Written by Ryan Brubacher
There is one major constant in the travel industry. Regardless of the flight’s generation, destination or duration, the consumer wants to be able to travel with confidence. This has never been more important than it is today.
With so many of us getting so close to planning and co-travelling, we can’t help but feel the weight of the uncertainty. There is a fluctuating list of reasons why consumers experience these uncomfortable feelings – for example, the possibility of illness/illness, other health issues, travel costs, international tensions, regional conflicts, extreme weather, or the risk of natural disasters, and so on. With concerns often shared by a number of travelers, there is also a wide range of factors that can cause individuals to experience a unique form of travel anxiety. You may have had a negative experience before while traveling or this is the first time you are traveling alone.
In any case, it is widely common for travelers in 2022 to yearn to feel safe and protected.
With all that said, I would argue that in many ways, we are more prepared than ever to travel safely. From a technological point of view, this is 100% the case. While our parents and grandparents were tasked with traveling with travel agent guidance and guidebooks, we have the ability to use resources like Google Maps, Airbnb, blogs from other travelers, and more to make the most of our trip.
As a pioneer at Seven Corners, I am in a position to advocate for consumers to use insurance to protect the financial investment they have made in travel. I also have a platform to show consumers how technology can be a guide. Whether you’re traveling across state, country, or the world, here are our top three tips that can help you travel with more confidence.
- Certainty is created through research
Just as you wouldn’t attend a job interview without properly researching the company and opportunity, you also wouldn’t want to find yourself in a new destination without any prior knowledge of the top attractions, dining options, and transportation available.
Two great resources that are sometimes overlooked are the city’s tourism website and the Chamber of Commerce website. Both usually specify information on local establishments, upcoming events, accommodations, and parking availability. These platforms can also help you decide what activities are available and the age-appropriate for those traveling with you.
Another way to find out more about your potential destination is through YouTube and TikTok videos where these showcase other people’s past travel experiences in a specific area and usually highlight the biggest takeaways from their trip.
- Your mobile device should be a close companion
We often see consumers looking for travel opportunities when they need to disconnect from the technology they use in their daily lives. This is completely understandable. However, it is not the most realistic option, especially when traveling long distances or to new destinations. With just a few taps on the phone, we can share our new arrival time with our loved ones, submit our tickets for a flight, and participate in contactless check-in at the hotel.
The industry itself is starting to rely on technology more than ever, due in part to the pandemic. In fact, data.ai reports from the summer of 2021 showed a 20 percent increase in travel/navigation app usage compared to the previous months and times of the year. Travel apps are available, and it is wise to take advantage of them. If you’re not sure where to start, the Apple App Store and Google Play Store have excellent lists of the top free and paid travel apps in use today.
- Use technologies that enhance your safety
Currently, there are a number of techniques you can use to help ensure your or your group’s safety while traveling.
Companies like Seven Corners offer 24/7 connectivity through multiple channels like mobile app, text messaging, WhatsApp, and more. This is a growing trend across the industry with many insurance companies, airlines, residential reservations and tour operators prioritizing around the clock communication with their customers. Apps like Find My allow you to share your location a set of times with specific individuals, helping you monitor where you are and stay in touch with every member of your group.
Resources like Sherpa are available to help you navigate the changing travel requirements and restrictions around the world. Finally, keeping an eye on local news coming from your destination area is a tried and true way to stay informed and safe while on vacation.
A trip with your family to Disney World is filled with a whole different energy than a ski trip with your friends, a conference with your peers or a student class abroad in Europe. In all of these scenarios, safety should be your top priority, and technology is there to help you every step of the way.
Ryan Brubecker is CIO and Executive Vice President of Operations at Seven Corners, a travel insurance company based in Carmel.