2 min read

10 Travel Evolutions in 20 Years

10 Travel Evolutions in 20 Years

While we can all wax poetic over greeting someone right at the gate as they disembarked the plane, or the ease of pre-9/11 travel check-ins, there are many ways in which travel has vastly improved in the past two decades. Consider these 10 evolutionary changes and how they’ve affected your travel life:

  1. Smoke-Free Flights: Many millennial travelers are gob-smacked when Gen Xers and Baby Boomers try explaining there was once upon a time when you emerged from your flight smelling like you’ve spent the night in a smoke-filled bar.
  2. Facebook’s Safety Check: When you’re on the other side of the globe and a major earthquake, weather or terrorism event has occurred nearby, Facebook has become the de facto starting point to check in with loved ones to reassure them of your safety, or even connect with locals for a safe space to wait out a storm.
  3. No More Traveler’s Checks: Between their less-than-favorable exchange rates and the fact that many merchants don’t even accept them anymore, they’ve gone the way of the dinosaur.
  4. The Wake-Up Call: The smart phone has replaced many things, including those paid wake-up call services.
  5. Digital documents: From your boarding pass to your itinerary to your auto insurance, everything is at your fingertips on the phone (just pray you never lose your phone).
  6. Travel in Mexico: Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta were common destinations for sales and incentive meetings back in the day, but the State Department’s December 2016 Mexico Travel Warning flagged 14 of Mexico’s 31 states as dangerous to Americans.
  7. Processing Kodak Film: In 1997, digital cameras were still pricey and not commonplace amongst consumers or baked into cell phones, so it was the post-travel routine to drop off several rolls of film at the local drugstore and anxiously await a few good images out of the many taken. Today the bad images are just erased immediately and the “keeper” images are uploaded to the cloud or possibly converted into a professional-looking hardcover memory album via Shutterfly or Snapfish.
  8. No More Free Lunches: International flights may still serve full meals, but those four-hour flights that used to serve tastebud-challenged free lunches are yesterday’s news. Today we’re grateful for Biscoff biscuit cookies and a tomato juice.
  9. TSA Check-In Work-Arounds: From the $85 five-year membership to TSA Pre√ to the newer, costlier CLEAR membership at $179 annually (only available in certain airports at this writing) 9/11 ushered in all manner of precautionary hassles to ensure traveler safety, which created a whole new industry for work-arounds.
  10. Comfort Animals: The latest trend in travel is getting accustomed to seeing everything from cats, dogs, miniature ponies and geese (yes, “geese!”) as “comfort animals” for the traumatized traveler. (For some travelers, this may not be considered an improvement, as the needs of travelers requiring comfort animals outweigh the needs of travelers with pet allergies or bird phobias.)

If you have questions for AmTrav about any changes in current business travel protocols, please contact us at (800) 795-8371.


By: Denise D.

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