Travel in 2022 has been defined by upset, with canceled flights, expensive tickets, and lost luggage dominating headlines. Summer was particularly challenging, with trips more popular than even before the pandemic, according to a report by the World Travel & Tourism Council. The season saw a record number of delayed flights (19%) and canceled flights (4%), making travel a nightmarish and unpredictable experience for many.
While there’s no controlling the weather or fuel prices, there is plenty travelers can do to feel empowered about seeing the world. With all these variables in flux, here are various products and services that anyone can obtain to improve the travel experience.
Personalized Travel Subscriptions
The growth of the subscription economy has led to an increased desire for expert curation and personalized recommendations. By taking a similar approach to Stitch Fix, new (and free) subscription platform VIP Traveler uses proprietary personalization technology to feed travelers bookable trips tailored to their unique tastes each week. Letting the data decide where you go is one less thing to stress about.
Contactless Airport Security
With massive airport delays, moving quickly through security has become a top priority. Especially as a result of the pandemic, travelers are seeking faster, contactless methods of identity verification, and companies like CLEAR and Corsight are using biometrics to expedite security checks. It’s still worth it to arrive to airports early, but these services can add extra confidence about timing to the experience.
Reliable Travel Telehealth
Launched in 2022, Runway is the first-to-market tele-health service accessible 24 hours a day, seven days per week from anywhere with an internet connection. Beyond consulting doctors as needed, Runway also preps travelers for adventure by providing prescriptions for common illnesses encountered on the road, from motion sickness to insomnia to malaria.
Performance-based Clothing for All Travel Situations
With flight delays becoming more common, it’s best to avoid checking a bag. Travelers should consider brands that design clothing fit for a number of situations, from hiking to dinner in a restaurant. Hikerkind is a women’s hiking gear company dismantling the myth that aesthetics and performance cannot coexist, and their wrinkle-resistant clothing is as suitable for running through an airport as it is for sitting on the tarmac.
Long lines and rising prices at the rental counter can seriously ruin a travel day. Turo is a peer-to-peer car sharing app, which travelers can use to book personally-listed rental cars from real people, rather than a car rental agency. Besides being a good platform for finding vehicles during a time when rentals are hard to come by, it’s also a great chance to drive rare or exotic cars as a treat while on vacation.
Suitcase Tracking Devices
This April, airlines lost, damaged, delayed, or pilfered nearly 220,000 of the 40 million bags that went into the sky, according to a Department of Transportation report. The best piece of advice is to avoid checking a bag at all costs. If that’s not possible, consider placing a tracking device, such as an Apple AirTag or Tile, inside your suitcase so you always know where they are.
Access to On-the-Ground Experts
Elsewhere is a platform that puts travelers in contact with local experts and guides, making it easy for travelers to personalize, tweak, and add to their itinerary. Additionally, VIP Traveler provides premium members with access to on-the-ground destination experts and a dedicated ‘Travel Stylist’ for custom trip planning, along with 24/7 support.