid due to the many different statutory checks required by different airlines, departure and arrival destinations.

These archaic systems persist for two reasons. Firstly, travel companies are trying to do too much within the airport terminal itself. Secondly, too much passenger data is tied up within siloed systems, which is why it constantly needs manually re-checking.

However, we’re now seeing that many of these processes can be automated through pre-processing and data verification, with zero impact on the underlying security of operations.

Companies such as Zamna are developing ways to verify the identity, travel details, and even the health of passengers before they leave home. These technologies apply blockchain technology to digitally verify and connect siloed passenger data sets between airlines, governments and security agencies so that, once within the airport, all parties know who is who and who is travelling where.

Remote check-in and baggage collection services such as Airportr or DUBZ have also become more common in recent years, removing pressure from the check-in desks. However, services are still expensive and are currently used by a small minority of total travelers. The next challenge for startups is to find ways to bring down the cost of these services and make them more accessible/desirable to all passengers.

Solving the calamity of car hire

After a lengthy flight and protracted security process, the last thing weary passengers want is to waste half an hour filling in car hire forms they already completed online several weeks earlier. Yet even in our digital age, the last leg of the car hire journey remains unnecessarily painful.

To solve this problem, Paris-based startup Virtuo has streamlined and digitized the car hire process so that everything is arranged through an app, including the delivery of the car to the arrivals bay. Virtual keys are used to operate the vehicles, making for an entirely contactless, queue-free experience. Audi has launched a similar proposition, Silvercar , to provide premium vehicles to customers across more than 10 US states, again offering contactless booking via a simple app, with cars delivered to the customer’s location.

Elsewhere in the space, Getaround and Turo have been pushing peer-to-peer car rental in the US for more than a decade, and the pandemic has sparked a new wave of demand for these services.

Much-needed disruption to disruption management

One of the most challenging aspects of the pandemic has been the continuous changing, rearranging or cancelling of travel plans. Again, however, this is nothing new. A delayed flight or a cancellation has always caused significant problems for airlines, not to mention their unhappy customers.

Hence, it’s no surprise to see a variety of recent market entrants devising innovative ways to smooth out some of the issues caused by disrupted travel.

For example, Sparefare has created a marketplace for customers to buy or sell unwanted tickets, avoiding the need for passengers to subject themselves to lengthy refund/voucher request processes. Journera allows travel providers to get ahead of the game in the event of cancellations or delays, identifying affected passengers and allowing customer service agents to better accommodate their needs through any disruptions and transitions. And Pilota enables customers to compare flights based on their reliability and provides airlines with AI-powered predictions about how each flight will go.

Serial entrepreneur and investor Karen Hanton , founder of pet-friendly travel provider PetsPyjamas , explains, “We’ve all had to be so resourceful during the pandemic, that as we emerge the other side, we’re prioritizing flexibility across practically all aspects of life. Consequently, travel companies have had to abandon their pre-Covid conventions – they know that if they don’t have flexibility baked into their offering, people are far less likely to book with them.”

Travel insurance without the caveats

The prospect of overseas travel disruption always makes passengers nervous, which is why travel insurance has become such big business over the past few decades. Unfortunately, however, too many providers have failed to deliver on their protective promises, making the claims process difficult and long-winded, or inserting hidden caveats into policies to avoid paying out around many common types of disruption.

The issue reached a head during the pandemic when it was revealed that practically none of the insurers’ policies provided Covid-appropriate cover, and the startup community has duly taken note of passengers’ growing distrust with traditional providers.

UK-based Blink now offers bespoke flight disruption insurance, giving customers a range of suitable options according to the specific nature and duration of the disruption – from airport lounge access to hotel rooms to cash claims. French company Koala has lowered the burden of proof for disrupted passengers, making it easier for them to establish their claim eligibility and thus ensure that 100% of passengers entitled to compensation are compensated.

Moving to a decentralized future

The global travel sector has always relied on intermediaries, from the high street travel agencies of 20 years ago to today’s online booking platforms. Perhaps the biggest sector-wide shift that we’re likely to see in the coming years is unnecessary middlemen being cut out of the chain to bring down the cost of supply.

Again, blockchain is the technology in making this possible, and several startups are already building blockchain-based infrastructure to better connect travel providers. For example, Further can enable P2P transactions such as bookings and payments directly between airlines and their business partners. Winding Tree allows airlines and hotels to distribute their products to travel agents directly. Through its open-source infrastructure, it hopes to drive a new era of industry-wide developer collaboration.

More broadly, Jenkins-Yates argues that it is time for the sector to make a definitive break from the past. “It seems like travel is desperate to get back to the ‘old normal’, but what really needs to be addressed is that things will never be done the same way they used to be done pre-pandemic. The reason why the future of travel tech is so exciting is because we have been brought face-to-face with the true limitations of the old travel regime.”

If such bold and sweeping initiatives – like those we’re currently seeing through blockchain applications – prove successful, who knows what additional travel trends we may see emerging in years to come. One thing’s for sure though – the sector is finally seeing the sort of tech-driven innovation it needs to propel a sustainable, long-term recovery.

Kjartan Rist

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Travel Tech Investment Is on Unstable Ground: Here’s What Industry Pros Say

Justin Dawes , Skift

November 17th, 2022 at 2:30 AM EST

Sometimes raising investment is hard, and sometimes it's harder. But that's no reason not to move forward — a product that's strong and needed will still sell.

Justin Dawes

Series: Travel Tech Briefing

Travel Tech Briefing

Editor’s Note:  Exclusive reporting on technology’s impact on the travel industry, delivered every Thursday. The briefing will guide executives as they decide if their companies should “build, buy, or partner” to stay ahead.

