On our first visit to New York City, gluttonous husband and I had one iPad between us. If ever there was a test of a marriage, this was it. The moment one of us started reading a review, a map or the newspaper over our morning cup of coffee, the other would try not to drum their fingers and relentlessly enquire: ‘are you done, yet?’

Doesn’t sound very romantic, does it? I read a blog on the Huffington Post today about technology killing off the romance in travel. The writer yearned for days gone by when one asked friends or family for recommendations on where to go, what to see and what to eat, or got information from that most primitive of communication devices, a book rather than scrolling through Trip Advisor reviews. But I wonder whether the quality of my travel – with or without my husband – would be improved by harking back to less technological times.

Living in Australia, the technological miracle of being able to sit on a plane and arrive on the other side of the world within a day, is never lost on me. My first trip overseas in, ahem, 1981 was to London. In those days there was an extra stop required – somewhere in Asia, somewhere in the Middle East and then on to Europe. Happily, the extra time on the ground is now not required.

But once I got where I was going, I had to rely on what the Huffington Post writer describes as ‘the romantic days of travel’ – I needed to ask for recommendations, consult printed maps for directions and my Europe on $15 a day (I did mention this was 1981!) became extremely well-thumbed. The trouble with all of those things was: the people I knew who could give me recommendations pointed me towards hotels that were no longer in business (perhaps it was just as well). The maps weren’t detailed enough to really get me where I wanted to go and, as for the guide book, well everyone else was thumbing through it too. One particularly fruitless evening in Nice, having trundled from hotel to hotel going through the recommended places to stay, I was continually confronted with a sign reading: Complet – there literally was no room at the inn.

Now, if I’m out and about and haven’t booked in advance, I have unlimited resources at my fingertips. If the Metro station I’m heading for is closed for any reason, I can call up my app to figure out a way around it. I can get a translation of a particular phrase if need be, rather than suffer the indignity of someone telling me, in perfect English, that my accent is terrible. I can book Broadway or West End shows and print the tickets myself, or secure a table at some of the world’s greatest restaurants without having to wake up in the middle of the night to try to get through on their reservation lines.

There’s still a place for personal recommendations. The main reason I started this blog was to provide a resource for friends and fellow travellers for where to find good food. At least it’s fairly easy to check now if somewhere I’ve written about is actually still in business.

Technology is the traveller’s ultimate friend; it’s never stopped us making personal connections and developing friendships with the people we meet on our journeys. And we find it intensely romantic to get the very most out of our travel experiences – and having the ability and convenience to research whenever, wherever (nasty hotel wi-fi charges notwithstanding) only enhances our experience.

So, what did we do after that first trip to NYC where we shared an iPad? Greedy Girl soon made a present of it to her dear gluttonous husband – and promptly bought herself another. Now we share in a delightfully different way – each searches their own interests (and checks out the recommendations we find along the way) and we make a decision together on where to go and what do do. It’s the stuff of a very happy and romantic holiday – we make every day count.

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