WorldMate - Travel Smart
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16 posts categorized "Mobile & Business Travel"

July 15, 2015

INTRODUCING YOUR NEW TRAVEL FEED

We are thrilled to introduce our latest version, WorldMate 7.0, which is packed with brand new features to make your travel experience easier and more enjoyable than ever!

INTRODUCING YOUR NEW TRAVEL FEED

 

So what's new?

  1. New Home screen

    Check out the new home screen - now featuring all the information you need for your travel. View your upcoming trip, flight status, hotel booking, offers, and more.

  2. Event Tickets

    Do you have a free night during your trip? Make the most of it! You will now see special ticket offers for a variety of fun events, like sports, music or theater.

 

GIVE IT A TRY!

Upgrade your app through the App Store and Give WorldMate 7.0 a try! Let us know what you think by posting your comments to Facebook or Twitter, or email us at feedback@worldmate.com.

 

upgrade now

 

March 09, 2015

What Do You Need to Know Before Starting to Develop for Apple Watch?

During our first hackathon we decided to tackle the topic of wearable watches. The team divided into groups of 4 to develop prototypes for Android Wear or the highly anticipated Apple Watch using the first beta of WatchKit.

In today’s event, Apple is expected to finally shed some light over Apple Watch, its features, sensors, battery consumption and most importantly, the possibilities for 3rd party apps developers. We decided to give you a first look of what it is like to develop apps for Apple Watch before you start coding.

 

What Is a Watch App?

The mobile industry is built on engaging users by putting information that impacts their work, life and habits right when they need it. Wearables add a whole new layer to it, making everything accessible right from their wrist. The right Watch app should be focusing on the ability to seamlessly move from the watch to iPhone and back.

 

The Potential is amazing!

It is amazingly simple to add support for the Apple Watch as an extension of your main app. The transition is so intuitive it feels almost natural.

There are limitless options of what you can create based on what the Watch app can display and receive. A watch app can present actionable notifications and “Glances,” Apple’s quick-look feature meant to save time.

It is far easier to develop a watch app if you have iOS 8 Today Widget already in place as it uses the similar elements you used for developing the Widget.

 

What Can’t a Watch App Do?

The Apple Watch concept designed as an extension to the app, not the entire app crammed into your wrist. Heavy lifting features are left to the iPhone mobile app.

The WatchKit extension lives on the phone and contains all the watch app logic that controls what is displayed on the Watch and how the app responds to user input.

There are also some other battery-conserving limitations that need to be considered when building watch apps. Watch apps don’t have access to the watch hardware or sensors, including the heart rate monitor, audio, speaker or the vibrating engine.

We held out hackathon when only the first beta was out and only allow basic functionality. We believe as the Apple Watch become closer more abilities will be open in the future to developers to be ready to launch.

 

On your marks, get ready..

With the world counting down to the big launch, attention turns to the best Apple Watch apps that will make or break this landmark device. Join us to view today’s announcement.

WorldMate Wearable Hackathon - Innovation in Every Interaction

On Feb 1, 2015 WorldMate held its first internal Hackathon in the topic of wearable watches.

First question that comes to mind is why? Why would a company stop what it’s doing for 24 hours, ignore its product roadmap to develop new prototypes?

The answer is that it’s not about getting to market faster—it's about steering the whole company around obstacles that might otherwise be unavoidable. Hackathons completely opens the door to creativity and forces everyone to get out of their comfort zone, work on new technologies, spread their creative wings, interact with colleagues and be involved in an end-to-end process. The team is given the time, resources, caffeine, even alcohol – everything it needs to get stuff done for a day.

"It's not always just about technology. It's about how you can work as a team, how you can solve problems and how you can work with shifting environments," says WorldMate’s CEO Amir Kirshenboim. "It’s giving the team that burning platform and that inspiration that they need to be a little bit more innovative."

Why wearables?

We decided to focus the hackathon theme around wearables, specifically watches like the Android Wear watches and the very anticipated, Apple Watch.