Opinions vary widely about the state of investment in the travel tech startup world during this uncertain economic time, but one thing is for sure: it’s changing.

Below are some of the main takeaways from startup mentors, investors, and founders about what is happening and how they’re dealing with it. 

Dropping Valuations

Startup valuations got out of control for a bit, some would say. Now, the proverbial punch bowl has been taken away, and people are sobering up as valuations are returning to normal. 

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s time for startup founders to accept the truth, said Cara Whitehill, an industry advisor and investor and the founder of Unlock Advisors .

“What that means is that you’ve got a class of founders who have never experienced anything other than that. They’ve never really had to worry about the fundraising and financing aspect of their business, and now they’re having to do that,” Whitehill said.  

The advice she is giving to early stage startups:

  • “Don’t focus so much on valuations right now; you’ll spin yourself in circles. The VCs are getting a little pickier, and they’re doing a lot more due diligence. Optimize for getting the round closed so that you can get the money in the bank and start getting to work.”
  • “Don’t give away the farm, but you’re not in a position to be as picky as you were even maybe six to nine months ago. So just recognize that, accept it, and instead of raising the next series, maybe raise a bridge round from your existing investors or look at alternative ways that don’t require external investment.”

Travel Tech Investing

Typically, it can be tougher to raise money for travel tech startups than those in other sectors. While it probably will not return to as difficult as it was pre-pandemic, it may be a bit harder than it has been. 

There is still money out there, however, and investors are still looking to invest, said Gaurav Tuli, partner of Fidelity-affiliated F-Prime Capital .

“It has largely been the best funding environment I’ve seen for [business-to-business] travel tech in a very long time,” Tuli said. 

Most of it has been a result of fundamental issues that surfaced during the pandemic, he said.

“I think it’s a great time for [business-to-business] travel tech in general,” Tuli said. “It is finally getting the light shined on it as a category that it never really had before. It was kind of lurking in the dark alleys.”

Many companies were showing strong signs of success in 2021, and they haven’t really seen a slowdown in performance yet in 2022. Some of that is stemming from pent-up travel demand. Eventually that will go away, and Tuli does believe that will have an inevitable impact on the industry. But investment won’t go away, at least not for F-Prime. 

“For us, this is about what is fundamentally shifted, and how can we look forward five years from now or 10 years from now at what the industry looks like,” Tuli said. “I think we still stay in a really strong environment because people are looking at this market differently.” 

Venture capital aside, some companies will see this time as an opportunity to invest via mergers and acquisitions, said to Richard Valtr, CEO of Mews .

His company, which provides a property management system for hotels, has completed five deals and has a couple more in the works, he said. His company also has a venture capital arm.

“It’s a very highly fragmented industry, maybe not from a good perspective. There’s a lot of legacy companies that I think if it was more of an active industry, then you would have seen some of these companies basically die off a little bit earlier,” Valtr said. 

“You’re probably more likely to see a lot of consolidation because of the downturn, and because of the general weakness of some of these companies because of the pandemic.” 

Seeking Investment

There are travel tech startups announcing funding each week. Interactions can sometimes be a bit more sticky right now, but that just means startup executives need to plan more. 

Canary Technologies , a hotel tech startup, recently raised $30 million from Insight Partners, F-Prime Capital, Y-Combinator, Thayer Ventures, and others. Bryan Michalis, head of growth marketing for Canary, shared some comments about the experience via email:

  • “We were fortunate to not be in a position where we needed to raise, and were preempted by investors that were tracking us.”
  • “Compared to previous years, we’ve seen investors think and care more about efficiency in addition to just growth. I think this is great for companies and business leaders as a whole as it helps refocus on the fundamentals of building a strong business.”

PurpleCloud Technologies is working on closing a funding round early next year, said Adria Levtchenko, CEO of the startup.  

PurpleCloud streamlines hotel back-of-house operations like front desk and housekeeping, and includes a feature through which workers can earn points in exchange for rewards like time off. It’s an early startup with 19 clients representing more than 100 hotels. Levtchenko is working on closing deals with two big-name clients, which would lead to the startup operating in thousands of hotels, she said. 

While industry-agnostic investors may shy away from travel tech, she said conversations have been going a bit easier, particularly because everyone can see how badly the sparse workforce is affecting the industry. 

“I think that the industry agnostic firms understand the hotel industry is on archaic systems — and it’s impacting me personally as a guest, and I want to see that change,” Levtchenko said. “Our industry needs to address those inefficiencies because that’s what’s killing this industry.” 

Still, it’s not easy, she added.

“It just takes more time to find good investors.”

Should I Start a Company?

All that said, here’s a final thought from Tuli of F-Prime:

“It is a great time to be starting travel tech companies, and we are seeing really great entrepreneurs go into the category. I think that many companies, whether they are able to raise capital or not, are going to go on to do amazing things that are getting started now.”

Have a confidential tip for Skift? Get in touch

Tags: hotel technology , startups , travel tech , Travel Tech Briefing , travel technology , venture capital

The 27 best travel gadgets in 2023

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For today's traveler, a packing list includes not only their daily wear and toiletries, but also tech gadgets: a phone, maybe a laptop or tablet, and possibly a smartwatch. You may also be wondering, what other gizmos are worth lugging around? As it turns out, there's a lot to consider. 

Whether you're on a long-haul flight, a never-ending road trip, or just jetting around your destination, there are plenty of travel-appropriate tech gadgets that can make your next trip a breeze. 

From gear to ensure you're charged up to a TSA-approved massage gun to ail the aches of travel, here are our favorite travel tech gadgets and accessories to ensure you're ready for anything that comes your way.

travel tech what is

For keeping an eye on your valuables, put a Tile Pro or Apple AirTag in your checked baggage. We recommend Tile because it works for both Android and Apple devices, while utilizing the Tile user network to help you locate things that are much further away.

