Eight Great Travel Innovations Make Travel Easier and More Fun!

Soon, even space vacations will be possible!
2016 promises to be an exciting year for travel innovations that make traveling more convenient, easier and even more fun. From futuristic space flights and self-driving cars, to check-ins that bypass the lobby and hotels that rent rooms by the hour, it seems like new innovations are happening daily. It's a quickly changing travel world! Here's our top eight...


Yes, robots are picking up the slack for their human counterparts, and it's not just about performing a service, these robots can also read human emotions. Starting this spring Costa Cruises will bring in humanoid robots to work along with the staff. Pepper Robots, made by French company Aldebaran, can also read human emotions. They interact with humans by communicating through intuitive interfaces including voice and touch. And they do it in German, Italian and English!

Book by the Hour

Perfect for an unexpected lay over or to get ready for a meeting or a special event, HotelsbyDay will book blocks of four to six hours at 40 percent less than regular room rates. Others seem to be following the trend, so be sure to ask your hotel.

No More Lost Room Keys

Starwood, Marriott, Hilton and other major brands are allowing guests to use their smart-phone as a room key. Get room details via a mobile app and wave your phone in front of the lock to open the door.

Avoid Lobby Check-In

Some hotel brands are allowing guests to check-in via text without having to download an app. Upgrades and customer service can be provided by text also. Check out Thompson and Joie de Vivre.

Traveling Alone

Solo travelers can forget about that extra fee they're usually charged for a room when traveling by cruise.  Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Norwegian are adding reasonably priced "cabins for one".  Ace and CitizenM hotels offer discount packages for solos too. Let’s hope others follow!

Get Aboard a Spaceship

Maybe not yet, but soon you may be able to take a flight with SpaceX and Virgin Galactic. Progress was made when NASA gave Elon Musk’s commercial company SpaceX a contract to bring astronauts to the International Space Station on its Crew Dragon spacecraft. Next up may be flights for the rest of us.

High-Tech Flying

Virgin America's new ViaSat Wi-Fi equipped Airbus A320 allows fliers to log onto their Netflix account and stream favorite shows to their laptop, tablet or phone up to ten times faster than any other onboard Wi-Fi systems. JetBlue has teamed with Amazon to offer free mega-fast Wi-Fi to prime members enabling them to stream almost anything for free.

No More Getting Lost

Use your smartphone to search for addresses and attractions with Google's new Offline Maps app. It offers turn-by-turn street directions pretty much anywhere in the world without internet access.

Read more in the November/December 2015 issue of ARDA’s Developments magazine, or at ARDA, JetSetter and RCI Ventures!
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