How quaint we are in 2022, plagued by anachronistic and misguided notions of what travel really is. Thank goodness quantum leaps in technology are about to solve problems we never imagined. Don’t worry about this brave new world. Kiss him. These eight things we hate about travel will soon be gone.
Who doesn’t want to get rid of passports, credit cards, plane tickets, immigration cards, hotel key cards and vaccination certificates? They will all be encoded on a chip embedded in your finger. Just give a little wave and the border gates and hotel doors will open. ATMs will spout money. And thanks to GPS tracking, the government will always know where you are – which will be a good thing if you find you’re missing a finger in a favela.
God how we hate to drive. Many hideous hours have been spent wandering along an ocean road, up a mountain or through a national park. Many times we were left to decide for ourselves whether a scenic view was worth a break or a picnic. But technology will save us from such trouble. Our rental car will drive itself and decide where to stop, and we can relax and watch TikTok videos as Italy rolls by.
POSE FOR PHOTOS
I can’t wait for it to go away. We can hope that by 2037 Instagram will be as extinct as MySpace and we won’t need to pack our fluorescent bikinis and floppy hats and have photoshoots in infinity pools and lavender fields. The new trend? Be yourself, so you can stand like a sack of potatoes in your scruffy travel clothes and strike no poses at all. So retro. It will be like the 1960s again – only in color – and just as liberating.
People line up to enter the Louvre in Paris. Photo: iStock
The problem with travel is that it has become accessible to scum and strangers and before we know it we special people have had to line up to see the Mona Lisa. How we would like to see the queues long gone. But don’t worry, they will. Just leave more than $50 at the security check at the airport, museum or palace and walk past them. Or pay the new $200 entrance fee to this famous landmark and you’ll find far fewer destitute people around. Until the uprising, at least.
Crossing sunny vineyards or skirting fjords on a local train: who needs it? You haven’t experienced the joys of travel until you climb into a capsule on Elon Musk’s Hyperloop and zoom off at 1,200 km/h. Phew, you will be spared seeing villages and castles in bloom, and even lakes and mountains will be blurry. After all, the whole point of travel is to get there quickly. Or make a billionaire rich. Or something.
With robots and holograms already a reality in some hotels and cruise ships, 2037 will be a wonderful world where everyone smiles, gives you the right information, and never forgets to vacuum under the bed. Plus, robots, unlike pesky humans, don’t need minimum wage or a tea break. Finally, we’ll have all of our first-world travel pleasures without the slightest pinch of post-colonial guilt or the need to be nice. Perfect.
I don’t know how we survived the buses and the jungles, the dusty bazaars and the rickety ruins. Fortunately, in 2037, we’ll be staying in our living rooms to see the sights through simulated travel experiences. Florence looks so much better on Google Earth VR. And if you go somewhere, you’ll realize how boring traveling was without augmented reality. You’ll love walking around Angkor Wat in your virtual reality goggles as digital ninjas spring from shady corners.
As space tourism heats up, we can hope that Earth will long be the number one tourist destination. After all, it gets so crowded, polluted, hot and uncomfortable. Zooming into space will be a particularly exhilarating form of disaster tourism that will allow us to gaze upon our blue planet with the same fascination Nero gazed at a fiery Rome as he played the violin. What is the next step ? Well, the pristine, uncrowded and exotic Moon and Mars are waiting to fulfill all your sightseeing fantasies.