Category Archives: #doodleontheroad

The best Travel Apps in 2017

May we introduce you to our #DoodlerOfTheMonth in August Turner Barr, who is working his way around the world. Traveling across the world he has been using different apps that simplified his organization radically. Doodle’s definitely been one of his secret weapons to easily catch up with people around the world:

alex-vasey-225633.jpg

With smartphones and tablets and readily available Internet everywhere these days, travel has never been easier. Don’t get me wrong, you still have to worry about stepping in a puddle and being run over by a tuk-tuk whilst abroad, but by and large, there is an app that solves many of your travel woes before you even step foot on a plane. Part of me misses the glory days of lugging around a huge guidebook and looking like a helpless puppy in the street looking for accommodation, but then I snap back into reality and realize how much more time I get in a hammock or sipping piña coladas.

Below is my list of go-to travel apps that I have personally road tested. Most are free, some are paid, but having them and the peace of mind is well worth it.

Travel Planning Apps

TripIt
(FREE or $.99)
TripIt is a great tool for keeping yourself organized. You can organize departure times, booking codes, etc. To make it happen, all you do it forward you info to plans@tripit.com and they organize it all for you in one place. The Pro version includes reminders and flight status alert features.

Doodle
(FREE or Premium Plans)
Are you tired of the constant back and forth debate in email chains or WhatsApp messages? Doodle’s got your back. Doodle solves this problem by allowing you to get the date/time in a diary form with one message. All you have to do is suggest the possible date with the app, email or iMessage, and Doodle allows participants to vote. You can also run polls, which is a great way to create democracy instead of anarchy with loved ones.

Accommodation Booking Apps

Hotels.com
(FREE)
I have used hotels.com all over the world and scored some amazing minute deals. They even have a program that gives you the 10th stay free.

Priceline.com
(FREE)
Like hotels.com, Priceline offers some amazing hotels with great discounts. Likewise, they have some price matching guarantees that give you peace of mind.

Booking.com
(FREE)
Offers some cheaper hotel options that the former apps. You don’t have to pay ahead of time usually.

HostelWorld.com
(FREE)
The go to apps for finding hostels around the world. This puppy has made budget travel an entirely different beast by letting you reserve without headaches.

AirBnB.com 
(FREE)
One of the biggest travel game changers by making a category (VRBO) more accessible. I have stayed in some incredible places for a fraction of what a hotel would be. Live like a local.

kendra-kamp-285218.jpg

Flight Booking Apps

SkyScanner.
(FREE)
Probably the biggest flight comparison site out there. This aggregator allows you to find the cheapest flights out there by looing at a whole month at a time to find the cheapest dates.

Hopper
(FREE)
A wonderful little app for those who are looking for historical prices and figuring what is a good and what isn’t a good deal. Lifesaver.

 

Flight Tracker Apps

FlightRadar24
(FREE or FlightRadar24Pro $2.99)
More interesting than a must, you can live the life of an air traffic controller with this app. You can see live air traffic feeds from around the world and airplanes in real time on maps. Provides flight statuses, departures and arrival times.

 

Translator

iTranslate
(FREE, used to be $10)
I can’t tell you how many cab rides this one has saved me on before the days of Uber. Still a great way to talk to locals. Surprisingly accurate.

Currency Converter
(FREE)
Everyone needs a way to figure out you aren’t overspending on the vacay. This one is one of the main converters.

 

Maps

Google Maps
(FREE)
The standard bearer gets better and better. The public transport info with cities that have metros make it one of my favorite travel apps on the list.

WAZE
(FREE)
Great mapping app that is better at finding how to reduce your drive time and to find police and accidents on the road.

 

Food

YELP
(FREE)
More USA-centric, but one of the biggest restaurant review apps. Nothing spoils a night out more than a bad meal. YELP comes to the rescue.

aidan-meyer-153631.jpg

TripAdvisor
(FREE)
From activities to restaurants, TripAdvisor is the go-to app for figuring out what is a must see and worth a miss when traveling overseas. It is also really great at finding restaurants abroad more than YELP.

Taxis

Uber
(FREE)
You would have to be living under rock not to have Uber’d before. Some countries have outlawed them, but have their own, domestic versions. I have used it all over the world and it is super convenient to find a trusty ride in a world with some sketchy cabbies. If Uber is unavailable, it is usually worth downloading the local version.

 

Call Messaging Apps

WhatsApp
(FREE)
The most famous texting app and gold standard. Great way to connect with locals as everyone seems to have it.

Viber
(FREE)
Not as big as WhatsApp, but also has a voice feature. Comes in handy.

Skype
(FREE)
The original voice app. While calling home has gotten a lot cheaper, it still gives peace of mind calling from Skype and knowing the rates will be reasonable.