Wearables in Travel open limitless possibilities to enhance the traveler experience. The options are endless - it can show directions to your next meeting or hotel, present you boarding passes at check-in, provide gate and flight time updates, and more. It’s simply one of the most personalized and easiest ways to be informed while on your travels.

What’s next?

We were amazed at what the team came up with and at the end of the day; it came down to how big of a risk you wanted to take. Ultimately, we found the bigger risk we wanted to would likely be the bigger reward.

This hackathon has helped our company get familiar with new products and know how to work together better, and in the coming months we are planning to put some of these innovations to life.

March 06, 2015

Around the World: Business Travel Tips for Women, from Women - Part 2

If you joined in on our last blog post, we offered business travel tips from women for women on planning and preparation, packing, safety, and health and wellness to ensure that your business travel experience goes smoothly. But preparing for the trip is just the first step. The whole experience will depend on how you actually make the most out of it while you’re at your destination. Here’s part two of our two-part blog series guiding women on the road to enhance the business travel experience. After all, it’s easy to stay in the comfort of your hotel room with all of the right amenities at the the tip of your fingertips

While your hotel might be the easy choice to hang out after hours, it’s likely not every day that you’re given the opportunity to explore outside of your desk, cubicle, or office. So whether it’s New York, Dallas, Portland or Los Angeles, here are some tips to help you master the local scene and meet new people, while maintaining your relationships at home.

 

Mastering the Local Scene

Mastering the Local Scene

Photo credit: Unsplash.com

How can travelers blend in with the locals and find the hottest spots for food and drinks? Insert quotes from influencers on how savvy business women can avoid tourist traps. Skift.com’s Samantha Shankman has an easy solution: talk to locals!

"I make it a point to take a few hours by myself and try to talk to as many locals as possible. This might just be the barista at a coffee shop, but gaining insights into a destination adds layers to what can otherwise be a strictly business endeavor."- Samantha Shankman, Reporter, Skift.com

 

Maintaining Relationships

Maintaining Relationships

Photo credit: picjumbo.com

One of the hardest parts of business travel is missing time with loved ones. However, from Skype/FaceTime to text messages, technology has made it much easier for people miles apart to connect. Here’s how you can make sure your business trips don’t turn into guilt trips.

"The best way to stay in touch with loved ones while traveling is through Skype, Google Hangouts, or FaceTime. Gone are the days of long distance phone calls. Just by logging in to your hotel's wifi, you're able to chat with family and friends face-to-face. All you need to do is coordinate a time and the best way to do that is to check your time zone. Thankfully, there's an app for that too." – Rachelle Lucas, TheTravelBite.com

"Email is great for sending observations and notes from a foreign destination back home and to several people at once. I’m also a huge fan of photos so either just texting a photo or using an app like SnapChat makes me feel like my loved ones are experiencing a new place with me." - Samantha Shankman, Reporter, Skift.com

 

Meeting New People and Networking

Networking

Photo credit: photostock.com

Dinner and drinks during business travel doesn’t have to be such a lonely affair anymore. Well-known travel personality Debra Corbeil also advises to do your research beforehand.

"I often look to see who will be at the conference or destination and make a connection through LinkedIn or email. Introduce yourself and plan a meeting in advance. It's a great way to break the ice and be one step ahead of the game. Since you've already talked through social media or email, you already have one connection that you can sit with at lunch or say hello to in the morning." - Debra Corbeil, The Planet D

In addition, Invite For A Bite is a safe service that allows women to meet with other women in a safe environment.

WorldMate has also made it easier for its customers to connect with colleagues while traveling. After opting in, WorldMate will notify you if someone in your social network is also in town.

Lastly, Redbubble’s Nancy Page had a few words of advice to increase productivity and ensure the best business travel experience for everyone.

"While scheduling your time in advance is key to making the most of your trip, and you'll find that time books up fast with meeting after meeting after meeting, make sure to schedule some 'free' time too. Use this time for impromptu chats, getting some fresh air or getting to your colleagues better. I find the most fruitful discussions and creative ideas come about in relaxed, unplanned, settings. Ditch the office for a bit and go for a walk, grab a coffee, or view some street art with your work buddies. You might be surprised just how many ideas and solutions come about, and at the very least you'll get to soak up some vitamin D." - Nancy Page, Artist Relationship Manager, Redbubble

Business travel can sometimes be a daunting or lonely, but with the tips above and WorldMate at your side, your next business trip can be a much more enjoyable experience. Download WorldMate for your iPhone or Android.