On the flipside: Apple's AirTag offers the same features, but only works with Apple devices. The AirTag connects to the Find My app built into every iPhone and iPad, which theoretically means it taps into a wider network of users to locate your item. Whichever you choose, consider a tracker in your luggage as personal insurance.

Insta360 X3 Camera

travel tech what is

Sure, the best camera is the phone that's in your pocket, but if there's a reason to bring along an additional shooter, make it the the X3. This 360-degree camera works alongside a companion app on your phone and captures everything surrounding you. No longer will you need to choose what to frame. But what makes this camera truly fun are the special effects you can create, which will make your vacation photos and videos stand out from the crowd.

Sony WH-100XM5 Headphones

travel tech what is

If you want the latest and greatest in over-ear noise-canceling performance, it's the Sony WH-100XM5s . The XM5s sport an updated design with a narrower headband and wider earcups for a roomier fit. The drivers have been updated and the ANC (active noise cancellation) performance has been kicked up a notch thanks to two processors and eight noise-canceling microphones, up from the four microphones found on the previous-gen XM4s. Speaking of the XM4s, they're still a great option and cost $50 less .

Beats Fit Pro

travel tech what is

The Beats Fit Pro was released back in 2021, but they continue to be one of our favorite wireless earbuds. It packs the same features you'd get in the AirPod Pros, but in a more secure, sweat-resistant package. This year, Beats introduced three new eye-catching colors: coral pink , volt yellow , and tidal blue . 

Panasonic ErgoFit Wired Earbuds

travel tech what is

It's a good idea to have a pair of wired earbuds to toss in your bag for a flight, especially since most in-seat entertainment systems have yet to roll out support for Bluetooth. And while there are plenty to choose from, Panasonic's ErgoFit is a tried-and-true budget pair you won't regret. Available in more than 15 colors, these earbuds are as basic as you can get, but they'll get the job done for under $20. Just note that you'll need a Lightning adapter for Apple devices .

Anker 622 Magnetic Battery

travel tech what is

If you own an iPhone 12 or newer and want to take advantage of MagSafe technology, this portable battery pack from Anker has a capacity of 5,000mAh, which is more juice than Apple's MagSafe battery pack , which is rated at 1,460mAh. The 622 is capable of wirelessly charging your phone at a max of 7.5 watts, but its best feature is the travel-friendly built-in kickstand. If you're looking for more power, Anker also sells a 10,000mAh version . 

For more picks, check out our guide on the best MagSafe battery packs . 

Mophie 3-in-1 Travel Charger with MagSafe

travel tech what is

Apple stans will appreciate Mophie's 3-in-1 charger , which has dedicated charging spots for the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods. We're not sure what we like more: the convenient carrying case or that it comes complete with a 30W USB-C wall adapter.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 12

travel tech what is

 The Instax Mini 12 is Fujifilm's newest camera, and just like its predecessor, it's a one-button instant camera that's so easy to use that even kids can operate it. The Instax Mini 12 improves on the lineup's winning formula by adding a new lens that you can twist to enable "close-up" mode. The entry-level instant camera works with Instax Mini film , which is widely available. Plus it runs on replaceable AA batteries, so you'll never have to worry about running out of power.

Anker 747 Charger

travel tech what is

If you're a frequent traveler, you need a multiport charging hub. And Anker's GaNPrime-powered 747 Charger is one of the best you can buy right now . With three USB-C ports, one USB-A port, and 150W charging capacity, this compact charger can charge multiple devices — laptops, tablets, smartphones, or other small devices — quickly and all at once. And thanks to GaNPrime technology, the 747 is  smart enough to identify how many devices are connected and how much output each device needs.

Native Union Belt Cable Universal

travel tech what is

When it comes to cables, it pays to have a spare just in case you lose one. For that, we recommend this universal cable from Native Union. Measuring at 6.5 feet long and made from braided nylon, the cord can quickly transition between micro-USB, USB-C, and Lightning connectors.

Bellroy Tech Kit

travel tech what is

A dedicated tech bag can turn the roost of cables, cords, and techy accessories you travel with into a well-organized mobile workstation. While you should shop around to find a tech organizer bag that suits your particular needs, the Tech Kit from Bellroy is a quality option. It features a soft-shell body for added structure and protection, along with loops, pockets, and compartments to neatly store your essentials. It's also available in a compact size .

For more options, check out our guide on the best tech organizer bags . 

Nimble Champ Portable Charger

travel tech what is

The Champ Charger is one of Nimble's smallest and lightest power banks, but it still packs a punch. It's designed to top up smaller devices, and supports up to 15W of charging through one USB-A port and one USB-C port. The battery's 10,000mAh capacity is enough to charge your phone or tablet for a weekend of use. Bonus: Nimble is a certified B Corp with a commitment to sustainable consumerism currently unmatched in the consumer tech industry, from using non-traditional materials and plastic-free packaging, to its free e-waste recycling program.

DJI Osmo Mobile 6

travel tech what is

Unfortunately, nobody wants to watch your vacation videos if they're nauseatingly bouncy, no matter how beautiful the scenery is. To capture rock-steady footage with smooth pans and tilts — think Hollywood-style cinematography — put your phone into what is the best gimbal for consumers. It's easy to operate, and the built-in telescoping pole lets you capture selfies with a wider view.

Moft Invisible Laptop Stand

travel tech what is

When you're on the road, ergonomics is a challenge. Moft's "invisible" laptop stand is an ultra-thin portable stand that won't add any weight to your laptop, and only takes a second to put into action. It has two elevation angles (15 and 25 degrees), which you can adjust to whichever is more convenient for your sitting posture. Moft also sells stands for other devices, including the iPad and iPhone .

