While time travel may be something that we’ve only seen in sci-fi films, some scientists believe it may be commonplace in as few as 85 years.
From biometric scanning to iPad-controlled hotel rooms, glimpses into the future of travel have already begun popping up in airports and resorts around the world.
Here, MailOnline Travel looks ahead at exactly what holidaymakers can expect from flights and accommodations in the future, and attempts to answer the age old question: when will teleportation become a reality?
In 15 years, digital advancements will have made the discovery, planning and booking of a journey into a seamless and intuitive experience.
‘Travel search and booking will be as easy as buying a book on Amazon,’ explains Skyscanner’s CEO and Co-Founder Gareth Williams.
Instead of tapping away at your computer to book flights and accommodations, Global Futurist Daniel Burrus tells Skyscanner that in the future, each of us may have an ‘e-agent,’ inside a watch or small piece of jewellery, that goes everywhere with us.
‘It could have the face, voice and personality of our favourite actor or comedian and appear to use as a 3D hologram image, or inside a virtual environment, at our verbal command,’ he explains.
While that seems a bit extreme, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that the travel experience will become much more personalised in the next few years.
Computers, through analysing our searches online and cross-referencing our preferences, will be able to use predictive algorithms to make tailored suggestions. This predictive software, as it’s known, will also likely take into consideration the personal data we post about ourselves on social media when developing detailed itineraries.
And when we do jet off, it will be even easier than it is today.
The flight-booking site believes that major technological advances will have eliminated the need for check-in lines and desks. Instead, you will be able to drop your bag at automated points in the terminal.
‘Biometric face recognition software and machine-readable passports – incorporating a digital boarding pass – will mean that clearing customs will take less than a minute, and high-speed laser molecular scanners will security check hand luggage in seconds as you walk past them toward the departure lounge without even breaking your stride,’ Steve Tooze, special projects editor at The Future Laboratory tells MailOnline Travel.
In fact, we may not even need to wait a decade and a half.
At Incheon airport in Seoul, South Korea, for example, departures will soon operate a biometric immigration system, using facial recognition and machine-readable passports, and at Singapore Changi Airport’s T4, which is due to open in 2017, many similar technologies will also be utilised.
And while we may see the beginning of space travel by 2030, many expect the hotel of choice to be those located underwater.
Though today, underwater rooms are considered a rare luxury, many out-to-sea hotels are currently being developed – such as Dubai’s Water Discus Hotel – and will undoubtedly change the accommodation landscape entirely.
Future Airplane to have 3 decks and seat 800
Plane manufacturer, Airbus, recently predicted the development of travel trends over the next 50 years and their planes look like something out of a sci-fi film.
According to the company, passengers will be able to relax in massage seats that serve drinks and vitamins, as well as provide either a sea breeze or fresh pine scent.
Sound showers will help ensure the perfect night’s sleep, while special shades will help block out the light.
But if you prefer a view, the plane will also be made up of panoramic windows that can turn transparent at the wave of a hand.
And bonus: such a 360-degree view would offer incredible views of world wonders and attractions.
Taking a page from some long-haul carriers, bars will also become more prevalent on flights, while pop-up pods will offer private spaces.
Airbus research also suggests that every flight in the world could, on average, be around 13 minutes shorter, which would save millions of tonnes of excess fuel annually.
‘By the middle of the next decade, aircraft interiors will bear little resemblance to the packed and often frustrating cabins of today,’ Tooze adds.
‘Memory foam seats will morph to each passengers shape as they sit down, as smart lighting eliminates the effects of jet lag, and sleep hormones sprayed at strategic moments in the flight mean you’ll never have to listen to a screaming toddler on long-haul ever again.
‘Each seat will have individual climate control and holographic communications and entertainment hubs that allow you to watch films and music from your personal collection on the cloud and chat to friends, family and colleagues as you fly – and sonic disruptors will stop you disturbing everyone around you.’
Skyscanner’s The Future of Travel Report, however, focuses a great deal more on the ways that space travel will impact holidaymakers’ future journeys.
By 2030, they estimate that space travel will be a reality for ultra-luxury travellers and perhaps by 2050, it will become even more mainstream.
In the report, futurist Daniel Burrus says: ‘We will be able to book more affordable trips into space where we can go up there and stay long enough to enjoy.’
Whether or not we end up colonising on the moon, Skyscanner’s Filip Filipov points out that the possibility of flying in low orbital space will radically cut inter-continental flight times.
‘In the case of Virgin Galactic, whose ship can orbit the Earth for 2.5 hours, a regular traveller might see a London to Sydney flight in 2.5 hours if the same technology can be applied safely in commercial aviation.’
In the next century, the sky is the limit – quite literally.
According to researchers at the Future Laboratory and their new report, Sustainable Holiday Futures, giant airships, man-made mobile islands and intelligent hotel rooms will all be commonplace in the next 100 years.
Imagine a coastline with floating resorts that can move from destination to destination. This is precisely the future if Thomson Holidays has anything to say about it.
Sustainability will be an ‘integral’ part of every holiday as early as 2030, the report continues, with some claims that artificial islands may even produce their own food and water.
This idea of zero-impact travel, in which resorts may look like cruise ships in the sky, will leave no environmental trace whatsoever.
In hotel rooms, everything will be automated and highly-personalised.
Many hotels have already begun to roll out iPad-controlled lights, sound and room service features and that will only grow in popularity in the coming decades.
But futurologist Ian Pearson predicts the that the hotel room of tomorrow will take this technology a step further.
In his opinion, we can expect hotel bedrooms to incorporate pillows with sleep-aiding massage technology and holographic wall systems that will project personal trainers or even friends and family in 3D.
And forget long-haul flights to get where you need to be.
Teleportation could become a regular occurrence by 2080, according to Dr Mary Jacquiline Romero from the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Glasgow.
‘The good thing about teleportation is that there is no fundamental law telling us that it cannot be done and with technical advances I would estimate teleportation that we see in the films will be with us by 2080.’