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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 December 2, 2018

      How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

      How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

      Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

      The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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      The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

      Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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      Review Your Past Flow

      Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

      Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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      Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

      Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

      Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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      Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

      Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

      We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

      Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

        Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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