Interested in more tips? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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March 03, 2015

Around the World: Business Travel Tips for Women, from Women

Photo credit: Unsplash.com

Sheryl Sandberg, Marissa Mayer, Arianna Huffington - these are just a few women executives leading the charge for some of the world's biggest businesses. As more women step into management and executive roles, so do the opportunities for business travel. While some of us have mastered the art, there are many more of us who are looking for tips to hone our skills on the road.

Traveling for business can be exciting. Not only does it offer a nice change of scenery, but it also gives you the opportunity to explore new places that you probably would not have had the chance to visit. However, after spending hours or days in meetings, it's also easy to get lost in the exhaustion of it all.

Today, we are sharing the first of our 2-part blog series featuring some of the best tips from women, specifically for women, on how to enhance the business travel experience.

 

Planning and Preparation

Planning and Preparation

Photo credit: PicJumbo.com

For some, planning and preparing for a trip can be daunting. Choosing the most cost-friendly and quality options for hotels and flights are no easy task.

Gina Stark from Gitana Blog offers, "Create an Excel sheet to track, manage and assure proper accrual of frequent flier miles and hotel credits, if you travel a lot”

"Use points programs whenever you can. Choose an airline and hotel chain and try to stay with it. Status can make a big difference when you travel frequently. You can get 1st class upgrades free upgrades to the premium rooms in my hotel. Every point counts. I can typically use my accrued points to pay for vacations!" - Mary Delaney, Technical Advisor

 

Packing

Packing

Photo credit: Unsplash.com

The thought packing your life into a suitcase can be quite intimidating so WorldMate reached out to its community to learn tricks of the trade from other women.

"Pack clothes that don't need ironing. Fold shirts, skirts and sweaters in a normal way and then roll them up to prevent wrinkles. When you arrive at your destination, hang them up. Also, when travelling don't carry a large purse, use a small one that is worn with a strap under your clothes or worn under a jacket. All you need is ID, money, and ATM card. Travel light." – Karen Smith Willenberg, Government Administration Assistant

"If you're travelling through the UK/Europe the plastic bag you need to put your toiletries and make-up in is a lot smaller than they allow in the US - pack light or be prepared to throw items away at the airport. You can use a hairdryer to 'blow dry' the creases out of clothes if an iron isn't available." – Helen Ellis, WorldMate fan

"Never pack your carry on without makeup remover wipes, fuzzy socks, or sandals! Since I go standby a lot, you never know where you may end up throughout your trip, so you should be prepared for anything. Since I do wear glasses, I never rely on contact lenses for a flight. More often than not you'll end up sleeping anyway, and plus flights do strange things to your eyes (i.e. dryness, irritation)." – Katie Gidosh, WorldMate fan

"Try to fly in a day before or a day after, if possible. It's better to feel refreshed and ready to go, than rushed and grumpy. It will also give you some time to check out the area you are in and do a little sightseeing/relaxing." – Katka Lapelosova, Managing Editor, Matador Network

"Carryon and travel light. Any grooming or laundry you get done on the work trip is tax deductible. Order all of your own drinks and never let them leave your sight." – Tiffany McFarland, WorldMate fan

 

Safety

Safety

Photo credit: Unsplash.com

Safety is an issue everywhere, especially if you’re traveling to somewhere unfamiliar. According to Kathleen Ameche, author of “The Woman Road Warrior,” 98% of women who have traveled for business have had their safety threatened. Here are some tips on how to make safety a priority while traveling.