Epicka Universal Travel Power Adapter

travel tech what is

If you're jet-setting across the world, a universal travel adapter is a must. And you won't find one that'll meet most simple charging needs than Epicka's all-in-one adapter. This handy plug is designed for phones, laptops, and other smaller devices. The retractable prongs allow it to work in more than 150 countries, and it has six charging ports: four USB ports, one USB-C port, and one universal AC socket. 

Backbone One Mobile Controller

travel tech what is

For gaming on the road, we recommend the Nintendo Switch . But if you're looking for an alternative with even better portability, we highly recommend the Backbone One Mobile Controller, which can turn gaming on your iPhone or Android phone into a first-class handheld console experience. The Backbone One gives you joysticks and buttons, so it's comfortable for long playing sessions, and it works with mobile titles as well as cloud-gaming services like Xbox and PlayStation Remote Play.

Yogasleep Rohm Travel Sound Machine

travel tech what is

With Yogasleep's Rohm Travel Sound Machine , you can rest easily wherever the road takes you. It features three modes: bright white noise, deep white noise, and "gentle surf." And unlike other portable sound machines, it's powered by a rechargeable battery instead of disposable batteries. If you're looking for something more baby-friendly, the Hushh Compact Sound Machine features a soft LED night light and child-safe locks.

GoPro Hero 12 Black Action Camera

travel tech what is

If you can only pack one camera for travel, make it the new GoPro Hero 12 Black. An evolution of the already impressive Hero 11 Black , it's small enough to fit in the tightest corners of a bag, yet it is on par with much larger cameras, thanks to 12 generations of innovation. This latest version of GoPro's storied Hero camera can shoot high-dynamic-range video for improved contrast and coloring, a wider field-of-view lens to capture more of a scene, and Bluetooth support for headphones. Plus, it has the best in-camera stabilization yet. It's built to withstand bumps, drops, and splashes, and a great smartphone app lets you upload your footage to social media wherever you are.

Kensington Privacy Screens

travel tech what is

When you think of tech privacy while traveling, you might think of VPNs , which allow you to connect to the internet through a secure server so you can work securely and remotely. But for added security, don't overlook privacy screens. Kensington sells a number of reliable privacy screens  — some attached with magnets, others by an adhesive, depending on your laptop or tablet — that reduces viewing angles and filters blue light .

Etekcity Luggage Scale

travel tech what is

Overweight baggage fees can cost an arm and a leg and who knows what else, and they're especially tricky when traveling internationally. Etekcity's luggage scale is reliable and accurate, plus it's ultra portable and weighs under five ounces to easily fit in your bag.

TwelveSouth AirFly

travel tech what is

A tiny dongle that lets you use your wireless headphones for in-flight entertainment? How smart. TwelveSouth's AirFly plugs into the audio jack so you can hear airline TV screens using your own personal headphones. And with more than 20 hours of battery life, it could last even the most long-haul flights. If you've got a travel companion, the AirFly Duo lets you connect two pairs of headphones at once. And for car rides in older vehicles, the AirFly Pro lets you stream from your phone to the stereo's aux-in port.

Logitech K380 Keyboard

travel tech what is

Logitech's K380 keyboard is an excellent portable set of keys that has a small footprint that will make working even in the most cramped spaces a little more comfortable. It connects to any device that supports Bluetooth and pairs with up to three devices, which is perfect if you're switching between a laptop, tablet, and phone. It's ultra quiet, and can last two years one just two AAA batteries.

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3

travel tech what is

The newest ultra-portable speaker from Ultimate Ears, the Wonderboom 3 is a 360-degree speaker that should fulfill your travel needs. It has battery life of up to 14 hours on a single charge. There's an "Outdoor Boost" mode that cranks up the bass, and it can float if you throw it in water. This is a versatile little speaker that can also pair with another Wonerboom speaker for stereo sound.

Kindle Paperwhite

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Easily one of the best Kindles you can buy right now , the 11th-generation Kindle Paperwhite includes a larger 6.8-inch, high-resolution display, adjustable warm lighting, responsive page-turning, and USB-C charging. The base Paperwhite comes with 8GB of storage, which should be plenty for most people (that's around 3,000 e-books).

Hypervolt Go 2

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A must-have for preventing and easing the aches and pains of traveling, the Hypervolt Go 2 weighs just 1.5 pounds and lasts up to 3 hours on a single charge. With three speeds and two interchangeable heads, it can do wonders for a stiff neck, sore muscles, back pain and more. It's also surprisingly quiet. The Go 2 is TSA-approved, as long as it's packed in your carry-on. Unfortunately, it doesn't come with a travel case. 

Manfrotto Pixi Mini Tripod

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Whether it's for timelapses, self-portraits, or video calls, a phone tripod can be surprisingly handy when you're on the go. Manfrotto makes some of the best travel tripods in the world, and its Pixi Mini Tripod folds up small (you can also use this tripod as a grip) and weighs less than a pound. Unlike some tripods, the Pixi Mini can be used with different types of phones thanks to its universal clamp.

Roku Streaming Stick 4K

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If you're not traveling with a streaming stick, you're missing out on a simple travel hack. You can plug it into your hotel room or Airbnb's TV and stream your favorite movies and shows. Roku's Streaming Stick 4K is well-suited for travel, and will give you great picture quality, whether streaming in HD, 4K, or HDR. Just don't forget to bring the physical Roku remote.

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You can purchase logo and accolade licensing to this story here . Disclosure: Written and researched by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our partners. We may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at [email protected] .

