All posts in Weblogs

“Did you know…Planes of the Future May Fly from NYC to Tokyo in 30 mins?

lockheed supersonic plane

Imagine getting lost in space before you jet to your destination at Mach 4+ or scooting from NYC to Tokyo for a lunch meeting — And why not?  It will only take about 30 minutes.  At least that’s what one engineer promises in a recent post from USA Today “Road Warrior Voices.

easyJet crew dons wearable tech

Photo credit: easyJet

While you’re zooming around the globe in Jetson style, your crew needs to be fashioned accordingly. In a Factor report, easyJet, a leading European low cost carrier, is already planning a trip down the fashion runway. Working with wearable technology trendsetters, CuteCircuit, the airline is planning crew uniforms equipped with lighting and sensors, which promise to improve comfort, safety and communications among staff and between crew and passengers.

 

 

 

ExpertFlyer’s 2015 Holiday Gift Guide for Frequent Flyers

 

christmas ornaments

Still stymied by what to put under the tree for your favorite road warrior? Don’t stress. We’ve done some curating to find the best in practical and cutting edge travel gifts for the business traveler and frequent flyer in your life.

 

007 Gadget Lovers

smartwatches The Smartwatch

Tech nerds and early adopters have been dreaming about the prospect of a wristwatch-communications device since the early days of Dick Tracy.  Even Tracy himself would be amazed at how far we’ve come! Not sure if you should go with an iOS or Droid platform?  Get started with your research here  and check out PC Magazine’s review of the best smartwatches to fit your style, technical specs and price point.

 

Bluesmart LuggageBluesmart App-Enabled Carry-On Luggage

This smart luggage makes other cases look a bit dim. It enables travelers to control and track their suitcase from any smartphone. Includes app-enabled locking, built-in battery charger, location tracking, a built-in scale (for weighing itself, of course), and proximity alerts. It even collects and reports trip data – all for under $400 at Brookstone.com.

voice recorder penSlim Voice Recorder Pen with Voice Activation

You just never know when recording a conversation may come in handy. The Slim Voice Recorder Pen from Clearlight Security passes itself off as a regular black ink pen, but also features an inconspicuous voice recorder. The pen recorder comes in very handy at trade shows and meetings, when writing down lots of information can be inconvenient and distracting. Just whip out your pen recorder to keep detailed records of business discussions or make simple notes for yourself, without having to get out a notebook or computer. Price: $125

Presents with Purpose

ThinOPTICS glassesThinOPTICS

Think Morpheus in the Matrix. ThinOPTICS are revolutionary reading glasses that fit on your nose without any stems and slide right into your smartphone case. The ThinOPTICS team tested over 200 prototypes on over 800 users to create innovative glasses perfect for everything from reading text messages and emails to perusing the newspaper. The glasses, which are made with optical-grade polycarbonate and bullet-proof glass, come in thin cases that fit both Apple and Samsung phones as well as a Universal Pod that can fit in any pocket or suitcase. Price: $24.95-$38.95

fitbit surgeFitbit Surge

Many business travelers want to maintain their exercise regimen while on the road, but it can be challenging. A Fitbit tracker is a great reminder for frequent travelers to stay active and offers an easy way to log all of the exploring they’re doing. The new Fitbit Surge comes with a built-in GPS—allowing users to run and explore their destination without getting lost. Price: $249.95

scrubba wash pack

 

Scrubba Wash Pack

What’s a Scrubba Wash Pack, you ask? According to its maker, Calibre8, it’s the lightest and most compact ‘washing machine’ in the world. Ideal for all travelers and campers who want to pack lighter and cleaner, wash clothes anywhere, and save money, the Scrubba is an ultra-functional daypack, which includes a flexible internal washboard with hundreds of ‘nobules’ that give you a machine quality wash in a matter of minutes – just add soap and water. Price: $99

 For Fun & Comfort

NOON VR headsetNOON VR Headset

This virtual reality headset brings in quality, affordability, and a massive library of content to consumers. Compatible with the latest smartphones and virtual reality apps, the NOON VR headset is accompanied by more than 1,000 pieces of immersive content, including videos, 360 degree environments, games, and user generated content. Price: $89

 

Create-a-SpaceCREATE-A-SPACE

Stuck in the middle seat again?  No worries, CREATE-A-SPACE is a new travel accessory that helps people stay in their own seat space while keeping the person next to you out of your space when flying. A positive solution to the shrinking airplane seat, CREATE-A-SPACE helps to end the armrest battle. Its design enables business travelers to get more work done on the plane, or rest more comfortably. Compliant with FFA and TSA guidelines, the accessory is priced under $40 on amazon.com and independent luggage stores.

The Memory Makers

Canon G9 XCanon PowerShot G9 X Camera

The Canon PowerShot G9 X camera features a 20.2 Megapixel, 1.0-inch High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor, Canon’s powerful DIGIC 6 Image Processor and a fast, f/2.0-4.9 lens that helps you capture inspiring images – even in low light – with detail and color to match. This stylish slim camera is perfect for the traveler wanting to get great pictures without getting weighed down by a full size DSLR.  The camera features a 3x Optical Zoom lens (28-84mm equivalent), stunning Full HD video, and up to 6.0 frames per second to capture action. Should you find yourself gazing at the stars, switch into Star Mode and capture the view. Other features include a convenient control ring for quick adjustments, built-in Wi-Fi and NFC allowing for simple sharing and printing. The PowerShot G9 X retails for $479 and can be found on Amazon for $449. Visit Canon for more information.

