Today, everyone’s taking more active holidays
Do you just lie on a beach for your holiday, reading a paperback or a magazine? Maybe a quick dip in the pool or in the sea? That’s all some folks do these days, but it’s becoming more likely that technology plays a part in your vacation today.
At a minimum, you might be using technology for teasing friends or family via social media, about the fact you are lying on a beach and you are reading a paperback. That’s a bit more active but not really what we are talking about here.
In fact, it’s quite likely these days for your winter vacation, you’ll be snowboarding with BlueTooth headphones on or maybe cross-country or downhill skiing, while talking on your mobile phone using the built-in microphone.
Alternatively, during the summer, you may be cruising around the countryside, beach or hills on an electric road bike. Maybe you’re more adventurous and are tackling an off-road course with an electric mountain bike.
If you see someone doing any of that and they are wearing a bike, ski or snowboard helmet and are busy talking to themselves, don’t just assume they are crazy. Some helmets have built-in microphones and Bluetooth.
We live in an age when anyone can make a travel documentary too. So maybe as you trek your way through South American rainforests, North American national parks, or the old cities of Europe or Asia, you are creating a video diary with a good digital camera at the same time.
Active holidays have been around for a very long time. In fact, a hundred and fifty years ago, walking tours and hiking were popular pastimes. The arrival of the bicycle in the late 19th century then created a whole new active holiday market. So, by ‘more active holidays’ we don’t just mean physical activity. We also don’t mean just any old technology. Check out pictures of the 1920s onwards and you’ll see motorboats and waterskis, mountain chairlifts for skiers, etc. Even 19th-century holidaymakers had rock climbing equipment, sleds, and seaside “bathing machines”.
What we mean is you are active on your holiday via technology. In fact, your holiday is more of a shared active event than ever before. You are part of a connected world.
The connected world includes vacations
Heading full speed down the blackest of black runs, or on gentle slopes, on a snowboard or skis, just put on your headphones (which might even be Bluetooth). Then you can directly stream or download Gangsta Rap, Wagner, Barry Manilow, or a revision podcast on biology via your smartphone. In fact, you can listen to almost anything and almost everything, from almost anywhere and almost anyone. That amazing fact about vacations is so commonplace now, that Millennials or those younger, don’t even think about it.
Nor do they think much about the massive strides made by electric bicycles that can extend your vacation trip to the countryside, long past what tired legs alone used to be capable of. There are even electric bikes with enough engine power and battery capacity to take even heavy riders up very steep hills and mountains.
A good electric bike can increase your vacation bike journey radius by maybe 20 miles. Think of all the new places you can reach in a day, quite comfortably, either without coming back to your hotel soaked in sweat and tired out, or alternatively having to take your car or get on public transport. What’s more, all this activity on the snow, in the hills and mountains, or even at the beach comes with commentary.
Everyone can make travel documentaries
Lots of people send pictures or short clips of vacations via social media. Why not – it’s so easy. But other people actually edit together a whole little mini-documentary about their travels. That’s because today, anyone with the right smartphone and Bluetooth or wired headphones with a built-in microphone can give a second by second commentary. Add an action camera like GoPro or one of the very capable alternatives, and you may have some great looking images or sequences too. Then, there’s free editing software, so budding filmmakers can take their footage from Aspen or the Catskills or their electric cycle tour around Niagara Falls and turn it into a production.
All that means almost anyone can (and do) publish mini-movies of their vacations. Most of the content you see today on YouTube and other platforms is quite amateurish. However, from time to time you can also see actually quite reasonable quality travelogues.
Then, they start to find the limits to what a Smartphone can do. Even the fanciest smartphones. So modern connected cameras get taken on vacation too. This topic is dealt with thoroughly in this article on best cameras for interviews.
So long as there is a decent mobile signal, anyone with a Smartphone or suitable digital camera can, in theory at least, reach anyone else on the planet and tell them what a great time they are having on vacation, and that they ‘wish you were here’. Signal permitting, they can live stream from a Mayan temple, or the Eiffel tower, or a cafe in Kathmandu, or the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. Or, on their electric bike, cruising through Amsterdam.
Maybe soon, with the internet of things (IoT), our vacation sports equipment will commonly be used to stream live stats about your amazing performance on that parasail, monoski or mountain bike. That kind of technology is already there and you can check it out in an early form, when on vacation by visiting some go-kart tracks. Like William Gibson wrote decades ago, “the future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed’.