Have any of you had holiday mishaps lately? All of us know that feeling of travelling to that much-pined destination with, what we think, everything organised. And, regrettably, we know how much of a nightmare it is dealing with unexpected obstacles when we are on holiday.
I had that issue lately. I was with my boyfriend backpacking in southern Europe. We had the most wonderful sojourn amongst some of the most astounding views I could ever imagine.
When we got to Barcelona, things became tricky.
We wanted to acquire a rental car in order to see all that Barcelona could offer – Sagrada Família, Park Güell, Casa Milà, the Gothic Quarter, etc. Given that we had just two days or so, it was important to ensure that we had a fairly decent car at an affordable price (anyone will know that backpacking around Europe is not the cheapest of adventures). When we tried to find an appropriate rental car, however, all manner of cars and exorbitant fees were touted right, left, and centre.
When we were close to accepting defeat, hope came from my pocket. Fortunately, the technological world – all ensconced within my mobile – provided answers for us. It took me quite sometime to use apps for finding the best priced flight – a process I still find overwhelmingly challenging, so I was reluctant to take recourse in technology. One innovative company that we came across, Holiday Autos, made the typically-stressful car rental process refreshingly easy.
Not only did we find the best price in car rental in Barcelona, but the platform offers such a service worldwide – great if, like us, you cannot travel without a car rental.
Technology has come so far that now, in 2017, with a few clicks, and after putting in our desired pick up and drop off times, you will presented with a litany of many options, such as whether you are looking to rent a car or a 9 seater for a big family. Not only that, but technology provides such travellers a broad range of cars to choose from, including a mini, economy, automatic, SUV, 7 seater, luxury and others.
When we used the service, which was fantastic, we did feel ever so slightly sad. ‘Why didn’t we use this service before?!’ I barked. I dare not think of all the cash that we wasted renting over-priced cars courtesy of avaricious tricksters. Indeed, when in Milan in 2015 we decided to hire a car. We were handed a dilapidated car, much to our annoyance, and charged an obscene amount – presumably owing to the fact that car lenders believe that customers have little options at their disposable. What we learned, however, is that technology can save you money and time.
Technology is key when travelling. I cannot stress that enough. There are a plethora of people out there who are willing to exploit innocent travellers – as we ourselves know firsthand. Fortunately, technology is changing that by affording us a truly bespoke travel experience in some of our most beloved destinations. Now, we can get great-value accommodation, wonderfully cheap flights and, now, the best car rentals.
Our experience in Barcelona had me contemplating upon the various types of services available online to make travel faster, safer and more convenient. We now find a home away from home through AirBnB, book flights, cabs and hotel rooms through the same travel website, and can even purchase our insurance online! But of all the services available that I have used during my countless travels online, I can confidently say that it is such services which offer a comparison while listing out all possible options, that I have found to be most valuable. It’s a competitive business, offering services to tourists and travellers and as you can imagine, every single provider is looking for an edge, and the chance to make an extra buck.
I do not begrudge these businesses and services their pricing, but I do like to know what I am paying for, and to know if there are options out there that fit my better, while being light on my pocket. That is, after all the basic assumption in a market based economy – customers choose the best service or product that suits their needs, and businesses / manufacturers evolve to offer customers better choices – and so, we hope that our economies continue producing and evolving. Websites like these, that offer us a comparison, and in an easy to use interface that speeds up our decision-making process, I felt are vital to consumer choice. We know what’s available, how much things actually cost, and are able to pick something that is best suited to our needs.
Whether you are going to New York, Paris, or Glasgow, do not overlook the importance of using technology to embolden your adventure. You have more control in making your adventure the way YOU want it.