Road trips Then and Now: How far have we come

As with most things, travel – in every shape and form – has evolved and changed over the last few years. The humble road trips of the 90s and 2000s are a far cry from today’s sophisticated, digitised experiences where every comfort and convenience are, quite literally, at your fingertips. What’s so different, you ask? Well, here’s a quick look at the then and now of road trips. Warning: it might induce nostalgia.

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1. Pre-trip check-ups

Then: You’d do a quick service run, clean the car thoroughly, fill up the tank, check the oil, filter, tyre pressure and make sure there’s a spare before hitting the road. After all, you wouldn’t want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere. 

Now: While you still need to perform routine checks before embarking on your journey, today’s cars make it easier to track the car’s health. With internet cars, like MG Hector 2021, you can ensure your car is in perfect health from the i-SMART app. From tyre pressure to low battery alerts, the information can be accessed on your smartphone. With multiple warning lights, even car dashboards are more dynamic today; they can even tell you how much distance you can travel on your fuel level, making it easier to avoid nasty surprises along the way.

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2. Mapping the destination

Then: You had to rely on milestone markers and tattered maps in the glove box. Part of the adventure was trying to read signboards as you zipped past them or occasionally stopping to ask for directions, which often meant a few detours before ultimately reaching your destination.

Now: All you need to do is input your destination in your car’s Global Positioning System (GPS). The i-SMART app gives you multiple routes, real-time traffic updates and information about snarls and diversions. It can even help you with en-route fuel stations and more to make it hassle-free to reach your destination. 

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3. Car trouble 

Then: When things went wrong as they sometimes do on road trips, you’d probably have to push your car to the nearest mechanic, with hopefully, a little help from some strangers—a huge dampener on your plans and your mood.

Now: Perhaps the most reassuring part of road trips today is roadside assistance that you can rely on for prompt help in case of a breakdown or other trouble. This service offers many features, including a loan vehicle, medical aid, fuel assistance, repair on-spot or alternate vehicle support to make your journey less stressful.

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4. On-road entertainment

Then: Remember when you carried dozens of CDs and cassettes taking turns to play everyone’s favourites? These mixtapes and CDs were revered possessions and often the highlight of these road trips, but the varying tastes in music often led to bickering.

Now: The world’s finest music is just a click away, whether it is your mobile, your Bluetooth speakers or your car’s in-built entertainment system. In fact, your MG Hector comes embedded with a Gaana Premium Account, enabling you to play all your favourite music on-demand with just a voice command. 

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5. Exploring a new place

Then: Whether you were looking for a famous bakery or a nearby café to stop at for a quick bite, you had to ask a local to point you in the right direction. Or you’d have to rely on mom to plan and pack all the snacks for the way, and then make a pit stop where everyone could sit back and dig into homemade sandwiches and more.

Now: You can use local search on your phone to look for nearby recommendations for cafes, restaurants, fuel stations or any other requirement. MG Hector’s nearby search feature offers quick access to information about nearby cinemas, restaurants, cafes and more.

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6. Roughing the weather

Then: You’d have to depend on the newspaper and television weather channels for the weather forecast at your destination. This information was not always easily accessible or reliable information, so you’d often find yourself underprepared for the weather.

Now: You can look up the weather for any location in advance and plan your trip accordingly. More importantly, MG Hector’s i-SMART technology enhances weather information capability. This means you can access accurate weather conditions using the in-built AccuWeather app and enjoy the trip better.


The way we travel has transformed radically. New tools and technology allow us to navigate better, be prepared and plan for uncertainties. As they say, it’s not the destination; it’s the journey that makes travel memorable. The big difference between road travel then and now is the intelligence, entertainment, safety and security features that let you have the time of your life as you experience more of the world.