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travel tech what is

What is Vrbo? How the Airbnb alternative works

  • Vrbo, founded before Airbnb, offers over 2 million vacation rentals with superior search tools for finding the perfect home for your trip.
  • While Vrbo focuses on entire residences for rent, Airbnb offers cheaper options like renting a room in a host's home.
  • It is recommended to check both Vrbo and Airbnb for your next trip to find the best price and widest range of options. Airbnb has more choices, but Vrbo may have hidden gems not listed on Airbnb.

When traveling , hotels used to be the only option. Airbnb changed that, allowing regular people to rent out their homes, apartments, or other amenities to travelers in exchange for money. However, another name in the rental space is Vrbo , which was founded in 1995 — long before Airbnb was even an idea.

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Even though it was founded first, Vrbo isn't nearly as well-known as Airbnb. But before you book your next trip, it's worth checking out Vrbo to see if you can find a place you like better and to compare similar rentals at potentially lower prices. Here's everything you need to know about Vrbo so, you can make an educated travel decision before you go.

What is Vrbo?

Vrbo was initially founded in 1995 as VRBO or 'Vacation Rentals by Owner.' It really blew up in popularity in 2019 when it dropped the capital letters in the name and started being pronounced phonetically as ver-bow (this was also after Expedia purchased the company in 2015).

Like Airbnb, anyone can list their vacation home, apartment, cabin, or other rental on the service, and travelers can rent them for their vacation. Vrbo claims to have over 2 million bookable vacation rentals as of this writing, so just about any popular destination should have homes available. It comes with a detailed search tool that'll let you find homes that work for your journey. The filters and options on Vrbo are far superior to Airbnb, so locking in the right place is a lot easier on Vrbo.

How is Vrbo different from Airbnb?

The most significant difference between the two travel giants is the types of places Vrbo offers. You'll have difficulty finding extremely cheap places where you rent a room inside the host's home (often while the host is there), which is quite common on Airbnb. Instead, Vrbo prides itself on offering the entire residence for rent, which is great for privacy but not so great for anyone looking to go somewhere alone at a very low price.

Otherwise, the two vacation rental platforms are very similar. Vrbo's superior search tools give it a slight edge in that regard, but that's not to say it's hard to find a place on Airbnb. When you're traveling somewhere and want to rent a whole home, your best bet will always be to check both websites to see which offers the best options for the best price. Limiting yourself to one platform will only hurt you. Speaking of the search tools, we definitely recommend you use those limitation buttons, ranges, and boxes. Think online shopping, but for vacation homes.

Vrbo vs Airbnb: Price comparison for travelers

While the two travel websites are pretty similar, I still had to put them to the test to see where I could find a cheaper rental. For testing, I used the Las Vegas Strip, as it's an extremely popular travel destination with plenty of choices on both platforms. I used the week of January 14 through January 21, 2024, on both sites (this was written and researched about three weeks before those dates, so it's a fairly last-minute trip). I also selected two travelers to get a good idea of what the average couple would see if they planned a trip. I also limited my search to only houses with full kitchens and living rooms.

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Starting with Vrbo, I got 29 results using the Las Vegas Strip as the search location with the above parameters. The cheapest was a 480 square-foot apartment in Bluegreen Club 36 with a kitchen, living room, one bedroom, and a bathroom for $77 per night or $669 total. For those with money to burn, there was a four-bedroom suite on the strip for $18,025 for the week.

One that really caught my attention was a three-bedroom, 2.5 bathroom townhouse, a block from the strip for $225 per night. Overall, I was happy with the results on Vrbo, and if I were planning a trip to Las Vegas , I'd definitely book one of these options.

Using the same search option for Airbnb was more difficult because Airbnb doesn't have the option to require the place to have a living room, but you can require a kitchen in the filtering options. It will search only for places where you get the entire home, which gave me similar results. Sorting options are also non-existent on Airbnb, so finding the cheapest option is tricky. The same or a similar one-bedroom apartment at Bluegreen Club 36 was listed on Airbnb for $82 nightly or $712 total, which is a little more expensive than the option on Vrbo.

Despite the price difference, I did find more options on Airbnb than Las Vegas once I got into the slightly higher $150-$200 per night price range, so if having a more extensive selection of homes and apartments is an essential factor for you, definitely check Airbnb, as its larger userbase leads to more choices.

I could find an apartment for the lowest price much more easily on Vrbo, and the overall cost is lower, so if you're traveling on a budget and want a whole home or apartment for yourself, Vrbo is a good option to consider.

Vrbo vs Airbnb: Price comparison for owners

If you're a property owner, you're probably wondering how much it'll cost to list your place on Airbnb or Vrbo. After all, how much you'll take home is an important factor to consider.

Vrbo has a 3% fee for payment processing costs and a 5% commission fee for bookings. However, listing your rental on the site is free. This is the only option for listing your home on Vrbo, so it's a take-it-or-leave-it kind of situation.

Airbnb offers two different options for renters: the split-fee option, where the homeowner and traveler pay the fee together, or a structure that sees only the homeowner paying the fee. Most people go with the split option, which sees the homeowner paying 3% and the renter paying the rest, usually in the 14% range. Some homeowners, such as those in Italy and those with Super Strict cancellation policies, will pay a higher percentage. The Host-only fee option allows the homeowner to spend 14-16% of the booking cost, leaving the renter to pay none of the cost.

Most hosts will find that Airbnb is cheaper since it doesn't charge the 3% plus 5% fee; instead, it charges only 3% to the homeowner in the split-fee option.

Which should you use for your next trip?

The answer here is really simple: you should use both. There's no reason to lock yourself into one travel site or another. Take the extra 15 minutes to scan through the rental options on both websites and see which offers the better price for your destination and time-frame. You might find a hidden gem on Vrbo that isn't listed on Airbnb or vice versa.