"If you're traveling alone, make sure to have a system set up with someone you trust to let them know you are safe and doing well. For me, it's my mom. So I normally text her in the morning, afternoon and when I get back to where I am staying." – Jenna Richard, WorldMate fan

"Traveling to places like bars or clubs with a large group of co-workers is helpful, but really staying safe somewhere on business or vacation is the same -- be aware of your surroundings, the people you are with. Try to plan in advance how to get around, and which neighborhoods to avoid while there." – Katka Lapelosova, Managing Editor and Director of Social Media for Matador Network

 

Health and Wellness

Health and Wellness

Photo credit: Unsplash.com

A research report conducted by SRI International for the Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS) recently found that healthier travel of all breeds will grow nine percent annually through 2017. With that said, there are increasingly more accommodation options available for women who are looking to make health and wellness a priority while they are out traveling. But staying at a wellness hotel isn’t enough. Here are tips for women who are looking to eat right, maintain a fitness schedule, and/or prioritize their overall wellbeing.

“Try to pick a hotel with a kitchen so that you’re still in charge of your meals. If that's not possible, use Yelp to find what healthy restaurants the city you’re traveling to has to offer. Not only that, most hotels have gyms that can help you stay on track with your workout schedule!" - Norma Aviles, Corporate Manager

"Traveling for business sometimes means a busy and hectic schedule. Good planning and a strong commitment to your health will help you adhere to your fitness routine. Ten minutes is all you need to get the blood pumping and metabolism going. Exercise can help your business meetings become more successful and sustain your energy levels" - Tammy Stokes, CEO & Founder, West Coast Workout, Lifestyle Fitness Studios

 

Business travel provides you with the exciting opportunity to work creatively in an environment unparalleled by the hours you spend at your own desk. So from planning to packing and safety to health and wellness, women traveling for business can be well-prepared for their next adventure by following the tips above.

Join us for our next blog post which will focus on how you can enhance the travel experience while you are at your destination - whether that’s mastering the local scene or meeting new people. Give WorldMate a try for your iPhone or Android.

Interested in more tips? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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July 13, 2010

WorldMate 4.0 With TripCatch: Let WorldMate Work For You

We're excited. Big time. For the last six months we've been working on TripCatch - the next phase in making WorldMate an even more convenient way for you to plan and manage your travel. We're just out of a closed Beta with about 1,000 active users, who told us quite plainly - "We love it". Well now you can get WorldMate with TripCatch too (well, on BlackBerry, for now).

Tripcatch

What is TripCatch?

If you're reading this, you probably already know that WorldMate automates itinerary creation by reading the confirmation emails you forward to it, assembling the information in them into itineraries and adding location and meeting details. So far, you had to forward your confirmation emails to trips@worldmate.com manually. With TripCatch - even this is automated for you. TripCatch automatically identifies confirmation emails sent to you by travel agents, airlines, hotel chains etc., and integrates them into your itinerary. In plain English - TripCatch knows a certain email is a confirmation email and automatically takes care of it for you, it's that simple.

So what's so great about TripCatch?

TripCatch not only saves you the effort of manually forwarding an email. It also means that as soon as you get a confirmation email, WorldMate knows about your booking and can add it to your itinerary and start tracking it for you. So when you embark on your trip, you're guaranteed you have all your travel details with you. And as soon as you book something, WorldMate can help you with that booking - or assist with booking what you're still missing.TripCatch takes the hassle out of creating your itinerary. Whenever you enter WorldMate on your BlackBerry or on our website, your itinerary will already be built and will include all of your travel plans. It will save you time and effort and will make the whole process a lot easier.

I'm a control-freak. Can I retain control?

With TripCatch, you decide the level of automation you want. You can choose to have TripCatch alert you whenever a travel confirmation email is detected - at which point you can decide if you want to integrate that booking into your itinerary or not. Or you can decide to Always have TripCatch integrate the bookings it detects, and have a fully automated process. The choice is always in your hands.

 

So is WorldMate now looking into my inbox?

Your Privacy and Security Are Assured.

At WorldMate we take our members’ privacy very seriously. We built TripCatch with that goal in mind – it works quietly in the background only picking up travel-related emails. It filters emails with only very specific travel expressions and is careful not to pick up other messages.  It is optimized such that it almost never "catches" the wrong email. In fact, we had it catch dozens of thousands of emails during the private beta period, with virtually zero non-travel emails caught. Furthermore, all emails are immediately deleted off our server after they are parsed (including the ones that are "misses"), so even in the rare case the wrong email is caught, it is immediately deleted without a trace.

