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Top 10 Travel Innovations of the past 10 years

Posted by TeamITI on September 29, 2008

Budget Travel asked you to tell us what the best travel innovation of the past decade were. So many ideas came in — with convincing explanations — that they put the 20 finalists to a vote at BudgetTravel.com. (This is an election year, after all.)

10. Online maps
MapQuest provides “such detailed turn-by-turn directions” that even people who “don’t know how to read a map” are able to find their way. Google Earth has also revolutionized maps by letting you “zoom in and take a closer look” at a location and “see exactly where you’re going and what’s around you.” This online mapping tool “makes any first-time visitor a seasoned traveler” before he or she even arrives in a place.

9. Digital photography
You can “take hundreds of photos” with a digital camera and “see right away whether you got the right shot” — so you don’t have to “pay heaps of money to develop a ton of photos that didn’t turn out.” Moreover, photo-sharing Web sites like Snapfish and Flickr allow you to upload all your photos and “send them to your family and friends while you’re still having your adventure.” Without these sites, you’d have to “put your photos on a CD and mail it or send e-mails with large attachments.”

8. Online flight check-in
Nothing has helped “shorten wait times at airports” like the ability to “bypass lines at the ticket counter” by checking in for your flight on the Internet and “printing your boarding pass at home.” You still have to deal with security lines, but at least “you can get ahead of everyone who didn’t go online before leaving for the airport.” Another plus: You can go on the airline’s Web site to select or change your seat “right when the exit-row and bulkhead seats open up.”

Get the remaining 7 top travel innovations.

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