That said, if you're unwilling or unable to look at both sites, I'd have to recommend Airbnb overall, as there are far more options available, even if the search tools aren't as good as Vrbo. Having more options means you can find the perfect spot for your trip, and that's always a good thing.

What is Vrbo? How the Airbnb alternative works

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Amazon’s secret Prime Day deals: Save on credit cards, subscriptions, travel and more

Leading up to Amazon Prime Day, Prime members can save on subscriptions like Amazon Music Unlimited, as well as groceries through Amazon Fresh.

Amazon's early Prime Day deals are plentiful, but the discounts don’t stop there. The retailer is also offering a handful of Prime member -exclusive promotions, including free gift cards or savings on travel bookings. However, these promos aren’t front and center on the retailer’s site, so you may not know about them yet.

Below are some of the best Prime Day credit card, subscription, food and travel deals worth taking advantage of , plus how to save through Buy with Prime. Make sure you note when the deals end so you don’t miss out on them. We’ll continue updating you about these Prime Day deals and more leading up to Amazon’s mega sale on Jul. 16 and 17.

SKIP AHEAD Buy with Prime deals | Buy with Prime home, kitchen and tech deals | Buy with Prime beauty, wellness and hobbies deals | Best Prime Day credit card deals | Best Prime Day subscription and travel deals | Best Prime Day food and grocery deals

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Buy with prime deals.

Beyond the discounted products on Amazon’s website, Prime members can access even more deals when they Buy with Prime directly through participating brands’ websites. Buy with Prime partners include Bearaby , Pizza Pack , Carbone Fine Food and The Woobles . Here’s how to take advantage of these exclusive deals:

  • Browse Buy with Prime deals here . When you find one you want to purchase, click on it to visit the product page on the brand’s site.
  • On the product page, scroll down to the blue button that says “Buy with Prime.” You’ll either be prompted to sign into your Amazon Prime account or get automatically logged in.
  • Select a payment method and address saved in your Prime account, then complete the checkout process.
  •  Since you’re buying through Amazon Prime, you’ll get free, fast shipping on your order. You can track it through Amazon’s app or website.

The best Buy with Prime deals: Home, kitchen and tech

Home, kitchen and tech deals.

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Best Prime Day credit card deals

  • Prime Visa credit card : Prime members can get a $200 Amazon gift card upon approval for a Prime Visa credit card through Jul. 24.
  • Prime Store card : Prime members can get a $80 Amazon gift card upon approval for a Prime Store Card through Jul. 17.
  • Prime Card Bonus : Amazon cardmembers with Prime memberships can earn 10% back or more on Prime card exclusive deals from brands like Bissell , Dyson , Shark and Sony .

Best Prime Day subscription and travel deals

  • Amazon Music Unlimited : Prime members who haven’t tried Amazon Music Unlimited yet can sign up for five months free.
  • Kindle Unlimited : Eligible Prime members can get three months of Kindle Unlimited for free through Jul. 17.
  • Audible Premium Plus : Prime members can get their first three months of Audible Premium Plus for free.
  • Amazon Travel Deals : Prime members can save on travel experiences by booking through the Amazon Travel Deals Page. For example, you can get up to 40% off select sailings with Carnival Cruise Line and 30% off Avis rentals, plus 10% back in an Amazon gift card.

Best Prime Day food and grocery deals

  • Grubhub : Prime members get access to Grubhub+ for free, and right now, you can get a $10 Amazon gift card to shop with on Prime Day when you enter code GRUBPRIME at checkout on a $25+ Grubhub order through Jul. 15.
  • Amazon Fresh : Prime members can get coupons for $15 off a $75+ total purchase when shopping at Amazon Fresh’s physical stores.
  • Amazon grocery subscription : Prime members and those with a registered EBT card who haven’t signed up yet can get three free months of Amazon’s new grocery subscription program. 

Why trust NBC Select?

I’m an associate updates editor for NBC Select who has covered deals and sales for five years. To round up the best Prime Day deals on credit cards, travel, subscriptions and more, I researched promotions exclusive to Prime members on Amazon’s website.

Catch up on NBC Select’s in-depth coverage of personal finance , tech and tools , wellness and more, and follow us on Facebook , Instagram , Twitter and TikTok to stay up to date.

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Zoe Malin is an associate updates editor for Select on NBC News.

People have a clever way of making money off airlines to essentially travel for free—and it’s all about looking for an overbooked flight

A man sits in a plane seat with an eye mask on.

It could be a scene from an auction house: A Delta flight from Boston to Rome in September was so overbooked that a flight attendant pleaded with passengers and offered them thousands of dollars and a hotel room to give up their seats in exchange for a voucher and a later flight.

“Come on guys, $3,500, can somebody take one for the team?” the flight attendant said in a video captured on TikTok. “We’ll get you a hotel if you guys show up for us.”

@onlyinbos 13 passengers on an overbooked #Delta flight from #Boston to #Rome were given between $2000-$4000 plus hotel rooms to voluntarily give up their seat on the plane due to the flight being overbooked. 📹: @michaela_romanosmith ♬ original sound – Only In Boston

According to the account that posted the video, 13 passengers received between $2,000 and $4,000 to voluntarily surrender their tickets and end up in Rome on a later flight hours later.

It’s not just a lucky few who get to take advantage of the airline’s overbooked flight vouchers. From January to March 2024, 23,699 Delta passengers have volunteered to “take one for the team” in exchange for vouchers and travel perks. A common practice to ensure full flights, airlines often overbook passengers at the risk of shuffling them around and managing inconveniences. Per rules from the Department of Transportation (DOT), airlines must compensate passengers 200% of the one-way ticket cost for a flight delayed up to two hours, and 400% for a flight delayed more than that—a sum that can amount to up to $1,550. Airlines must give passengers compensation on the same day as the bumping incident.

