The future of travel (United States version)

21 Jul

Here is a future scenario of what it will be like to travel in the United States in the future (assuming current trends continue). International versions are coming soon

You are a freelancer who lives in a studio apartment in a semi-suburban area of Denver, Colorado. It’s a cheap place to live, and many Americans as well as newer immigrants have moved there recently. You’re a freelance computer programmer who has done work for various robot design companies. You are a budget-conscious person. You don’t live an extravagant lifestyle. The American Middle Class has been replaced by a frugal freelance class, often who live in very small spaces and work from home, or rent out their apartments on Airbnb.

America has gotten used to living in smaller spaces. Inequality has grown, but many people can still make ends meet through a mix of both artistic and technical trades. Though making a living as a freelancer can be unpredictable, it is doable. And you have enough to be happy.

Sharing economy services have heavily grown and made travel much cheaper.

One day, you decide to take a trip to Flagstaff, Arizona. You are interested to see Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon, and the Navajo reservation. You’ve been saving money for a while, and you feel like it’s time to take a trip. Thankfully, you are subscribed to a driverless car service plan, and you have enough miles left for the month to get from Denver to Flagstaff. You press a button on your smartphone, and choose for your car to pick you up tomorrow at 8AM. Flying is too expensive, as no budget airlines fly cheaply on that route.

You then look at Airbnb to find a cheap place to stay. There is one that is available for $18 a night, and you pick it. The place is a small room in a small, single-floor home, but it has good reviews.

Tomorrow at 7AM, you get out of bed, take a shower, get packed up, and go.

The car journey is very scenic, and takes a long time. But you don’t need to be bored. You can play games with a VR headset, listen to an audiobook, use the internet, write code, or do a combination of any of these things to pass the time. Sometimes, there are stretches of the drive that are very scenic, and you just want to look out the window and appreciate nature. Some things never change.

For lunch, you stop at Chipotle, and then for Dinner, you stop at a Airbnb-listed dining room that has been turned into a pop-up restaurant. It’s well reviewed on Airbnb, with cheap diner fare options.

When you arrive in the Airbnb room in Flagstaff, a polite host shows you around and gives you some local restaurant advice.

The next few days, you do tours. Driverless cars equipped with tour guide apps have enabled tours that were once only possible on tour buses. These tours are programmed with information about the area’s history, as well as videos, or virtual reality simulations showing what it was like in the past. After each tour, you do a hike, complete with augmented reality apps that explain the names of many of the plants you see.

Overall, you are happy that you took this trip. On your way back to Denver, you post pictures you took online. Travel nowadays can take you to local, Airbnb-listed bedrooms and dining rooms, or you can travel the traditional way and stay at expensive hotels. Most choose the former option.

And best of all, there are more ways to experience tourist sights than ever before.

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