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Reader Survey - Best Travel Innovations

What do you think are the best innovations over the last 25 years?

We're not asking for your opinion on England's mysterious annual crop circles, but we are asking for your opinion on what/which are the best travel innovations over the last 25 years.



The last 25 years or so - say from about 1986 - have been tumultuous, turbulent, troubled - and also terrific.

Okay, enough of the alliterations.  Suffice it to say there have been an extraordinary number of new products and services developed in the last quarter century, making huge changes to the convenience of travel.

Here's your chance to have your say on which are the best.

Please read the instructions (!) then give your opinions on as many (or as few) of the products as you have opinions on.  Simply leave blank any that you don't wish to comment on.

Reader Survey - The Best Travel Innovations of the Last 25 Years

Here is a list of suggested innovations, culled from various sources, including from your own suggestions received in the last week (thank you).

If you think there is a surprising omission, then you might be correct; alternatively, maybe the product or service was in place more than 25 years ago.

However, you have a chance in each of the four categories to add a write-in item too, so if there's something important you wish to add, go ahead and please do so.

How to Complete the Survey

First, everything is optional.  You only need to answer those parts of the survey you wish to, and your decision not to answer other parts won't mess up the results.

Second, for each product or service innovation that you have an opinion on, please rate it from 1 to 5.  1 means something you don't really think innovative at all, and 5 is something that you think is really really wonderful.

It helps us if you don't rate everything a 5!  We need to see a range of values so we can rank items from most to least acclaimed.

If there is a product you don't think should be acclaimed, give it a 1 or 2.  These are 'negative' ratings.

If you are indifferent, give it a 3 (or don't vote at all).

And if you like it, give it a 4 or 5.

Third, at the end of each section is space for you to write in any other product/service you think should be considered, and to rate that too.

Fourth, after you've ranked individual items, you now have to make one big choice.  Which of all the items in the list is the absolute best?  This is one 'best' for everything, not one per section.  Choose one item in the 'Favorite' column.

Tough choice, yes?  If you can't choose, don't worry.  Leave it blank.

Almost lastly, would you be so kind as to tell us a bit about who you are.  Don't worry, we're not tracking you, we're not keeping any personal data at all - not even asking for your name or email address.  But if you could provide some basic demographics, that will help us say things like 'men rated xxx highest, while women preferred yyy' or whatever may end up being apparent.

Now, one last thing (apart from, of course, please pressing the Submit button!).

Please pass this page's url on to your friends, associates, and anyone else you know who you think could also vote and add their opinions.  We'd like as broad a participation as possible, so as to get some meaningful results.

Any questions or problems?  Let me know!

Many thanks for your time and your answers.  All answers will be collated, compiled and reported back to you next week.


Travel Innovations Over the Last 25 Years Survey

Part One - Travel Destinations and Services


  1    2    3    4    5
  Hate   --->  Love

(Leave blank if no opinion)


The Chunnel between Britain and France


The EU borderless zone where you can freely travel


The Euro making money management easier


River cruising


The opening of China, Russia, and Eastern Europe to tourism


Premium Economy class on planes


Airline sleeper bed/seats


No smoking on planes


Write-in anything else you like




Part Two - Miscellaneous Electronics


  1    2    3    4    5
  Hate   --->  Love

(Leave blank if no opinion)


Noise reducing head phones


At seat individual entertainment systems on planes


Satellite radio for long (and short) road trips in the US


GPS navigating devices


iPods and other portable music/video players


Digital cameras


Digital museum guides


Wireless headsets for group members on a guided tour


eBook readers saving space and weight when traveling with books


Write-in anything else you like




Part Three - Computing Devices and Data Services


  1    2    3    4    5
  Hate   --->  Love

(Leave blank if no opinion)


Portable computers, be they laptops, notebooks, netbooks, or tablets


Cell phones that work everywhere in the world


Mobile devices – cell phones and tablets – that can access the internet anywhere in the world


Skype and other VOIP cheap/free calling services


Facebook, Twitter, etc, to keep in contact when traveling


Wi-fi zones all around the world


Wi-fi on planes


On line check in and printing boarding passes at home, no more long queues at the airport


E-tickets – no more lost tickets


Trip Advisor, Zagat, and other user-review guide/services


Online travel agency websites such as Expedia, Orbitz, etc


Google – makes researching anything, anywhere, simple


Online mapping programs – Mapquest, Google Maps, Bing Maps, etc


Write-in anything else you like




Part Four - Everything Else


  1    2    3    4    5
  Hate   --->  Love

(Leave blank if no opinion)


Curved shower rods


Hotel in-room safes


TSA approved locks for suitcases


Wheels on bags


Telescoping handles on bags (instead of pull straps)


Sea band/wrist band anti-seasickness device


Sun protective clothing, stops sun’s rays from burning you inside your clothing


Wrinkle free clothing


Fast dry underwear (travel with only two pairs of underwear)


Heating coils to make your own coffee/tea in hotel rooms


Hand sanitizers


Write-in anything else you like





To help with our analysis, and if you feel comfortable doing so, please would you tell us a little about yourself :


  Male    Female



Country of Residence


Domestic Trips/yr


Intl Trips/yr



General Comments



Thank you very much for sharing your opinions and suggestions.  Please pass this page link on to your friends and associates so we can get as wide as possible a range of voting.


Originally published 28 Oct 2011, last update 21 Jul 2020

You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.


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