But amid post-pandemic revenge travel and labor shortages that have delayed and canceled record numbers of flights, airlines have been willing to shell out more perks to bump travelers from oversold flights, anything from pizza slices for delayed passengers to $10,000 in cash . As the airline industry notches record travel days in the heat of July, airline passengers are clamoring for good deals—and the secret is out on how airlines will dish them.

“My job as a content creator is to share hacks that people really like,” full-time finance content creator Sam Jarman told Fortune . “I need to listen to my audience and my audience loves anything related to flight, tips, hacks.”

Getting booted from flights was a boon to Jarman in his years before having kids. Getting paid to wait a couple hours was a no-brainer for him, and he believes the next generation of Gen Z and millennial travelers—who are seeking experiences over luxury goods —are good candidates for taking advantage of the travel perks that booking an oversold flight can offer.

“Getting a flight voucher is almost like getting cash compensation, in my mind,” Jarman said.

Airlines are booked, busy, and bruised

Getting bumped off a flight wasn’t always considered an airline perk. Before social media became an accepted educational tool for financial literacy, it was a means of documenting airline nightmares. In 2017, a United Airlines passenger was dragged off an overbooked flight from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky. Multiple passengers captured the scene of a security officer grappling the passenger—who had a tangled shirt and askew glasses as he was dragged down the plane aisle—on cellphone cameras and posted videos on Twitter . 

“It felt like something the world needed to see,” Tyler Bridges, one of the passengers who documented the scene on camera, told the New York Times .

When airlines can’t sweeten the pot enough with vouchers and perks to lure passengers off overbooked flights voluntarily, they rarely have to resort to booting passengers off full flights involuntarily, a move that was even more controversial for this particular flight because United was looking for extra seats for its employees, Bridges said. United spokesperson Charlie Hobart responded at the time that the airline had asked the passenger several times to politely leave the plane, but he refused.

The incident was a turning point for not just United—which apologized for the “upsetting event” and for overbooking the flight—but the whole industry, according to Clint Henderson, managing editor of travel blog and news outlet The Points Guy .

“The airlines dramatically escalated the amount they were willing to pay passengers to volunteer to take a later flight,” Henderson told Fortune . “You sort of had this arms race because the airlines didn’t want to get in a situation where they had to force people off the plane.”

Indeed, airlines made near-immediate changes , with Delta increasing their compensation for overbooked flights to up to almost $10,000. American Airlines updated its Condition of Carriage to prohibit the airline from removing a paying passenger who has already boarded an oversold flight. United implemented a policy requiring flight crew to check in an hour before flights to avoid having to displace passengers in events of oversold flights.

Even the DOT intervened, bolstering its denied boarding compensation rule in 2021 to prohibit airlines from denying boarding to a passenger or involuntarily bumping them if they checked into a flight before the check-in deadline, as well as clarifying that its listed requirements for financial compensation are a minimum, not a maximum. 

As a result of the changes, United “substantially lowered the number of yearly [involuntary denied boardings] since 2017,” Hobart told Fortune .

First-class reputations

United’s 2017 incident may be a distant memory for the aviation industry that’s continued to weather controversy , but how airlines navigate compensation for overbooked flights is a microcosm of the often tenuous relationship between passengers and industry giants.

“It’s always been a push and pull between airlines and consumers,” Henderson said. “I think this is a continuation of that.”

Between shrinking seat sizes and spoiled food , commercial flights have lost their luster in the eyes of travelers. While airlines try to sweeten the pot for travelers with more generous vouchers and perks like ritzy lounges with massages and steak tartare, resentful customers will still do what they can to get a leg up on airlines they feel are ripping them off, Henderson argued. It’s an understandable sentiment from passengers, but it’s also not good news for the industry as whole.

“The airlines are not always the good guys, so I don’t want to make it sound like that,” he said. “But at the same time, it’s not the most profitable business in the world.”

Despite record travel numbers, airlines have yet to see more travelers translate to more profit. Boeing aircraft delivery delays, inflation, labor shortages, and poor expansion strategies have all dented the industry’s bottom line. The bleak outlook of the industry has Henderson concerned about TikTok trends and sharing hacks that may lead too many travelers to take advantage of overbooking rules.

But airlines haven’t found that problem. The number of passengers denied boarding because of oversold flights has actually decreased, with 0.27 passengers per 10,000 from January to March being denied boarding because of an overbooked flight on the 10 largest commercial U.S. airlines. That’s compared to 0.29 passengers per 10,000 in the same period in 2023 and 0.32 passengers per 10,000 in 2022, according to the DOT’s Air Travel Consumer Reports .

Moreover, the number of bumped passengers doesn’t fluctuate based on consumer demand or passengers hoping to cash in by intentionally booking an oversold flight. The amount of tickets an airline offers for an overbooked flight is based on its own predictions of how many people may no-show for a flight—and its own need to turn a profit.

Ultimately, Henderson believes compensation for overbooked flights, regardless of their frequency, is just another way for airline passengers to try to tip the scales of airline economics in their favor, especially when they’re feeling short-changed by the industry giants.

“It’s getting harder to maximize your battle against the airline,” he said.

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    Travel technology refers to the application of innovative digital solutions and software in the travel industry to enhance various aspects of the travel experience. This encompasses a broad spectrum of tools, including online booking platforms, mobile applications, data analytics, and emerging technologies.

