Susan Michelle's Compass
Thanks For 21st Century Travel
By Susan Michelle
Nov 23, 2008 - 3:09:09 PM

Every day, I hear about the frustrations of travelers.  For many, modern travel’s become an endless source of aggravation, with perks disappearing, security an increasing hassle, flights crammed and the whole experience, overall, never being worse than now.

If that’s your opinion of travel this century, hold it right there!  Yes, travel is changing, but just as much of it has changed for the better as it has for the worse.  It’s easy to complain and focus on the glass half empty, but plop a traveler from 50 years ago into today, and bet ya they’d be shocked at how good we’ve got it.  Lest we forget that, here’s 10 modern-day travel conveniences to be thankful for this Thanksgiving:

1) The Worldwide Web: With practically the entire planet now plugged in, we can easily find a charming B&B in Estonia, see pictures of the rooms and read reviews from other travelers without having to pick-up the telephone or even leave our offices.

2) Self-Serve: No longer do we have to rely on a travel agent or handful of dated guidebooks to try and get our dream vacation right; with endless info at our disposal and booking tools online, we can control and plan everything ourselves, down to the smallest detail.

3) GPS: No more wandering through a strange town, stopping every few feet to unfold the local map that serves more to identify you as a tourist than it does to tell you where you’re going.

4) Smoke-Free Planes: If you’re not a smoker, trust me, being seated behind a plane’s smoking section for one trans-Atlantic flight was worse than 8 hours of a crying baby, babbling neighbor and kicking kid combined.  Be thankful for the no-smoking change every time you fly.

5) Wheels On Luggage: Only took travelers 2,000 years to figure this one out”¦and our backs, arms and shoulders have never been more grateful.

6) Portable Electronics: Used to be, traveling meant leaving your life behind.  But, now, with cell phones, MP3 players, laptops and DVDs, we can be reached anywhere in the world, and bring all our work and personal interests with us
for better or worse.  And with the advent of digital cameras, we can capture more of our experiences than we ever did with 35mm then instantly share the moments with the folks back home.

7) ATMs: Remember the days when running out of traveler’s checks meant you were out of cash for the rest of your trip?  No longer!

8) Travel Accessories: Every day, there’s a new luggage locator, wrinkle-free dress, travel alarm clock or jetlag preventer being released to make life on the road easier and easier.

9) Security: Yes, modern security regulations are a hassle, but I like to think the security folks are paying more attention to keeping us safe these days than they ever have before.

10) Electronic Ticketing: Nothing like the panic of losing a hard ticket.  Nowadays, you might still lose your luggage and your sanity, but you couldn’t lose your reservation if you tried.

About the Author : A former Hollywood producer and now 2nd-generation travel professional, Susan Michelle travels the planet as the “face” of the fashion-forward Compass travel lifestyle brand.

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