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5 Ways Technology Can Make Your Travel Stress-Free

5 Ways Technology Can Make Your Travel Stress-Free

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    Travel isn’t just a holiday thing. There are a whole lot of people hitting the roads, rails, and skies all year long. The U.S. Travel Association estimates that domestic and international travelers in the U.S. spend $2.6 billion every day for both personal and business purposes. But with so many miles to go, travelers can easily get irritated at airports, rail terminals and car rental stations all across the country.

    Fortunately, there are new apps and technologies that can help you travel a little easier.

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    1. Track your miles

    There are apps that take some of the mystery and mayhem out of rewards travel. Both the AwardWallet and UsingMiles smartphone apps help people track their rewards, find out where to spend them, and get notifications when they’re about to expire.

    Tracking your travel perks is important to take some of the pain out of booking. According to a Dec. 2016 survey by Capital One, many people feel that booking travel with reward miles isn’t worth the frustration and nearly half (48 percent) of respondents said they experienced difficulty when trying to book travel using miles. Also, 51 percent avoided miles programs altogether. Common frustrations include blackout dates, restrictions regarding what airlines can be used, and miles converting to a lot less than their expected value. According to the survey, travelers were also annoyed by having to deal with expiration dates on miles and rewards. However, Capital One’s Venture avoids all of these common traveler frustrations.

    2. Digitize your card

    Another challenge facing frequent travelers is the danger of lost, misplaced and stolen credit cards and identification. The same Capital One survey found that 43 percent of millennials thought they lost their credit card at least once during the past year. When travelers are constantly dragging out their wallets at airport kiosks, trying to buy snacks mid-flight, or stopping to buy souvenirs, there’s a greater risk of losing or misplacing a card. And when you’re traveling it’s not always that easy to retrace your steps and run back to your last stop.

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    (The story continues below.)

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      3. Locate your baggage

      There’s nothing like stepping off the plane while on your dream vacation only to find out that your luggage was more interested in visiting the wrong airport. According to industry data, lost baggage hit a historic low in 2015. However, airlines still lost 23.1 million bags last year. While most travelers are reunited with their travel bags within 48 hours, it can feel like ages to wait for your favorite sweater when you’re on vacation trying hit the slopes in Europe.

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      Many airlines now let travelers get real-time updates on the location of their lost bags by pairing with a site called WorldTracer.com. The site tracks lost bags at 2,800 airports worldwide.

      4. Find the best deals

      Travel prices can change quickly, so trying to find the best deal can feel like a scavenger hunt. Apps like Google Flights and Skyscanner help travelers compare prices and itineraries to suit their needs without the hassle of going through a dozen different websites. These apps can also help out travelers who aren’t sure where they want to go by suggesting deals for destinations they might not have considered. Also, check your card issuer if they partner with other travel-related establishments or services.

      Also, check your card issuer if they partner with other travel-related establishments or services. For example, Capital One’s Quicksilver card is great for loyal Uber users – every time you pay for 9 Uber rides with Quicksilver, you get $15 in Uber credits. The savings can add up on these perks from rewards programs.

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      5. Update your plans

      There are plenty apps that cover every aspect of travel — from suggesting itineraries, to helping you find a place to relax between flights, to letting you know about flight delays and traffic problems in real-time. The TripCase app can organize your itinerary and make suggestions about places to stop along your route. It also alerts friends and family about any updates to your trip.

      And if you’re willing to shell out a few bucks for a world-class organizer, there’s WorldMate Gold which adds itinerary information directly to your calendars, notifies you if there’s a better hotel deal than the one you’ve already booked, and even lets you know what the weather is going to be like where you’re headed.

      Travel can be anything but. With some preparation and help from new technologies, you can make your journey stress-free and more convenient.

      Featured photo credit: Stokpic.com via picjumbo.com

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      Marvin Dumont

      Entrepreneur, Disruptor

      Tips for Shoring up your Finances in 2017 5 Ways Technology Can Make Your Travel Stress-Free 5 Last-Minute Holiday Shopping Tips to Beat the Holiday Rush Five Myths that can Harm your Credit Score 5 Ways to Outsmart Hotels and Save Money

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      Last Updated on March 13, 2019

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

      You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

      Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

      1. Work on the small tasks.

      When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

      Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

      2. Take a break from your work desk.

      Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

      Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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      3. Upgrade yourself

      Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

      The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

      4. Talk to a friend.

      Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

      Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

      5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

      If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

      Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

      Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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      6. Paint a vision to work towards.

      If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

      Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

      Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

      7. Read a book (or blog).

      The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

      Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

      Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

      8. Have a quick nap.

      If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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      9. Remember why you are doing this.

      Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

      What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

      10. Find some competition.

      Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

      Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

      11. Go exercise.

      Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

      Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

      As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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      Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

      12. Take a good break.

      Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

      Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

      Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

      Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

      More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

      Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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