Your privacy is our concern. So much - that you don't have to take our word for it.We’ve partnered with privacy leader TRUSTe. They’ve certified our software and databases with the TRUSTe Privacy Seal to verify that your information is safe with us. Please see our privacy policy for more information about how we maintain your privacy.

How can I help TripCatch get even better?

If you appreciate the value of technology like TripCatch, you can help us improve it even further. We've launched TripCatch as a Beta to make sure we have an opportunity to keep improving it. If you'd like to assist us - please join our Product Improvement Program. By doing so you'll enable us to analyze those emails that TripCatch "misses", so that we can improve it even further.

Hey, what about us iPhone users?

We are working to enable TripCatch for you too. It is a little tricky, as iOS has different limitations, but we'll get there. And you'll be the first to know.

January 06, 2010

Scheduling with the WorldMate on the Web: It’s All in the Timing

Salvador-dali-clock

WorldMate’s web app makes scheduling meetings a breeze. Schedule your meeting in the web app, and then you can stop thinking about it, because the web app calculates the correct time zone for you.

Better yet, all this information syncs automatically with WorldMate on your smartphone.

Why You Can Zone Out About Time Zones

The WorldMate time zone system works by treating your meeting as a place, not just a time. When you enter the meeting location—whether it’s New York, Singapore, or Sydney—our system keeps track of the correct time, no matter how many datelines you skip.

Even complicating factors like Daylight Savings Time are automatically taken into account. If for example your meeting is in New York, the time of the meeting will always be displayed in Eastern Standard Time—wherever you are in the world.

So when you reach your destination and set your computer for the local time, your meeting times stay the same—because it’s the place that matters, and we’re on it.

Doing Things the Old Way Makes Jack a Dull Boy

Without WorldMate’s web app, what happens? You end up doing one of two things:

  • You schedule meetings on your PC in the local time of your current location. So you’re in London, and you have meetings in New York, Hong Kong, and Melbourne. This means you spend a good twenty minutes calculating what time it is in each of these cities, and then what time the meetings will be in your current London time. And with all your careful calculations, somewhere along the way, it’s easy     to make an error and miscalculate by an hour, perhaps two—just enough     time to make you late, or worse, make you miss the meeting altogether.
  • Another old school way to schedule meetings is in the time zone of your destinations. So if you have meetings in New York, Hong Kong, and Melbourne at 10:00am in each, then 10:00am is what you put in your calendar. Sounds easy, right? Except that you reach your destination and change the local time on your computer, the meeting times will change, too…And you’ll be lost.

Three Time Zones? No Problem!

Now imagine the same scenario—you have three 10:00am meetings in the course of one trip, in New York, Hong Kong and Melbourne. You’re flying from London. But this time, you’re using the WorldMate web app to schedule your meetings. You’ve entered into your itinerary that your meetings are at 10:00am in those three cities.

You don’t have to calculate the time zone. You don’t have to worry about the times changing on your PC.
While you travel around the world, crossing datelines and time zones, your meeting times are fixed in stone. And they’re available on your PC calendar and your smartphone for easy access.

So log in to our web app with your WorldMate user info and start scheduling your meetings today!

(image credt: http://www.salvador-dali.org/en_index.html used with permission)

September 29, 2009

Want to Fly on the Air France Inaugural A380 Flight? Oui Oui!

TomBotts

By Tom Botts for Hudson Crossing.

Air France has just announced details of their plans to offer seats on the inaugural A380 flight from Paris to JFK and, a day later, JFK back to CDG. The 1st flight (which is really the inaugural flight) leaves Paris CDG on November 20th with the return from JFK (after some crew rest and photo ops, no doubt) on November 21st.

They are auctioning 380 seats - unclear what will happen to the other 158 seats but one would assume that press, dignitaries and other various hangers-on will fill them.

Pick your seat and get out your wallet!

