Archive for the ‘Apps’ Category

Travel App of the Month: EpicMix

Friday, December 27th, 2013

The FREE and dare I say, addictive, EpicMix (EpicMix for Android) ski app keeps you in the “snow” if you ski in Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone (all in Colorado), Heavenly, Kirkwood, or Northstar (all in California). The app is feature-rich, and brings a whole new level of interactivity to your ski vacation.

EpicMix uses scanners mounted on lifts at each of these Vail Resorts ski areas to automatically read radio frequency identification tags embedded on people’s lift passes. Get on a lift and your elevation is automatically tracked. I find it especially interesting to see where my family (my son, in particular) has skied that day since they are typically more adventurous than dear ol’ mom.

EpicMix lets you:Familyskiday

  • Track your vertical feet
  • Access trail maps, lift status, run conditions, weather reports, web cams, and the latest traffic info for all six mountains
  • Race against your friends, family and even four-time World Cup Champion Lindsey Vonn
  • View and download photos taken by the EpixMix on-mountain photographers
  • Connect with friends and family within the app to share your ski results; and you can connect with Facebook and Twitter to share your action photos, activity, and special accomplishments

Special accomplishments? Yes! Skiers who have an RF-enabled Season Pass, Epic Day lift ticket, or PEAKS card earn digital pins for their ski activity and accomplishments on the mountains.
 If you are competitive or curious, it can be a lot of fun. Skiers collect points for each digital pin they earn and can choose to share their point totals to see how they measure up against all skiers and achieve some serious bragging rights. EpicMix posts nothing publicly until a user activates an EpicMix account and chooses to share information.

New for the 2013/2014 Ski Season: lesson goers (that’s me) can track their progress in Ski and Snowboard School with EpicMix Academy.



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Travel App of the Month: You’ve Got Mail… with Postagram!

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013






When I was 11, I didn’t like it so much when I was away at summer camp and I received postcards from my parents in Hawaii and Paris. Maybe it was because at that time, I couldn’t return the favor to show them how awesome Rockbrook Camp for Girls really was. Now I think I realize how genius they really were. But I digress, back to Postcards.

One travel app takes us back before the digital age, breathing new life into the postcard, and making it more than possible to share your travels and favorite moments with friends and family in a way that brings back the excitement of getting real hand-delivered mail.

Postagram Postcards

For 99 cents a card, you can send a personalized photo postcard right from your iPhone, Instagram, Facebook, and Dropbox and your recipient receives it via postal service a few days later – no more wasting time trying to track down a post office and a stamp. Some companies, like Hyatt House, are even sponsoring postcards enabling FREE postcards for guests visiting their hotels. Very cool!

Check out Postagram and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 2.12.53 PM




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Five Useful Gadgets for Business Travelers

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Close up of businessman's hands touching digital tabletHeading for a sales trip, attending a conference or visiting another office across the globe?  As we all know, business trips can be very challenging, needing to stay connected and productive and having to fully recharge on the go. Business travelers are supposed to be supermen, and with the five useful gadgets we selected below, you can claim your superpowers for your next demanding business trip.

Battery Extender

Who hasn’t been in the situation where your phone runs out of juice just when you need it most?  With a battery extender, you can enjoy extra hours of conversation, internet surfing and fun. The Kensington Pocket battery can be used as a back-up battery and a charger for smartphone devices. Its USB connector allows you to charge your iPhone, Samsung or any other device and add hours to your use!

Mini Battery Pack and Charger (iPhone and iPod): $29.99

Pocket Battery for Smartphone Devices (other smartphones): $39.99

MiFi Card

Tired of looking for a crowed public hotspot? Frustrated with paying for WiFi use? Now you can choose to have your own high speed wireless connection that is both convenient and secure. Get an easy-to-use MiFi device from AT&T to keep your devices connected at blazing fast 4G internet speeds. Its powerful battery provides up to 10 hour of continuous use.

