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Back in June, released the results of a survey that showed how millennials travel differently — and I dissected it here.
This month, hungry for even more insights into the traveler mindset, they asked a new question, and I admit it’s a pretty fun one. What will travel look like by the year 2030?
A lot can happen in fifteen years. Fifteen years ago, I didn’t even have a cell phone — and thanks to I didn’t know if the world would last long enough for me to get one. Granted, I was ten — though I swear here in 2015 toddlers can operate their personal iPads with more dexterity than full grown adults display while using chopsticks. Back in my day, when you wanted to talk to your friends, you had to scan the school directory for their digits, have an awkward conversation with their mom, and then finally get down to the pressing matter of who forgot to feed the joint custody friendship that day. Ah, how times changed in fifteen years. Here’s what surveyed Americans think I’ll have to look forward to in fifteen more.
For the most part… I hope they’re right! Here’s what got me buzzing about looking beyond the present.
Nothing gets this aqua-holic going like the idea of spending even more time beneath the sea. Turns out, many of my fellow travelers think that in the near future, I won’t have to scuba dive to spend extended time underwater. Among travel experiences of the future, 40% think underwater hotels might become more of a reality in the next 15 years.
The concept of underwater hotels isn’t exactly new, but so far it has yet to hit the mainstream, and it can be hard to find information about them beyond concept drawings and press releases. Here’s hoping that one day they’ll feel more substance than science fiction!
There’s nothing green about the idea of traveling green – I believe the concept of consumers making eco-friendly choices on the road is more a cultural shift than travel trend. I have a hunch it will become even more of a priority over time, and survey takers agree: 71% of travelers agree that Americans will choose “Eco-Travel” destinations for vacations in the future.
Of course, it’s easy to slap the “eco” label on just about anything, from jungle lodges to beach resorts. I hope consumers will take the time to dig a little deeper beyond those three little letters and look for destinations practicing sustainability in everything from respect for local resources to use of renewable energies.
Travelers may love to complain about air travel, but they remain skeptical of the alternatives — of those surveyed, only 26% believe transatlantic trains will a become travel options by 2030, while only 24% had faith in flying cars. I’m not too fussed with flying cars – I find driving challenging enough with four wheels on the ground, thank you very much – but I do love the idea of taking a train from New York to Naples!
Train tracks are one of my favorite ways to get from point A to point B. I can’t wait until the day this one becomes a reality – and hopefully security is handled by an organization .
After years of hauling around a backpack full of paperbacks, I finally threw in the (paper) towel and added a Kindle to my carry on. But I still love the feel of flipping through actual pages, hence, I’d be devastated if this prediction came true: Some 58% of travelers surveyed believe passports could eventually become available for digital devices, while 50% believe human face recognition technology could replace passports altogether.
I hope not! Nothing fires up nostalgia for travels past like flipping through the visa-plastered and ink-stained pages of a well-worn passport. At least in this case, I’m crossing my fingers for consistency.
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What do you hope travel looks like in 2030?