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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

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      Last Updated on January 21, 2020

      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

      Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

      your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

        Why You Need a Vision

        Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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        How to Create Your Life Vision

        Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

        What Do You Want?

        The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

        It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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        Some tips to guide you:

        • Remember to ask why you want certain things
        • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
        • Give yourself permission to dream.
        • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
        • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

        Some questions to start your exploration:

        • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
        • What would you like to have more of in your life?
        • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
        • What are your secret passions and dreams?
        • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
        • What do you want your relationships to be like?
        • What qualities would you like to develop?
        • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
        • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
        • What would you most like to accomplish?
        • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

        It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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        What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

        Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

        A few prompts to get you started:

        • What will you have accomplished already?
        • How will you feel about yourself?
        • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
        • What does your ideal day look like?
        • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
        • What would you be doing?
        • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
        • How are you dressed?
        • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
        • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
        • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

        It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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        Plan Backwards

        It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

        • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
        • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
        • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
        • What important actions would you have had to take?
        • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
        • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
        • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
        • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
        • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

        Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

        It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

        Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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