Travel Tech That Will Improve Your Trip During Coronavirus Times
Updated: Jan 8
As of today, there are 6,513,949 confirmed cases of coronavirus world-wide. The number of cases has continued to climb in some countries like the United States, but has also leveled off in others. In New Zealand for instance, the virus has been nearly fully eradicated. In France, there are only 1,000 new cases per day as of now compared to 80,000 per day in March. With this good news of fewer daily cases, many countries are slowly allowing businesses to open up as well as local and international travel. Greece, for example, is opening their borders to international flights starting July 1st. And with these openings comes a new wave of travel tech that will help make your trip as safe and enjoyable as possible.
This is good news for those who love to travel. It means that there is hope for those adventurous souls who would love for nothing more than to SAFELY hop on a flight tomorrow and explore a new country. Travel tech companies have been finding unique solutions to the rapidly changing regulations and environment to help make your travel dreams a reality. From helping you stay socially distanced in the airport to making your hotel experience seamless, and even ensuring a higher level of safety when booking adventure activities, there is amazing technology out there that has come to life during the coronavirus response.
At the end of the day, nobody knows for sure how each country will respond in the coming days and weeks around coronavirus travel policies, but what we do know for sure is that this travel tech will be there to help us navigate the “new normal” in the travel world.
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New travel tech innovations that make your trip easier
Before we jump into the amazing apps and websites you can utilize in these uncertain travel times, we wanted to bring to light a few new technologies working in the background to make everyone’s travel experiences better. You may not see these tech solutions all the time, but they are working with hotels, booking agencies, and other travel organizations to ensure a streamlined process for all travelers. We thank them for their commitment to travel tech innovation because without them it would be a lot harder to enjoy our beautiful world!
Anyline is actively changing the way companies manage data. With hotels reeling to stay afloat due to covid-19, they offer the perfect solution to help hotels stay in business while also making the end traveler experience seamless. They are able to integrate Optical Character Recognition (OCR) into a hotel's current mobile app or website, which allows guests to simply scan their documents. Thus, removing the lengthy registration forms and ID manual entry. This process reduces the booking transaction time and removes the need to visit the front desk upon arrival, making the customer journey substantially simplified and better than ever while allowing for increased social distancing as well.
TravelPerk is all about getting business travelers to and from their destinations safely. They just announced a partnership with International SOS to help companies not only track where in the world their employees are but ensure they have the medical or other crisis expertise support available should the worst happen off-site. This is one of many coronavirus travel tech innovations that will help travelers stay safe on their trips during the coronavirus pandemic.
They use artificial intelligence to help reduce wait times and flight delays at airports. Using Luma Video Insights, they produce a 3D model of the airport and movement of travelers, equipment, and luggage in real-time. This is not only beneficial to the airlines and airports, but also to the end customer. Thanks to this innovative technology in the past two years, customers flying around the world have had a more pleasant experience even in the busiest times. It also means that airports will have the ability to use this technology to ensure proper passenger spacing when going through security and boarding flights during the coronavirus and post-pandemic.
Websites & Apps to help you plan your travels safely
Now that you know the travel tech that is working in the background to make your trips easier, let’s jump into the websites and apps that will help you stay safe while traveling during coronavirus. These will help you plan your trip right away so you can ensure you have all your boxes checked before you head on your next adventure.
This is a great website where you can easily book your adventurous vacation experiences. They have off-the-beaten-path activities as well as popular outdoor activities for all major tourist destinations around the world. We really love adventure travel and highly recommend GetYourGuide if you want to enjoy a wild adventure, but still have the assurance that it will be safe.
How they help your travels during coronavirus: You can now cancel 24 hours in advance, no questions asked. Also, if you cancel under 24 hours, you get a gift card to rebook at full value in the future. This means that you can book your adventure with confidence now and not worry about losing your money. This is very valuable during the uncertain travel times of coronavirus because you never know when a business or country might change their policies last minute. GetYourGuide won’t let you suffer for something that is out of your control!
Skyscanner is the ultimate website (and app) to book your flight! With comparing prices for over 1,200 travel companies and airlines, Skyscanner will offer you the best price guaranteed. You just choose where you want to go, when you want to go, and Skyscanner will do the rest. We have booked most of our flights through this website, and have found some great deals in the past. Besides, you can also find hotel and car rental comparisons.
How they help your travels during coronavirus: Now that prices will likely go up after the corona-crisis, it will be more important than ever to compare prices and find deals! What we love the most about this app is the flexibility it offers, with its search ‘Everywhere’ button you can see where you can go for a great price. And if you have your mind set on a specific destination, the ‘Price Alerts’ feature will keep you up to date when prices change. However, it is important that you check with the individual airlines or travel agents regarding policies and refunds on flight cancellations or travel bans. While in some countries airlines are obliged to give passengers a refund for cancelled flights, others only offer time-limited credit or vouchers.
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Booking.com is a great website to search for accommodation in your destination. Whether you are looking for a homestay, hotel, or hostel. As one of the largest travel marketplaces in the world, Booking.com works with both small entrepreneurs as well as established hotel brands. We love this website as it offers a wide range of accommodation options anywhere in the world.
How they help your travels during coronavirus: with all the uncertainty surrounding, it isn’t easy to plan your accommodation in advance. Booking.com, however, does offer a wide range of accommodation options with a free cancellation policy. If you are planning your stay, this policy may put you at ease. In that case, you can cancel free of charge until the free cancellation expires if your plans change. This cancellation request is always handled by the property itself.
