Time was when flying was a luxurious adventure. Today, with increased security, it has become a major hassle.
Despite that, over the past quarter-century, there have been numerous innovations that have made travel considerably more comfortable and convenient. Here’s a list of 10, in no particular order:
GPS: Whether you’re traveling domestically or internationally, map reading has been minimized and countless marriages have been saved.
Tour-group headsets: Stray from your tour group and still hear the commentary from your guide. He or she wears a microphone and the group wears headsets. You get all the information, plus it’s easier to keep the group together.
High-speed train service throughout Europe: Go from city center to city center faster by rail than by air on trips of 3 1/2 hours or less by using trains that travel at nearly 200 mph in many European countries. And, of course, this includes the opening of the Channel Tunnel.
Internet: This includes all versions of “pads” and “pods” as well as the Internet itself. Staying in touch with home or tracking friends within your destinationis now a simple touch
Euro: The currency may not survive, but it sure has made traveling between multiple European nations a lot easier.
ATMs: No more standing in line to sign traveler’s checks or convert currency. ATMs also allow you access to money at any time including weekends, holidays and after hours.
Swiss Rail Pass: Always a great travel bargain because it offers the use of local transportation, postal buses, boats, funiculars and cable cars as well as trains. Now you also get free admission to more than 400 museums throughout Switzerland.
Cellphones: No more rushing to pay phones to announce late departures or arrivals. Plus there’s the ease of staying in touch while traveling.
Personal in-flight entertainment systems: Select from a variety of movies, TV shows, games or even track your location during a flight.
Eurail Saverpass programs: Many European rail passes now offer Saverpasses, which provide substantial discounts for two or more people traveling together. Great for small groups or families.