AT&T Mobile Hotspot MiFi Liberate: $49 with 2-year contract

Close up of businessman's hands using smart phoneHeadphones

Most likely, business travelers need to keep working – even on an airplane, but chatty seatmates and other external noises can make it difficult to concentrate. A pair of noise-canceling headphones helps drown out the noise so you can get your work done. Headphones like Plantronics’ Blackwire 700 Series USB Headset, are ideal for business travelers and connect to your PC via USB and Bluetooth.  Its Smart Sensor technology automatically answers a call when you put on the headset, so you can answer calls and immerse yourself in silence.

Plantronics Blackwire 700 Series: Prices starts at $129.95

GPS for your Luggage

Your trip could become a nightmare if you arrive at the airport but your luggage doesn’t. Knowing where your bags landed can calm you down. Trakdot is like Find My iPhone for your luggage. Simply putting it in your bag and track your missing items with the Trakdot app, or get its location sent to you via text message or email.

Trakdot Luggage: $49.99

Packable Travel Pillow

The ability to fall asleep anywhere is an essential quality for business travelers, needing to take advantage of every minute they can to relax and recharge. While you may find that a regular travel pillow cannot guarantee a comfortable sleep, the reinvented Travelrest ® Travel Pillow might be worth a try. This banana-shaped pillow nestles against your head and neck, reducing the likelihood of slipping while you’re sleeping on the go. It is easy to set up and fit into carry-ons.

Travelrest ® Travel Pillow: $26.95

Try these out and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.



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Travel App of the Month: Tracking Your Travel Photos with Trover

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013


trover1trover2A new website/app is making it easier for you to share and see the world with a super convenient way to document your travels in the moment!

Trover is photo site with a Pinterest-like design but with the goal of being the world’s photo atlas.

Within the app, photos are categorized by location, themes, and other options like “what’s new.”  And what’s nice is that not only are you able to share photos, but tips and insights for others who may find inspiration in your photo and travel to that very spot.

You can see my trover travel photos here:  My first photos are from my trip this week to San Antonio with my kiddos!


Check it out and share your thoughts on the app in the comments below!





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Travel App of the Month: Vonage Mobile

Friday, July 12th, 2013

The smartphone apps on the market today have made international travel easier than ever.

Looking for food nearby? There’s an app for that.
Want to navigate your way around a new city? There’s an app for that.
Need a hotel? We’ve got you covered there…

vonagemobilescreenshotBut what about the most basic need for any mobile user during international travel: The ability communicate with others in a quick, easy and cost effective manner.

Vonage Mobile is a FREE app (available for iOS & Android) that allows you to call work, home, family and friends for free. And you don’t need to worry about extremely costly roaming charges, because with the Vonage Mobile app, you can avoid them all together.

Even better, the app includes free calling, texting, video calling, photo sharing and location sharing all in one convenient app. It works over any 3G/4G or WiFi network across iPhone and Android platforms, and it has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on iTunes, due to it’s convenience and quality.

How does it work?
Vonage uses Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), allowing you to call, text, video conference, and the like, all while connected to Wi-Fi. The app is free to use between users, meaning as long as both parties have the app, you can chat as much as you’d like for free.

vonagemobilevideoConveniently, your Contact List can be integrated into the app so you won’t need to re-enter a contact’s information or add them as a friend to be in touch (like you might for other communication apps). To make it even easier, the app shows you which of your contacts have already downloaded Vonage Mobile, allowing you to see who you can talk to for free right from the start.

How cost-effective is it?
While you can essentially talk, text, video chat and share photos and locations with any smartphone user completely free of charge by having access to Wi-Fi and (both) downloading the app — Vonage Mobile also allows you to add credit to your account easily, within the app- for those situations when you may not have access to Wi-Fi or might need to contact another mobile user or landline that doesn’t have Vonage Mobile — all at some of the most competitive rates you’ll find for mobile usage.

We’ve tried it, we love it. It’s reliable, easy and best of all – free.

Check out the Vonage Mobile app before you take your next international trip and let us know how you like it in the comments below!







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