Distances are relative. 5 kilometer with a car is relatively short – except maybe when you’re in a traffic jam during rush hour in
My problem with absolute distances
When finding a hotel.
“This hotel is 1.8 kilometers from the city center” does not really say much. If the hotel is next to a subway that has
Same goes pretty much for hiking. 15 kilometer can be less than a 3-hour hike or can take a full day (like on the GR20, Jordan Trail or even on the Laugavegur trail). And time is difficult to rely on as well. On the Kumano
A plea for relative distances
As a frequent traveler, I have my own quirks, habits, hacks
It would be amazing to be able to factor these sorts of considerations
Relative distances are obviously way more difficult than absolute distances. It requires different data sources, it requires context, it requires some smarter calculation.
Areas to explore
Some things that would be great to start adding in:
- Hotel airports. Often, hotels near airports have airport shuttles, which help make them valid options for staying the night before or maybe even exploring the city.
- Hotel shuttle off-time. And on top of that – hotel shuttles usually do not run 24/7. It would be great factoring that in when proposing nearby hotels. E.g.
- Public transport time. As mentioned before, it would be great to be able to order hotels based on their relative distance to the city center or a train station based on public transport access.
- Multifunctional travel time. I always like to make most out of my travel time. To be able to get some work done, read a book. Trains are usually better for this than planes. Would be great to factor that in.
And, to make it even more complex:
- Preferred brands. I would like the best possible hotel close to my workplace within either IHG, Hilton or Marriott properties.
The way distances are currently calculated within travel seem to be ready for some smart evolution – adding relative distance based on public transport wordt be a great first start.