Before Expedia

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Traveling can be described as a fun-exciting-healing activity. Visiting beautiful sceneries, eating at top-rated restaurants, swimming with dolphins, etc. When we think about the word “travel,” we tend to only think about a series of cultural capital we will gain, having a good time. This rather simple and one-dimensional excitement is possible due to Expedia. 

Expedia really is a full bundle for travelers. One can book flights, hotels, rental cars, and even get a list of things to do. On top of that, Expedia even provides a full package service that includes a plan for flights, hotels, and rental cars all combined. Expedia really makes traveling preparation process an easy and efficient experience. No wonder why the name “Expedia” is “a unison between ‘exploration’ and ‘speed.’” 

Expedia represents reliance; reliance upon a digital travel expert that can vicariously take care of all the travel preparation works. One just has to access Expedia website, choose traveling dates and number of traveling company, then voila, flight plans, hotel plans, and rental car plans will be available. Such reliance to the website means one does not have to pour time and energy in the travel preparation. With just a few typings and clicks, one’s ready to go on a journey. This easy process that’s possible due to digital reliance makes spontaneous trips possible. What should one do if he/she suddenly gets the desperate urge to travel in Tokyo? Not a problem. One just has to go to Expedia, activate finger muscles for a few minutes, and done. Trip to Tokyo is set. 

How did travel preparations look like before Expedia, or before Internet in general? Travel preparation was an arduous procedure. This is the time when the easy digital reliance did not exist. The idea of reliance surely existed, but one had to rely on themselves and others who have sufficient knowledge of traveling. First, one had to call the travel agent to check the availability and price of plane tickets. One may had to call several airlines’ travel agents to find the plane ticket that perfectly (or almost perfectly) meets his/her demand. This is not the end of the first step; one had to pick up the plane ticket at the office or get it by mail. Second, one had to call hotel operators to check the availability of hotel rooms. Third, one had to call the rental car operators to check the availability of rental cars. Fourth, one had to ask their friends and family or anyone who had knowledge about his/her travel destination for travel guide. The whole travel preparation during the pre-Internet era was, simply put, a labor.

As anyone can tell, the pre-Internet era’s travel preparations demanded a heavy reliance on people. For the starter, one had to rely on themselves; one had to make a dozen phone calls and ask dozens of peers and family members to gain knowledge about where he/she was going. Also, one had to rely on the travel professionals, or people who could guide you through the procedure of booking a flight, reserving a room at a hotel, and booking a rental car. To go on a trip, one really had to have the craving to travel. He/she really had to want it, demand it, yearn for it. 

The idea of relying on a digital platform was simply unheard of during this era. One may posit that during the pre-Internet era, the culture of social interactions was an inevitable aspect in preparing for a trip; having verbal communications with people to gradually and slowly put check marks next to items on a to-do list of travel preparation. With the insane technological/Internet advancement, are we losing an opportunity to gain social/cultural capital? 

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