This post is sponsored by Skype
Many of you know that our family loves to travel. Whether it’s just roaming around the state of Texas, embarking on a cruise ship or visiting family in Canada, it sometimes seems like when we are home we are unpacking the suitcases just to pack them again. While I consider myself a pretty seasoned traveler, I’m still always on the lookout for tips that can help me before, after and during my time away from home. With summer just getting started and school being out, the Skype team developed some travel tips and I want to pass them your way. I actually just blogged about how Skype is keeping us connected with friends in South Dakota over the 4th of July holiday. AAA reported that some summer travelers kicked off the season early this year with 37.2 Americans traveling over Memorial Day (that’s nearly a 5 percent increase from 2014!). From road trips to exotic vacations, here are some trends to expect with this year’s travel season.
1. Fur baby watch: Our pets are members of our families, so finding a safe and comfortable place for them to sleep while we are away is just as important as booking our own hotel. These days, some doggie hotels are not only comfy, they also allow you to check in with your pup via Skype so you can vacation worry free.
2. So long selfie stick: Many museums, festivals and even Disney World have banned selfie sticks. So what’s the next trend in vacationers capturing and sharing their every move? Video. Travelers can forgo the selfie stick and try video messaging tools like Skype Qik instead. This gives you a fun and easy way to share moments, laugh and chat with groups of friends or individual contacts throughout the day. With Skype Qik, you can send short video messages that are up to 40 seconds, or respond with a pre-recorded 5 second video clip.
3. DIY tourist: Travelers want vacations customized to them. Standard hotels and packaged tours no longer offer vacationers the flexibility they are looking for, which is why we’ve seen a drastic rise in people using services like Airbnb. And to make sure their rental really meets their needs, renters are using tools like Skype to take a virtual tour beforehand to ensure the rental is all it is cracked up to be.
4. Personal concierge: People’s smartphones have turned into a one-stop-shop for all things travel, from directions, restaurant recommendations, mobile boarding passes and more. Additionally, mobile digital personal assistants such as Cortana Trip Planner helps take the stress out of traveling so you can kick back and relax. Cortana will let you know when online checking opens up, the latest weather at your destination, and keep an eye on traffic for your voyage to the airport.
I think #3 is a great idea. I heard a caller on the radio the other day talking about a summer vacation gone bad because the home they rented for their family reunion was nothing like the ad online. A Skype tour surely would have saved the day for them in that instance!
How do you use Skype when you travel? Which of these tips did you find the most interesting or useful?