Red River Greeting CardsGreetings from Red River!

Souvenir shop postcards rarely say what you want to say, and definitely don’t capture the moments that made that trip of a lifetime personal and special.  So why not create your own postcards  – as well as greeting cards, thank you cards, or special Save the Date notices, for that matter!  Red River Paper has an entire selection of quality paper in a variety of sizes that work with virtually any home printer so you can truly share your feelings with friends and family.  Use your favorite photos as cover art to celebrate honeymoon, anniversary or family trips, as well as unique holidays like National Dress Up Your Pet Day or Beer Can Appreciation Day.  They also work really well for Christmas and birthdays too!

Approximately $1.00 per card (includes ink and envelope).  Visit redriverpaper.com.

MylioMylio

If you have thousands of photos from all those great destinations you visited but don’t know where they are or have access to them everywhere you go, then Mylio is for you.  A unique imaging software, Mylio locates your photos on storage drives, mobile devices, computers, tablets and camera rolls and organizes them into one cohesive library organized by date, location, event, etc.  The free iOS and Android apps sync all your photos directly to your mobile devices so you can access, edit, and share all your photos from anywhere in the world. Annual subscriptions start at $50.  Visit Mylio.com.

Alaska Inner Passage framed using Whitewall

WhiteWall

Everyone has at least one amazing photo from a business trip or family vacation.  Don’t just post to Facebook and Instagram.  Immortalize it with amazing photo prints and framing from WhiteWall lab.  Whether it’s a photo print under acrylic glass, photo on aluminum or wood, acrylic block, or traditional wood frames, all orders are produced by hand in their lab in Cologne, Germany and shipped all over the world in less than 10 days.  Turn a great photo into an amazing work of art.  Think of it as German engineering for your wall.

Products and services start at $9.00.  Visit WhiteWall.

.

Wishing you and yours Safe & Happy Holiday Travels!

 

“Did you know…People lose $5B worth of personal effects each year?”

It’s one thing to forget your car keys on a table in a local cafe, but quite another when you leave behind a smartphone on an airplane or a laptop in your hotel room.  According to Brian Colodny, president and CFO of Chargerback, a software company specializing in reuniting lost items with their owners, only about one-third of lost items make it back to their owners.

Think about it.  How many times have you left behind a pair of earrings on a nightstand, a bag of souvenirs on a tour bus or a cellphone charger plugged into the wall of your hotel room?  Oftentimes, people don’t even bother trying to get the items back, particularly if they are lost at an international location.  But why must the burden of retrieval land on the backs of guests, flyers, cruisers, etc.? Because  what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!

In our interview, Brian Colodny suggests that many hotels maintain a policy that prioritizes discretion and protecting the privacy of guests.  Afterall, there is a small portion of hotel patrons who may wish to keep their visits on the “QT” for a number of reasons. That said, protecting guests’ privacy may trump returning lost items and potentially calling attention to a hotel visit that may or may not have been authorized by a spouse or significant other.

Cumulatively, somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 billion worth of items are lost every year by Americans. A sizeable portion of these incidents happen while traveling. So, what happens to the billions of dollars worth of unclaimed lost items?  Colodny says, in the case of larger, established hotel properties, items are typically donated to charities or given to salvage companies.

Colodny formed his company back in 2010 after he left behind a cell phone charger in a hotel, which, at the time, cost about $60. Frustrated by the inefficiency and lack of coordination at the hotel in accommodating his efforts to locate and retrieve his lost property, he decided to do something about it, and formed Chargerback.

Chargerback works with airlines, hotel chains, sports venues and a host of other companies where people congregate, travel through or visit, enabling them to log found items via a software application, while providing owners of lost items an easy path to finding their property if it was left behind at a partnering company’s location.

Watch our interview with Brian and checkout their website — you never know what you might find.

“Did you know…Expedia plans to buy HomeAway for $3.9B?”

BIG NEWS in the sharing economy for travelers: Expedia has agreed to buy HomeAway for $3.9 billion. According to the New York Times, HomeAway also plans to change its business model to charge travelers a fee, based on a sliding scale. Up until now, HomeAway generated revenue by charging property owners to list their rentals. HomeAway also plans to lower commission rates for these pay-per-booking customers.

No big surprise that travel booking giant, Expedia, is looking to get in on the soaring popularity of vacation and short-term rentals. In a 2015 Barclays report, it’s estimated that home rental platform Airbnb books around 37 million night stays, which could increase to as many as 129 million by 2016.  But what are some caveats for home owners looking to cash in on the trend? We recently talked to Rob Stephens of Avalara MyLodge Tax, a financial and tax expert in the home rental space, to  learn what property owners need to do to comply and minimize their tax risk with the IRS. Watch our interview here.

Do you think this acquisition bodes well for vacation rental owners and lodgers?

Homeless and lovin’ it — Tips from a present-day nomad for living the life of your dreams

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

It’s difficult to put a number on how many people think about chucking caution to the wind and leaving the rat race for a life of untethered wandering and cultural enrichment — not to speak of the cost savings that come with living in far away destinations, like Southeast Asia.  That said, dreaming and reality are two very different things — or so we thought until we interviewed Paul Kortman, co-founder of nomadtogether.com, a site for people who have decided to live a life of location independence.

Check out our interview with Paul and learn how he and his wife and four kids have learned to live as a “homeless” family over the past two years.  Their experience has been life altering and the community they have congregated serves to give inspiration, support, feedback and camaraderie to others who dare to live outside the box.