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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 August 15, 2018

      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

      Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

      Video Summary

      Why is it important to train up our core strength?

      There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

      This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

      Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

      In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

      One Exercise, multiple benefits

      There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

      By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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      When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

      Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

      In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

      What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

      What will happen when you start doing planks every day

        1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

        Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

        • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
        • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
        • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
        • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

        2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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          Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

          Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

          3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

            Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

            4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

              Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

              A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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              A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

              On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

              5. You’ll improve overall balance

                Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                  Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                  7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                    Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                    How to hold a plank position

                    1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                    2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                    3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                    4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                    5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                    6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                    7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                    Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                    Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                      How to improve your plank time gradually

                      1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                      2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                      3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                      Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                      Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                      You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                      • Prolapse
                      • After prolapse surgery
                      • Pelvic pain conditions
                      • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                      • Previous childbirth
                      • Overweight

                      Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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