About the Author:
Turner-Street-Sales-in-Rome.jpg

 

Turner Barr is an American travel blogger and novel experience enthusiast. When he isn’t eating weird food in strange faraway lands or dishing out dating advice, he chronicles taking on odd jobs around the world on his blog – Around the World in 80 Jobs.

How to Plan a Backpacking Trip Through Europe

With summer upon us, it’s not too late to start planning your Europe backpacking journey with your friends. Organizing, especially amongst a group of friends, can be a pain. With so many countries, places, and bars to see across Europe with so little time, it can be a nightmare planning it all.

Here are a few things to keep in mind for your backpacking adventure…

 IMG_7849

Planning your dates – With a continent to explore and everyone one of your friends having a different idea about what to see and do, Doodle can help you plan your travel schedule together. Doodle simplifies the process of agreeing on a date and time for a holiday with friends or family members cutting out the endless WhatsApp chats. Simply suggest the possible dates, send to the participants via the app, email or iMessage and then let them instantly vote on which options work for them. Doodle will do the rest, confirming the best time for everyone. The best times to travel in Europe are in the shoulder seasons of Spring and Autumn since European cities in the summertime can be packed tourists and cruise guests.

Transport – Getting around Europe can be a breeze, from cheap discount airlines like Ryanair offering £10 flights to bus companies such as Flixbus offering €5 bus fares between cities. Europe has it all. Despite the number of options, planning ahead will save you lots of money as fares in the summer can shoot up quickly last minute, especially if all your friends voted with Doodle on going to La Tomatina. Make sure to tackle landing cheap tickets as soon as possible so you avoid paying over-the-odds for transportation. Train travel is a great way to travel around Europe since you can purchase a Eurail pass that will allow you to travel to multiple countries using the one, global pass.

Festivals – No summer backpacking journey to Europe would be complete without attending one of Europe’s many festivals. From the world famous music festivals such as Tomorrowland to Spanish cultural festivals such as Las Fallas and Running of the Bulls – there is a festival in Europe for every occasion. But before diving head first into a festival, it is important to pack the proper gear. For example, if you plan to head to Oktoberfest in Munich, make sure you don’t forget to pack the lederhosen, or you will miss out on half the fun!

Budget – While running out of money happens to some, it is not in the life of Doodlers. Before you leave on your trip with your friends it is important to hash out your travel priorities, because there is nothing worse than getting to Paris than finding out you can’t afford to see any of its amazing museums. At the same time, while saving on accommodation can increase the longevity of your journey, don’t be afraid to splash out every now and then on experiences that you will never forget. Create a budget to stick to, and make use of apps such as Venmo or Splitwise to help you split your costs fairly.

Accommodation – There are many ways you can save money on accommodation, such as staying in hostels or booking an apartment on AirBnB and splitting the costs. Apartment shares are actually a great way to save money when you’re travelling in a group since you can buy groceries at the supermarket and cook your own meals at home.

Backpacking with your friends around Europe can be a life-changing experience that you’ll never forget. With the correct planning and communication with your friends, you can have an incredible journey. There may be a few unforeseen hiccups along the way, no doubt, but that is part of the entire travel experience.

 

About the Author

Victoria Brewood is owner of Life Hacks and Tips – a site offering life hacking tips for every situation. She has been travelling the world since 2008, visiting over 50 countries including Madagascar, Iceland and Japan to name just a few. Victoria’s favourite countries to backpack in Europe are Portugal and Montenegro.

Doodle Kick-Off – let’s bring people together

Spring is here – for Doodle this is the time for the yearly Kick-Off, to clear our heads and bring some fresh wind into our office.

DSC_8025.jpg

The Doodle team on Rigi Kulm, the highest peak of Mount Rigi in Switzerland.

Where do you start when your teams are based in three different countries and you want to bring everyone together? First of all, find a date that suits everyone. Peanuts with Doodle. A few clicks later and the date was set – let’s do this!

The teams from Tel Aviv and Berlin packed their bags and flew to Zurich.

It became a little cozier in our Swiss office. The whole team in one place: counting 35 people, 10 nationalities and feeling like 20 different languages. But one mutual goal in mind: our Retreat Day!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our aim was to get out of the office and up in the mountains. For our workshops we rented a location on Mount Rigi. The journey featuring a mountain railway, a wonderful sunrise and a view on snow covered mountains were reason enough to start the day early yet motivated.

But first coffee – afterwards we started our morning with intense power-workshops. When the Engineer meets the Sales Manager and discusses our product… and the Product Manager receives a different view on how to approach our users.. We communicated, interacted, designed, developed, presented and last but not least laughed a lot. Courageous ideas, crazy approaches and one question: What can we improve?

Now it’s all about implementation. It’s going to be an exciting year for everyone!

