The year 2020 doesn’t seem that far away so findings in a Switchfly study on future travel trends make for an interesting read in terms of people’s expectations.

In its quarterly trends report the company, which specialises in travel booking and loyalty redemption technology, reveals that 37% of US adults expect one-click travel plans in five  years time.

Almost 40%  also expect computers to book, by default, a traveller’s favourite place to sit on a plane as well as his or her car-hire and hotel preferences.

Computers will also know who they want to travel with according to 20% of respondents.

In fact, 72% expect travel to be more personalised by 2020 but with many companies working towards a more personalised experience, on this element at least, expectations might be met.

How will they will book?

The Switchfly study, which gauges the views of more than 2,000 US adults, reveals more than half will book travel via a computer, 22% via smartphone but one-in-10 believe they will book their travel using technology that has not yet been invented.

The travel agency community is not dead and gone by 2020 either with one-in-10 saying they will use this channel for their travel plans.

The booking channels correspond with the age of respondents with Millennials most likely to rely on smartphones, Generation-X using a computer and Baby Boomers leaning towards a traditional travel agent.

However, when it comes to wearable technology such as Google Glass and smartwatches, both Generation-X and Millennials expect to use them to book travel in the next five years.

Interesting to note that two-thirds of respondents also expect to call airlines and hotels direct and 41% say they expect to talk to a human being. In addition, when they call they, 16%, will expect personalised offerings and to feel like they are talking to someone who knows them well.

A little more scary is the 18% that expect to talk to a robot that will be more helpful than a real person.

Space travel

A small percentage believe they will have travelled into space (low Earth orbit) while a further 3% expect to have visited either the international space station or Mars by 2020. Millennial men lead the way when it comes to expectations around space travel.

The research was carried out for Switchfly by Harris Poll in early September on US adults aged 18 and over.

NB: Robot picture via Shutterstock.

Original author: Linda Fox