Travel technology keeps improving every day, but gaping holes still exist where having the right innovative tools could allow stories to be told more vividly.
Apple’s announcement last week of the Apple Watch and Apple Pay are sure to have many useful implications for travelers around the world. But the smartphone pioneers at Apple aren’t the only people with big ideas for how to change the world. Skift asked six travel experts and bloggers the following question:
“If you could invent any travel tool(s) in the world that would allow you to take your readers deeper into the places you write about, or a gadget that you could use for your own personal travel, what would it/they be?”
Their responses illustrate a few products that perhaps aren’t far from becoming reality, while other ideas will give scientists and inventors something to tinker with for a while.
Here is their “wish list:”
>> Lindsey Tramuta, Paris-based travel and food writer and founder of “Lost in Cheeseland” blog: Since I travel by belly – which is to say, I travel for the culinary experiences – it would be great to have an app that groups the top food tours or culinary classes in each destination.
David Lebovitz has his Paris Pastry app but how grand would it be if that were integrated into one larger app that featured recommendations for other worldwide destinations? Ensuring the quality of the recommendations would be key so it wouldn’t be an exhaustive list of every course or market tour available but only the best-rated and most unique.
>> Porter Fox, editor of Nowhere Magazine: An ionizer for dry cleaning socks and underwear, a solar case for iPhone, a pocket-sized drone with a camera for getting a bird’s-eye view, a magnetic travel wallet for sticking your valuables where they won’t be found, and a durable, light, cheap word processor.
>> Jeff Schneider, travel blogger: A great tool would be a widget/app on my homepage, which shows a map with my current location (+/- 5km for privacy reasons), as well as a drawn line of my previous itinerary since the start of that trip. Along the way, the tool could point out blog posts that are about that specific city/site.
If this is combined with a mobile app, I’d even love to see itineraries of other bloggers I follow, and see where our itineraries cross and maybe get notifications with their posts about those places. Such an app would make storytelling in exotic locations much more intuitive.
>> Erin Bender, co-founder of Travel With Bender blog: How great would it be if there was an app that collected where we went and where we stayed and using that information could suggest the best places for us to go in the future? It could scale your social media so it knew everything about you and build an intelligent profile for those recommendations.
Or a global food delivery system that could tie-in with existing food networks in whichever region you were in. Dinner out with kids is so hard to decide on.
A travel pillow top that you can put on even the ugliest hostel bed and sleep like a baby. It would have to be light, small to pack and then super comfortable. One can dream, right?
>> Rachael Antony, co-founder of Hotels We Love: The greatest travel device ever was invented over 20 years ago by the British sci-fi humorist Douglas Adams. The ‘Babel fish’ – a small fish you could fit in your ear that would translate any language in the universe remains, by far, the best travel tool you could hope for – Google translator has a long way to go!
>> Nick Michlewicz, About Travel’s general manager: I’d love to see a tool that filters user-generated accommodation reviews to find and curate those that matter to you, based on your individual traveling style, network and needs. There’s still a trust gap with user-generated content.