All details can be found here.

August 18, 2009

Travel Smart: Avoid Getting Sick on the Plane

IlanaImage

By: Ilana Reichert

Nothing kills the buzz of your trip faster than a coughing fit brought on by a bug you caught on the plane. With so many people traveling together in a confined space, sharing the same air, it’s inevitable that the plane can feel like an airborne petri dish. And with swine flu now rearing its ugly head around the world, travelers have the additional fear of contracting the contagious disease.


Beat Swine Flu on the Plane

AirlinePassengers_s Back in April, Joe Biden remarked that neither he nor his family members would be getting on a plane or any other confined space for fear of catching swine flu. But the reality is that you can avoid catching the disease by following some precautions.

 First of all, stay calm. The air on a plane is not as bad as many people believe. Fresh air is constantly circulated into the plane, in addition to the air that is already there before takeoff. And though 50 percent of the air is recirculated, it goes through special filters each time. It’s not an ideal situation—especially on long international flights—but nor is it hopeless. As long as the plane’s ventilation system is working properly, your exposure to disease through the air is reduced.

To further minimize your risk, there are a few key actions that you can take:

 • Hand hygiene really works. Dr. Mark Gendreau, senior staff physician and vice chairman of emergency medicine at Lahey Clinic in Massachusetts told CNN.com, “Sanitize your hands before eating, drinking and after retrieving something from the overhead bin or returning from the restroom, and you have just cut your chances of getting infected by at least 40 percent.”

Swine flu, says Gendreau, is spread when people cough or sneeze—the droplets bearing germs travel a few feet, contaminating any people or objects within that distance. So your chair, your foldout table, and your armrests are all potential germ carriers. By washing your hands constantly—either with soap and water or with hand sanitizer—you are significantly reducing the risk of becoming contaminated by the germs that made their way to objects that you touch. Be sure to wash right, though—hand washing is only effective if your scrub your hands with soap or hand sanitizer (with an alcohol content of at least 50%) for a minimum of fifteen seconds.

 • Ventilation is important. The good news is that your plane most likely has a ventilation system in place already, which operates as long as the plane is in the air. (Long delays on the ground are another story!) But you can contribute to the ventilation you get by pointing the air conditioning vent above your seat to blow across the front of your face, so that any incoming germs will meet this wall of air and dissipate.

Surgical masks, which are popular in the Far East for the purpose of protection against germs, might seem like an overreaction but are a good idea if know you are traveling to a country that has been hard-hit with swine flu. You may feel silly wearing one, but it will protect your mouth from airborne particles.

Protect Yourself From Blood Clots

Those long hours in a stationary position on the plane can cause deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which can be fatal if it is left untreated.

 Here are some steps to prevent DVT:

• Make sure to drink a lot of water, and cut down on alcohol and caffeine. The plane air is dry, which causes you to dehydrate much more easily than you would otherwise, and this dehydration puts you at greater risk for blood clots.

• Get up from your seat every hour or so just to walk around. While sitting, flex your feet so that your calf muscles are working, which creates blood flow in the legs.

• Pregnant women or others who may be at risk for DVT should consider wearing elastic support stockings during the flight.

 If after your flight you experience pain or swelling in your leg, call a health care provider immediately. If the pain is accompanied by shortness of breath, the situation is all the more serious and requires emergency medical attention.

 Paying attention to your health during the long hours on the plane is an investment of time and effort that will pay off in the long run.

August 16, 2009

Fly.com: A New Way for the UK to Search for Aeroplane Trips

TomBotts

By Tom Botts for Hudson Crossing.

TravelZoo property Fly.com has quietly launched a UK version of their meta search site. For curious US users, simply click on the flag in the upper right hand corner. UK users are redirected automatically.

The site features the same functionality as the US based version but offers different OTA partners including TerminalA and Ebookers.

In addition, Fly has managed to include numerous low-cost carriers including easyJet, Flybe, Wizz and SkyEurope - many if which have often declined to participate in broad distribution plays in the past. Alas, no word on the biggest hold-out, RyanAir.

The meta-search march continues....