Author: Ryan Brubeck
Tourism has a major constant. Regardless of the generation, destination or span of travel, consumers want to be able to travel with confidence. This has never been more important.
As many of us approach planning and participating in a trip, we can’t help but feel the weight of uncertainty. There are many reasons why consumers face these uncomfortable feelings, for example, the possibility of contracting diseases, other health concerns, travel costs, international tensions, regional conflicts, extreme weather, natural disaster risks, etc. In addition to the fears that are often shared by many travelers, there are many factors that can cause individuals to experience their own unique forms of travel anxiety. Maybe you’ve had negative experiences while traveling before, or maybe this is your first time traveling alone.
Regardless, it’s common for travelers in 2022 to crave a sense of security and protection.
Having said all that, I think in many ways we are more prepared than ever to travel safely. From a technical point of view, this is 100% the case. While our parents and grandparents were tasked with traveling with tour operators and guides, we were able to use resources like Google Maps, Airbnb, blogs from other travelers, and more to get the most out of our trips.
As a leader in the Seven Corners, I can advocate for consumers to use insurance to protect their financial investments in travel. I also have a platform to show consumers how technology can be a guide. Whether you’re traveling across states, countries or the world, here are my top three tips to help you travel with more confidence.
- Certainty is created through research
Just as you wouldn’t go to a job interview without properly researching companies and opportunities, you don’t want to find yourself in a new destination without prior knowledge of its main attractions, dining options, and available transportation.
Two important resources that are sometimes overlooked include the city’s tourism website and the Chamber of Commerce website. Both usually outline information about local agencies, upcoming events, places to stay, and parking spaces. These platforms can also help you determine which activities are suitable for the people you travel with.
Another way to learn more about potential destinations is through YouTube videos and TikTok, as these videos showcase other people’s previous travel experiences in specific regions, often highlighting the biggest takeaways from their trips.
- Your mobile device should be an intimate companion
We often see consumers looking for travel opportunities when they need to get away from the technology they use in their daily lives. That’s totally understandable; however, it’s not the most realistic option, especially when traveling long distances or heading to a new destination. With just a few clicks on our phones, we can share our new arrival time with loved ones, show our tickets, and engage in contactless check-in at hotels.
The industry itself has begun to rely on technology more than ever, in part because of the pandemic. In fact, a summer 2021 data.ai report shows a 20% surge in travel/navigation app usage compared to previous months and other times of the year. Travel apps are available, and it’s wise to take advantage of them. If you’re not sure where to start, Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store provide an excellent list of the top free and paid travel apps in use today.
- Use technology that increases your security
Currently, there are several technologies you can use to help keep yourself or your group safe while traveling.
Companies like Seven Corners provide 24/7 communications through multiple channels such as mobile apps, SMS, WhatsApp, and more. This is a growing trend across the industry, with many insurance, airlines, residential booking and ride-sharing companies prioritizing 24/7 communication with customers. Apps like Find Me let you share your location multiple times with selected individuals, helping you monitor your whereabouts and keep in touch with everyone on your team.
Resources like Sherpa can help you navigate changing travel requirements and restrictions around the world. Finally, monitoring local news from your destination area is a reliable way to stay up to date and stay safe while on vacation.
A trip to Disney World with your family is full of completely different energy than a ski trip with your friends, a meeting with colleagues, or your student’s semester abroad in Europe. In all of these situations, safety should be your top priority, and technology is here to support you every step of the way.
Ryan Brubaker serves as CIO and Executive Vice President of Operations for Carmel-based travel insurance company Seven Corners.