Category Archives: Others about us

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 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

Interview with CEO Michael Brecht @frenchweb.fr

Doodle CEO Michael was in Paris this week where he spoke to the French media about Doodle’s future.

Here is the link to the video on French magazine frenchweb.fr where Michael spoke to Marion Moreau about his first 100 days with scheduling specialist Doodle, his role in leading the Swiss start-up to become a global player and about the importance of growing in French speaking countries. Doodle is today used by more than 20 million users worldwide with French being one of the top three languages on its platform. Doodle as a scheduling platform for private and business use is available in 20 languages.

Thanks Marion for the interview, it was great talking to you.

Doodle scheduled in France

Doodle in France

Doodle Mug Design Contest: Scheduling without Doodle is like … #DoodleMug

We want to create a (our first!) Doodle Mug, and we’d like your help! Our team will be designing the mug, but we need suggestions for the text that will be on it. There will be two mugs:

Mug “w/”:
“Scheduling with Doodle is like ___________”

Mug “w/o”:
“Scheduling without Doodle is like ___________”

If you have some clever ideas for one or both of those phrases, then we want to hear from you!

To submit your suggestion, please send a tweet using the hashtag #DoodleMug and cc @doodletweet and tell us what it is. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2014, and we’ll announce the two winners shortly after that time. Each winner will receive a $250 Amazon.com gift card, a 1-year Premium Doodle Solo account, and — of course — a free set of mugs. Both winners will also have their Twitter account names included somewhere in the design, and the mugs will be available for anyone who would like to purchase one.

We can’t wait to see your suggestions!

Scheduling with or without Doodle

Simplifies everything: Doodle BookMe tested in practice

Foto_fliegender_Masseur K-N KlauckBookMe, the convenient booking service for smaller service providers, has now been in operation for half a year and the number of users is growing steadily.

We will be taking a look behind the scenes in the coming months at very different practical examples of BookMe in action and presenting them in our blog. Today, Flying MED Masseur describes his experienc with the new service from Doodle.

The company

Kay-Nicolas Klauck set up Flying MED Masseur in Zurich in the summer of 2011 and has been offering a wide range of massage styles ever since. His central focus is on the individual needs of each patient.

This not only includes a detailed preliminary consultation, but also the option of choosing appointments of different lengths and a free choice with regard to the location. Because the masseur not only carries out treatments in his own practice rooms, but, on request, also in the patient’s office or home.

Why BookMe?

Kay-Nicolas Klauck single-handedly runs Flying MED Masseur, offering massage treatments as well as taking care of the complete coordination of appointments directly. An enquiry by mobile phone on the train, a request by e-mail to postpone an appointment, an answering machine full of messages after a short break:

The standard organization by phone and e-mail took its toll on time and nerves, was extremely complicated and, in some cases, led to double bookings. When the attention of the massage therapist was drawn to BookMe from Doodle in a meeting in February 2012, he immediately decided to try out the new booking service.

Experiences with BookMe

All the different options for lengths of treatment and location are offered on the Flying MED Masseurs’ BookMe page. His patients have reacted very positively to the option of booking online, with the result that 95% of all appointments are now made via BookMe.

The initial skepticism of Kay-Nicolas Klauck against bringing in an external service has given way to total enthusiasm: “No phone calls and no back and forth via e-mail; I certainly save at least one hour a week through that alone.

Double bookings do not happen anymore and the automatic appointment reminders are also very practical for the patients. And I only realized a while later that I can actually control my complete appointment organization via the mobile phone thanks to BookMe – and that’s something I no longer want to do without.“

As the most important advantages of the service, the massage therapist mentions the time saved and the greater flexibility for his patients, who can now book their appointments from anywhere and at any time, even when he is away on holiday. Kay-Nicolas Klauck is thoroughly impressed by BookMe and has already recommended the service to others.

He adds: “BookMe makes everyday life considerably easier for me as a service provider and even brings additional traffic to my homepage. And all of this at a super price-performance ratio. Actually, in today’s world, it’s almost funny how many companies have not yet realized how useful online appointment booking is for everyone!“

Global collaboration on Elance enabled through Doodle

Each day thousands of freelancers and businesses work together on Elance – the world’s leading platform for online work. Meetings are arranged. Time zones are crossed. Deadlines are met.

Elance logoCompanies come to Elance with projects they need completed, posting their jobs online. Online freelancers with the skills to perform the jobs learn about the opportunities and submit proposals for the project.

This gives businesses a global pool of talents to select from, and freelancers a way of escaping their local economy. This happens while they’re accessing a more mobile lifestyle, working with clients who don’t judge them on where they’re from or how they dress – but strictly focusing on the quality of work they deliver.

One big global collaboration every day

To make this work, Elance provides an online work platform where each collaboration has its own online workroom. In this workroom files can be shared, feedback can be delivered, to-do lists made, video conferences held, screens shared and much more.

But as people are creative and continuously seek ways of optimizing their work, what we see on Elance is that they also utilize other tools to perfect the collaboration between the hiring business and the freelancer. One of the most popular tools is Doodle.

Doodle enables collaboration

As Elance is a global platform where people from all over the world work together every day, one of the challenges is to overcome time zone differences. We see projects every day where several workers from several countries and time zones have to speak together to define projects, set milestones and give feedback.

Doodle works well in solving this challenge as:

  • Doodle offers time-zone support
  • Doodle offers multi-user participation in scheduling
  • Doodle offers multi timeslot suggestions

Elance offers a way for companies to work different and be more successful. Access to the best workers is no longer a challenge, as more than 2 million freelancers are ready to tackle your next job today. It’s now possible to focus on what you’re best at, and then offer the other projects to talented freelancers. This includes jobs that you don’t have enough time to do, or projects you need a specialist to perform. With Elance, you can follow your passion and help others follow theirs. Doodle is an important contributor to enable this global collaboration.

About the Author: Kjetil Olsen is Elance’s Vice President for Europe.