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April 16, 2015

Road Warrior Rockstar: A long rant and quick apps review on the topic of traveling and technology (and a giveaway)!

By Guestblogger Jennifer Jolly

The best travelers are totally organized. They have their itineraries at their fingertips all the time, like magic, and know exactly where they have to be when, every step of the way. And then, there's me. I forget to check-in early, lose important information like my flight number, and have even shown up at the wrong airport on the wrong day. I could blame it on mommy-brain or on being blonde, but the truth is, I’m frazzled and busy and tired – just like a lot of people traveling these days. I just need a little extra help from time to time. Or a clone.

 

You know that movie with George Clooney where he travels all the time, Up in the Air? That’s kind of my life, minus the grim-reaper firing people part. I travel an average of 10,000 miles a month for work as an on-air consumer technology contributor for USA Today, the Today Show, CNN, Meredith Vieira, and many others. Sounds glamorous, right? Ha!

 

As you may very well know, traveling for work is often downright brutal. I’m a mom first and foremost – which means that I try to make work and travel have zero impact on my family. I’ll take the red-eye to New York, appear on a show, and fly back to San Francisco that same day (unless I accidentally go to LaGuardia instead of JFK – been there, done that). Or, I’ll do 30 appearances in five cities in three days. I’m also a small business owner, so I have to run a tight ship – keep on top of everything and try to keep costs down. I not only try to find the best travel deals, but I make all my own arrangements. Nope, no assistants. Just me and modern technology … juggling it all. I like to think of myself as a Road Warrior Rockstar. (That’s what I secretly call myself to weather anything that comes my way up in the air, or on the road. Don’t judge, it helps, it really does.)

 

What tools do I use to stay (mostly) sane on the go? Here’s a quick list of what’s on my smartphone or in my bookmarks bar right this very second:

  • I love using Hopper to predict the best time to snag a flight deal. It analyzes billions of airfares daily to sniff-out a price drop – then alerts you so that you can grab it.
  • For a small fee, site Options Away basically lets you put a flight on hold. You can lock in an airfare as much as three weeks ahead of when you actually buy the ticket. Then, if the price drops, you automatically get the cheaper faire.
  • For booking that trip of a lifetime, I like Zyppos – an online sight where registered experts (aka travel hackers) help you find the perfect flight, best itinerary, and lowest fare – all in exchange for a $20-$40 finder's fee/reward.
  • GateGuru always leads me right to the closest XpresSpa so that I can get a quick neck massage before jumping on the plane.
  • And for traveling like a local, there’s Localeur. It solicits advice from the people who know a place best – the locals – to find awesomely authentic places to go, where to eat, and fun things to do.

 

And of course, there’s WorldMate. You already knew that I was going to say that because why else would they let me rant about all my travel on their blog – right? Yep, it’s true, I actually can’t imagine how I could travel so much without it. I use it to automatically organize all my flights, hotels, car rentals, meetings, and every other pesky trip detail into one single itinerary. I also rely on the abundance of other tools within the app as well, including exclusive hotel deals and car rental offers, integrated weather forecasts, local hot-spot searches, flight schedules lookup, and even social integration with LinkedIn. It’s this kind of technology that lets me navigate my always-changing, chaotic, challenging, and downright frenetic travel schedule – so that I still have time left to be hands-on mom, successful businesswoman, Road Warrior Rockstar, and generally cool human (in my own mind at least).

 

You’ve read this far? Well then you get a big fat reward. WorldMate is giving the first 50 readers who email them a free GOLD membership – just for reading this blog post. Email jennifergavemegold@worldmate.com with “Yes,” then download the app, and you’ll be on your way to become a Travel Warrior Rockstar too. Or you can give yourself your own fierce name. Either way, it’s a cool tool that you’ve just gotten for the price of reading this post. Happy Travels!

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