Serendipity. When Lady Luck smiles on you. Our Editor-in-Chief Renee Marchol met Travel Tech expert SmartyFella Phillip Tau at Vegas CES 2015. Another definition of serendipity: a pleasant surprise. Can travel habits like his increase favorable outcomes? Try his thought-starters for yourself. Phillip shares his smarts with us below.
I overhear people say they hate the travel process but enjoy the end destination. This is befuddling because the old adage stipulates that it is not the end result but the journey that matters most. Adages are not always right but there are truths to them and this case is no different. Let me tell you a short anecdote about the birth of travel technology.
One of the major travel technology providers, Sabre, came about because of the serendipity of travel. As a preface, Sabre is a global distribution system (GDS); airline, hotel, car, rail, cruise content is aggregated in a GDS which then travel agents, companies, travelers access to search for availability and rates. Sabre, Semi-automated Business Research Environment, was a collaboration between American Airlines and IBM. This came about on a random flight when a top IBM sales exec sat next to AA’s CEO and discovered they both had the same last name. The rest as they say is history.
The moral of the story is that the travel process itself has many fruits to bear. Whether you are traveling for business or for leisure, there is always something or someone to be gained. It is not glamorous to be that guy who chats everyone up on the plane but don’t be the sour Sally who refuses to talk to anyone. For the most part our lives are based around routine, we go to the same places, see the same people, eat the same things. Travel is one aspect that allows us to come into contact with the new new, let this apply to all parts of travel including the journey.
Here are some of my tips to increase serendipity while traveling.
- Get Off Your Phone
I am a habitual smiler, you’re already going to get crows feet, you might as well earn them the proper way. Nothing is more inviting than a smile, you never know who might say hi in return or pass on a smile after seeing yours.
Sharing is caring as they say and traveling is no different. This can happen in many ways, whether you share your trip plans on social media or buy an extra big bag of chips to share while you wait. Foster positivity through sharing.
I am guilty of being glued to my phone like most everyone else but this is something that must stop. I assure you that another tweet or Facebook like won’t change your future. What might though is meeting a new friend or travel buddy.
At the end of the day, your travel serendipity might not result in the creation of the backbone of travel, but it is within your locus of control. As in the rest of life, you are the master and commander of your ship, don’t waste sailing to your destination without enjoying the journey there.
Phillip Tau leads business development and product strategy at Cornerstone Information Systems and is Executive Director at Run Up Labs, a travel specific startup accelerator program. More tips on travel serendipity and a bag of chips? Follow him @PTau. Views and bag of chips are his own and do not represent the opinions or chip flavor preferences of business entities.