This is the top travel insurance out there in our opinion! They make it really easy to book your insurance quickly from anywhere in the world and have awesome coverage options. It has come in handy when we’re in another country but need to book insurance for the next spot so we’re covered. They also have tips on how to travel responsibly wherever you are and even have opportunities for you to get involved in local community projects if desired.
How they help your travels during coronavirus: During these times, the most important thing is your personal health and safety while traveling. You can never be too careful. One new feature that World Nomads has rolled out is a blog section outlining the most up-to-date travel advisories for each country. You can even filter information by the country you are traveling to. You can travel safely and with confidence with World Nomads!
Apps that will streamline your travels when you arrive
We recently discovered this amazing travel app on our last trip to Africa. We were with a group of 8 people and were finding it hard to track who was paying for what. Splitwise filled that gap for us and made life a lot easier. All you have to do is download the app, create a group of who you are traveling with, and input whatever you pay for. The app will automatically split up who owes what based on the preferences you input (ie. split and pay evenly, pay the full amount back, etc.). No calculations necessary!
How they help your travels during coronavirus: One of the most common (and lesser-known) ways that the coronavirus spreads is through the exchange of physical money. In many stores and restaurants, credit and debit cards are the only accepted forms of currency right now. Since splitwise tracks all of your expenses digitally, you can go through an entire trip without ever exchanging physical currency. You can pay with your card, track it in Splitwise, and then e-transfer any leftover expenses at the end of the trip to your friends.
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This is our favorite transportation app when traveling. It makes getting around in foreign countries a lot safer because of the user-moderated rating system and in-app tracking of your vehicle. Simply download the app, enter your credit card information, and select where you want to go. Uber will automatically detect your location and send the first available local driver to pick you up. You can also cross-reference the license plate to ensure it is the right car to go in. The price is automatically set before you even confirm your booking. These safety measures ensure that fewer robberies happen to tourists abroad and they don’t get taken advantage of for higher prices than locals would pay.
How they help your travels during coronavirus: Uber has made it clear that they want people to stay inside and “don’t move” during coronavirus times. However, their service is still running and you can always use it to get around where you need to. One great aspect of Uber that has been very popular during coronavirus is “Uber Eats”. This allows you to order food from local restaurants with ease. Uber has staffed up during these times, so you can be sure that your food will arrive quickly to your doorstep. So if you want to stay socially distanced while traveling, then try using Uber Eats for dinner and order in. Enjoy it on the patio of your hotel or Airbnb and take in the views of your new country without worrying about getting infected.
There are few travel apps more useful out there than Google Translate. If you don’t know the language of where you are traveling to, then just pull out Google Translate and either type or speak what you want to say in your own language. The app will then show what the translation is in the local language. Show or speak that to who you want to communicate with and start a conversation. It’s that simple!
How they help your travels during coronavirus: There will be many regulations in each country you visit during coronavirus times. Those regulations will likely be a bit different depending on which municipality, state, or country you visit. It’s important to read the signage and talk to locals around you to understand all of the rules. One of Google Translate’s newest features allows you to actually take a picture of what you see and then translate it for you. This is extremely helpful if you see a sign at an airport or poster on a local restaurant and want to know what the rule says.
This is one of our favorite travel apps! We have used it a lot during our trips as it saves us time and effort for finding quality things to do and places to eat around us. It includes star ratings and reviews for all the major attractions and restaurants around you wherever you are. When you’re not able to talk to a local (which might be the case during coronavirus times), it’s great to have the confidence of Tripadvisor to help guide you through your travel activities
How they help your travels during coronavirus: The coronavirus has caused a lot of uncertainty locally and when traveling. It is hard to find information on what is open, closed, or has different regulations. Tripadvisor has made it easier to track down this information by updating their business listings as much as possible to reflect the current situation. Their reviews system also updates in real-time, so if a traveler visits a local attraction and finds that you must bring a mask with you or that it is operating on irregular hours, they will usually post that in the review which allows you to be in the loop before you go.
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This app is the #1 offline map for travelers. With tourist routes, hiking trails, and navigation available all around the world, you will never get lost again in your destination. We have been using this app for years and it has been saving us money on our cellular data usage and a GPS system. Above all, this app is entirely free! The app integrates with hotel bookings on booking.com and even shows descriptions and photos of places.
How they help your travels during coronavirus: This app makes it easier to navigate while traveling. Forget about paper maps, GPS systems, or having to purchase a local SIM card. You can follow directions now from your phone, all offline!
The "New Normal" of travel
We hope this travel tech guide helps you navigate the “new normal” of travel. All of these apps and technologies are making it as easy as possible for people around the world to travel again by implementing new updates. This is leading to a safer and more informed travel experience than ever before, which will inevitably make travel better for everyone right now during the coronavirus but also in the long-term. If you are indeed planning a trip now during coronavirus times, make sure to use this travel tech to your advantage and stay safe. Check all of the local and international regulations before you embark on your journey as things are changing daily around the world. And most important, have a great adventure!
>>> Check out our other best travel tips! We've compiled 50 travel tips after visiting 50+ countries. We hope they help make your next adventure abroad a memorable one.
Do you want to have the best travel Apss at your fingertips? In this article, we share and review the 15 of our favorite travel Apps that have significantly improved our travel experiences abroad. All of them are FREE to download and use!
Have you used other travel tech that has helped you enjoy your trip more or travel safer? We would love to hear about it! Comment below.