In our latest iPad Magazine issue, we asked five travel-savvy entrepreneurs in the Young Entrepreneur Council about the evolving travel landscape, both in the US and beyond. Check out their answers to the following question below!
Do you think people are traveling more or less today than ever before? Why?
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“People are absolutely traveling more than ever before. Just last year, there were more than 940 million international tourist arrivals worldwide. The Internet, in its first stage, greatly facilitated travel by providing a lot of information directly to the customer and reducing prices by cutting intermediation costs and making the industry more competitive — led by companies like Expedia, Priceline, Travelocity, etc.
Even more so, the shared economy is providing a new layer of relevant information that fosters the creation of new exciting alternative services, like Airbnb, Triptrotting and our company WeHostels, kickstarting a new stage in the travel industry.”
— Diego Saez-Gil, Co-founder and CEO of WeHostels
“I believe people are traveling more than ever, despite the sagging economy over the last three years. The rise of discount airlines — not just in the USA and Europe, but also in regions around the world — has made it easier and cheaper then ever to get around. Plus, social media is being used by all the major airlines and travel companies to advertise their deals directly with travelers who are most interested in receiving them.
In addition, more and more people are broadcasting their travel experiences through blogs and social media as they happen, which provides immediate inspiration and motivation to those who follow. I mainly stay in hostels, and unlike five years ago, most travelers are carrying either laptops or smartphones so they can update Facebook, and stay in touch with friends and family.”
— David Lee, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Go Backpacking
“As a whole, I don’t see any major change in the volume of travel that is taking place. I am, however, seeing a huge shift in the kind of travel. As virtual connectivity has advanced, people are using online resources to have more meaningful travel experiences, like how Airbnb allows visitors to live in a community setting while they travel instead of a large hotel. Other resources are popping up every day to help travelers meet locals instead of hiring a tour guide, such as Plus One Berlin. At Ventura Air Services, this is changing the way we do business — we have a series of adventure trips in the works and our flight instructors are all on Instagram!”
— Nick Tarascio, CEO of Ventura Air Services
What is the biggest mistake one can make booking travel plans while traveling?
“The biggest mistake people make is not planning for things going wrong. When you’re staying at a hotel, carry earplugs to reduce the noise from the street or the room upstairs. When you’re flying, don’t put medication in your checked bag — bags get lost!
Likewise, when a flight gets cancelled, don’t stand in line to get rebooked with everyone else. Instead, pull up your options on an app like Hipmunk, and call the airline’s customer service number knowing exactly what flight you want.
The trick really is just thinking, ‘How could this go wrong?’ Booking tight connections during bad weather is asking for trouble. So is taking a flight that lands only an hour before your friend’s wedding starts. Also, traveling without eyeshades is always a mistake!”
— Adam Goldstein, Co-founder of Hipmunk
“If you are traveling to visit family for the holidays and you know where you want to stay, there isn’t much room for error. The tricky part comes when you’re booking a complicated itinerary. I’ve seen countless people choose the wrong cruise line or cabin on a ship, book a resort that isn’t in the right location, and choose restaurants and hotels based on online reviews from people who are nothing like them. And the biggest mistakes come from wasting time doing research, spending too much, and not having clear expectations of what to prepare for.
Rather than booking through an online agency like Travelocity (if something goes wrong, good luck!) or researching for hours to book a trip through the cruise line or hotel directly, I highly suggest using a travel agent. Like other service professionals, travel agents are experts and will save you time and money. Why do you hire an accountant, doctor or lawyer? You could do your own research and look up your own symptoms, but you can never Google experience and piece of mind. Do you really think you can outmaneuver a travel agent who has been booking travel every day for years? The good ones are few and far between, but when you find one, latch on and don’t let go. They are worth their weight in gold.”
— Jason Beukema, Owner of Whet Travel
Whether or not you agree with these self-made travel experts, one thing’s for sure: vacation time or not, our society still isn’t taking enough time to unwind. So why not see this as your opportunity (or nudge in the right direction) to bite the bullet and book a trip? Sign up for sites like kayak.com and travelocity.com for the best in flight and hotel deals, wherever strikes your fancy.
Pichugin Dmitry via shutterstock
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.