  8. The Future of Travel: Technologies Shaping the Industry ...

    The travel industry's future is at a turning point as we celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week in a year in which the world continues to reopen and recover from the pandemic. Emerging technologies might never fully replace the travel experiences that people love, but they can add extra safety, save time, draw interest and even take ...

  9. Travel Technology Trends in 2024

    According to a report by Statista, the global market for travel technologies was estimated to be worth 8.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2020. By 2026, the size of this industry could increase by approximately 45 percent. There is much growth to come in this market and investing in travel technology has never been more important.

  10. 6 Ways Travel Technology Is Improving Your Trip

    4. Delivery apps to replace room service. 5. Robotic and app-powered food delivery in airports. 6. The growth of app-powered car rentals. These days, travel and technology go hand-in-hand. Many of ...

  11. What is Travel Tech?…and its benefits

    What is Travel Tech? Travel tech is the use of technology to make travel easier, more convenient, and more enjoyable. This includes everything from online travel agencies (OTAs) and metasearch engines to mobile apps and wearable devices. How Has Travel Technology Changed the Way We Travel? Travel technology has changed the way we travel in a ...

  12. The best travel gadgets of 2024

    Design: When selecting travel tech gadgets, portability and design were top of mind since you must always consider where you will store your devices during your trip. Most, if not all, of these ...

  13. 15 Key Technology Trends Emerging in the Travel Industry in 2024

    The latest technology trends in the travel and tourism industry for 2024. The hottest tips & travel tech trends, and innovate your business.

  14. Industry Home

    Delivered every Wednesday, Travel Tech's Passport newsletter keeps industry leaders up-to-date on current and emerging policy issues facing the travel tech industry. In addition to the latest about Travel Tech and its advocacy efforts, the Passport Newsletter includes a news digest of the top stories at the intersection of travel, technology ...

  15. Travel tech: What is it? How is it changing the world?

    What is travel tech? The definition of travel technology can be boiled down to using technological services to plan a trip. It is an efficient system that makes managing bookings easier for travel companies. Computerised reservation systems (CRS) help achieve the target of managing hundreds of bookings in real time.

  16. The top travel-tech trends set to revolutionize tourism in 2023

    As we move into 2023, here are the four major travel tech trends that we believe will revolutionize the industry. Jonathan Abraham. Smart hotels and rooms. Smart hotels and rooms have incorporated voice-activated assistants, smart mirrors, and automated lighting, temperature controls and activating entertainment from the guests' mobile ...

  17. Major Trends in Travel Tech: Ask Skift

    Tech was helping travel providers offer customers relevant deals and accessible customer service. In addition, companies are using big data to streamline operations, cut costs, and boost revenues.

  18. The Tech Trends Driving A Much-Needed Travel Sector Transformation

    Tech innovation in the travel sector has always been uneven. While some aspects of the travel experience have been greatly enhanced by technology in recent times, these innovations have had to co ...

  19. Travel Tech Investment Is on Unstable Ground: Here's What ...

    Travel Tech Investing. Typically, it can be tougher to raise money for travel tech startups than those in other sectors. While it probably will not return to as difficult as it was pre-pandemic ...

  20. 10 top travel technology companies

    10. Omio. Omio is a travel search engine technology platform and software solution that empowers travelers to search for trains, buses, flights, ferries, car rental, and airport transfers. Travelers can book all their tickets in one place on this travel aggregator, making for a seamless transport journey.

  21. The 27 Best Travel Gadgets in 2023

    A must-have for preventing and easing the aches and pains of traveling, the Hypervolt Go 2 weighs just 1.5 pounds and lasts up to 3 hours on a single charge. With three speeds and two ...

  22. Travel tech: How much is too much?

    When it comes to travel tech, how much is too much? Link Copied! People look at a Google Earth map on a screen as Google Earth unveils the revamped version of the application April 18, 2017 at a ...

  23. TravelTech Show 2025

    TravelTech Show is where it all comes together. Dive into Europe's go-to event for discovering fresh suppliers and industry shifts. Beyond an expo, it's a pulse check on travel's latest innovations and trusted names. Backed by the Phocuswright family, it's your map to pivotal updates and connections.

  24. Do Sleep Trackers Really Work?

    These devices cast a wide net, so to speak, and pick up all sorts of heart-rate data and movement throughout the night. But interpreting the data isn't as simple as your watch might make it seem.

  25. What is Vrbo? How the Airbnb alternative works

    Best travel tech: 10 must-have items to buy before you fly After spending the past year country hopping and moving to London, these are the 10 travel tech essentials I can't go without. Even ...

  26. Prime members can save on rental cars, cruises and travel experiences

    Prime members can get secret Prime Day deals through Buy with Prime. Plus, save on credit cards, subscriptions like Amazon Music, Grubhub food delivery and travel experiences.

  27. 51 Best Early Amazon Prime Day Member-only Deals

    Tech and travel go hand-in-hand, enhancing your journey in many ways. For unparalleled in-flight entertainment, I can't recommend the Apple AirPods Max Headphones enough. With an incredible $100 ...

  28. Important Updates for Travel and Expenses

    As part of Georgia Tech's commitment to institutional compliance and adherence to government issued travel-related policies, Procurement and Business Services is sharing several updates to essential travel-related policies and procedures as well as clarifying common procedures to help ensure travelers understand how to complete their expense reports accurately and in a timely manner.

  29. How overbooked flights can let you travel for free and net you

    The incident was a turning point for not just United—which apologized for the "upsetting event" and for overbooking the flight—but the whole industry, according to Clint Henderson ...

  30. Google Is No Longer Claiming to Be Carbon Neutral

    The tech giant, which has seen its planet-warming emissions rise because of artificial intelligence, has stopped buying cheap offsets behind the neutrality claim. The company now aims to reach net ...