Who still was in need of some more action had the opportunity to go sledding in the afternoon. Still healthy and well supplied with fresh air we brought the day to a close with a delicious dinner and a couple of beers. Some might correct: got set for the night 😉

How to Oktoberfest with Doodle

Over 200 years of tradition continues this weekend in Munich, and it’s not too late to start planning! Organizing your Oktoberfest plans is a piece of cake with Doodle.  Create a poll, invite all of your favorite Volksfest enthusiasts, and find the best date to meet.  The whole event starts on September 16th with the hosts tapping the first barrel, and runs through October 3rd.  There’s plenty of time to catch the festivities when everyone can attend.  Using Doodle, it’s easy to keep track of who can come and when.   

Oktoberfest in Munich

Oktoberfest in Munich

Here are a few other things to keep in mind… 

Hugeness – With millions of visitors every year, and the whole Theresienwiese grounds being as massive as they are, you can lose your mates in a blink.  So pick a spot to meet and stick to it!  There are so many tents, large and small, but the biggest is Winzerer Fähndl, which boasts seating for almost 8,500 people (inside!).  The 13 other large tents are of near-comparable size.  Most of the attendees are coming from Bavaria, but a large percentage are visiting from other EU countries or from overseas.       

Food – Traditionally, only local brews are allowed to be tapped and sold at the festival, but there’s much more than Paulaner (and 5 others) to be enjoyed.  We’re talking about all of the amazing Bavarian cuisine available to accompany the brew.  Aside from Schweinshaxe, a pork knuckle that’s marinated and roasted until the skin gets all crispy and delicious, there’s weisswurst (white sausage), roast chicken, pretzels, spaetzle (like mac and cheese), and much more.  Don’t forget to hit up the money machine beforehand, it’s cash only in the tents!   

Travel and Safety – It’s not really recommended to drive to the Wiese by car, because parking can be a bit of a nightmare.  No worries though, the grounds are easily accessed by public transit.   Once you arrive at the gates be prepared for a security check.  Everyone gets checked before coming in, and due to a recent ban, no big bags or backpacks are allowed beyond the gates.  Safety is taken very seriously; at the busiest times of the festival, there can be up to 450 security officials on duty (and some in plainclothes).  Best to avoid conflict with drunkies and keep an eye on your possessions anyhow!   

Have the best time at Oktoberfest!

– Your friends at Doodle

How to stick to your ‘Get Fit’ New Year resolution

After overindulging over the Christmas period and enjoying one too many mince-pies, it’s traditional to turn our attention to New Year resolutions. “Get in shape” and “do more exercise” are ubiquitous New Year’s resolutions. Making fitness resolutions is the easy bit. How do you make them stick?

One of the most common excuses for why people break their workout intentions is “didn’t have time” or “too busy to train”. Yet, everyone in the world has the same number of hours in a week – 168.

Doodle iOS App launched

Doodle iOS App launched

Time management is super important for accomplishing any goal, and fitness is no exception. The key is finding time in your existing schedule. This is something Doodle can help with. You can use the free app to book in your fitness time around your other commitments, be it a short walk around the block or a high energy exercise class.

If your struggling for motivation, why not get your friends involved and find an exercise buddy? Research shows that exercising with someone helps you stick to your goals. What’s more Doodle can help you organise your workout schedule with your mates – just simply create a poll of the dates and times you can workout, send it to your fitness buddies and let them select which classes they can do. Once everyone has participated in the poll, Doodle works out which classes work best and notifies the organiser.

That’s your fitness timetable sorted! Now you have one less excuse not to stick to those heath and fitness resolutions.  

Your Doodle Team

 

Doodle launches new Android App

Today is a big day for Doodle. We’re excited to announce the release of our completely redesigned and rebuilt Doodle App for Android, which is now much more powerful and easier to use. The new Doodle App has everything that people liked about the old version, but it also includes some great new features.

Stay connected with powerful notification options

Need to clarify something? The built-in chat feature enables you to instantly chat with all of the participants. Push notifications will keep you informed about everything that’s going on.

Keep your contacts and participants visible

Contact integration helps you to quickly invite all of the people that are important to you, and with the matrix view you can quickly review all participations.

We are listening

In addition to the new Android App we are also releasing an update for our iPhone App that brings you the matrix view as well as the possibility to create Text Polls. Stay tuned, we have an exciting mobile roadmap planned for you.

But for now, visit the Play Store and download our new Android App for free!

Your Doodle Team

Doodle Wins Computer America’s Top Tech Award

We’re happy to announce that we’ve received the Top Tech Award from Computer America, which is the longest running nationally syndicated radio talk show about computers and technology in the United States. Computer America’s Top Tech Award is given to products and services that provide the best experience to the user and show innovation through design, which is exactly what we strive to do each day.

If you’d like, you can also listen to a recent interview that Computer America did with our CEO, Michael Brecht.

Thanks to Computer America for giving us this Award!

Your Doodle Team