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Tech Thursday: Three New Technologies to Make Travel Easier

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I love to travel. Obviously. I wouldn’t work here if I didn’t. And I love when I hear about advances in technology that can help make traveling easier. So you can imagine how excited I was when I saw our friends over at sister mag Executive Travel reported three new improvements that are underway that’ll help speed things up while you get to your destination, so you have more time to enjoy that beachside mojito.

The first will help you speed through the baggage check a little faster. How? By printing out your baggage tag at home, while you’re checking into your flight online. The technology was created by Unisys Corporation, and is currently being tested at Billund Airport in Denmark. When passengers show up at the airport, they simply drop their bags off at a special counter and head on over to security.

The next is something currently being tested out in France’s Toulouse Airport. Developed by SITA, this technology allows passengers with BlackBerrys to get airport information, simply by tapping, or bringing their phones close to, special devices scattered throughout the airport. It can update flight information, grant access to parking garages, passenger lounges, and even the boarding area.

Finally, we’ve all been there: after a day of traveling, sometimes you just want to get to your room and collapse on the bed. But inevitably you have to take just a few more precious minutes (or longer, if there’s a line) checking in at the front desk. Well, a company called NCR Corporation came up with a solution: if you can check in to your flight remotely, why not your hotel? Enter: the check-in kiosk. Pop online while en route to your hotel, check in, and when you show up, just swing by the kiosk to pick up your key. Boom.

These all might seem like minor changes, but it all adds up. And until we can figure out a way to teleport ourselves, Star Trek–style, to our destinations instantaneously, every little bit helps.

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Joshua Pramis is the social media editor at Travel + Leisure and eagerly awaiting the day robots greet him at hotels. Follow him on Twitter: @joshuapramis

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