Dec. 21 - 92 million Americans will travel during the holiday season this year, and technology is changing the way travelers book trips, and how they use their time while on vacation. Bobbi Rebell reports.
TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~ **NONE**~ Close to 92 million Americans will travel during the year-end holiday season- up about one and a half percent from last year, according to AAA. It is the second highest year-end exodus in a decade. And with smartphones and tablets proliferating, technology is changing the way travelers plan those trips. Expedia President Scott Durchslag: SOUNDBITE: SCOTT DURCHSLAG, PRESIDENT, EXPEDIA WORLDWIDE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The opportunity is going to be in web 3.0 and that's all about being able to have deals streamed to you. Imagine perfect trips streaming to you that are personalized and tailored to your interests and the needs of your family. And the technology will start to enable that and we're at that inflection point now." For example, flash sales have come to travel. Sites including Gilt and Groupon and even Expedia with its ASAP- or "A Suddenly Amazing Price" - are now offering deep discount travel deals. And Expedia's Durschlag says mobile apps will now act like personal assistants to travelers. SOUNDBITE: SCOTT DURCHSLAG, PRESIDENT, EXPEDIA WORLDWIDE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We know your itinerary so we know if you are running late and we can tell you slow down don't worry if you are approaching the airport- your flight's been delayed but here's two other things you can do. Or your flights been canceled here is your best rebooking options because we know you like premium economy aisle seats and we are just going to give you flights that have that available now." And technology can help if already stuck at the airport, as smart phones and tablets provide the perfect personal media device. Even road warriors can look to high tech help. AAA has a free GPS based app called Triptik which includes a feature for drivers to check gasoline prices at nearby stations. Bobbi Rebell, Reuters.