Category Archives: Partnerships

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:

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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.

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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.

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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:
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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…

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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.

“Hi Meekan!” — Doodle welcomes Meekan, the scheduling assistant chatbot

The Doodle Team is thrilled to announce that the Israel-based startup Meekan is now part of the Doodle family! Meekan’s chatbot supports users as a virtual assistant with easy and fast scheduling — a perfect fit to enhance Doodle’s already powerful online scheduling service.

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Driven thoroughly by artificial intelligence, Meekan acts as a virtual scheduling assistant and is controlled by a conversational interface. In response to a simple request, the chatbot automatically matches up the schedules of all members of a group chat within seconds and proposes prioritized dates. The Meekan chatbot is adaptive and remembers prior preferences and practices of its users to optimally plan and adjust schedules. Unique to this industry, Meekan is 100% driven by artificial intelligence, with no humans involved “behind the curtains”.

Meekan was established in Israel in 2013 by Lior Yavor, Eyal Yavor and Matty Marianksy and has been supported by Hong Kong-based venture capital investor Horizons Ventures up to now. The Meekan scheduler is already in use as a robot assistant in the instant messaging applications of Slack and HipChat.

As members of the Doodle management team, the founders Lior Yavor, Eyal Yavor and Matty Marianksy will continue to be responsible for the development of Meekan. Lior Yavor, CEO of Meekan: “We very much look forward to working with Doodle, a strong international brand with more than 26 million users a month worldwide. With the chatbot feature and other developments, Doodle will still be the first choice for scheduling in the future, both for personal use and for business purposes.”

For further details, please refer to the press release.

 

 

Doodle and Paperless Post – schedule your event and add beautiful invitations

We are very happy to announce a new partnership between Doodle and Paperless Post – the US company that proves that communication could be personal and well-designed regardless of the medium.

Paperless Post is innovating on tradition and redefining the way you connect with people. Their claim is that beautiful design meets seamless technology and this is where Doodle comes into play: Doodle as the global market leader in scheduling makes it easy to find a date for your event. Subsequently Paperless Post offers thousands of beautiful designs for sending a nice invitation once the date is set.

So what is in it for you: we see hundreds of use-cases for the scheduling of events on Doodle and once the date is set, an invitation can be added by using Paperless Post: you are planning a big party? You plan your wedding or birthday, the christening of your child, a get together with old friends from school or university, there are so many ways to use Doodle in your daily life. Find the date easily using Doodle and send a beautiful invitation with Paperless Post to the participants, too easy.

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And there is more to come: our engineers will be working hard to improve the handling of Paperless Post cards for Doodle users, allowing our users to send cards directly from the Doodle platform. This is the start of an integrated services offering for all users of Doodle and Paperless Post: enjoy the scheduling.

Online scheduling platform Doodle expands to Nordics through partnership with Sellbranch

We are very happy to announce the new partnership with Nordic advertisement agency Sellbranch.

Nordic Doodle users have helped grow the platform to be one of the rising stars in the Nordic internet scene, with yearly growth rates of more than 30%. Sellbranch will help monetise the valuable traffic millions of Doodle users are generating month by month in Sweden, Norway and Finland.

Michael Brecht, CEO of Doodle explains ”I am really happy about the partnership between the leading Swedish online advertising agency Sellbranch and Doodle as the global standard for online scheduling, as we will jointly offer our highly interesting ads inventory to Nordic clients.”

“We are really looking forward to launch Doodle in the Nordics. Doodle has fantastic advertising solutions which we look forward to bring to the market. Combining Doodle’s high end users with Sellbranch programmatic technology and sales force I’m confident that we will deliver high values for advertisers and consumers” says Marcus Ericson, Programmatic Director at Sellbranch.

Doodle is attractive for corporate clients as the company offers highly-affine branding solutions for advertisers, all situated around the poll, the Doodle users are creating. With more than 25 million people using Doodle around the world every month, the application has become the global standard for online group scheduling.

Välkommen Sellbranch –
your Doodle Team

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.

Choose Doodle as Pinned Site in iE9

Microsoft users with Internet Explorer’s latest version iE9 get some interesting new features like Pinned Sites. With Pinned Sites, you can get to your favorite sites directly from the Windows taskbar—without having to open Internet Explorer first. When you pin Doodle it will look like this:

Pinning Doodle in the Internet Explorer takes seconds: click the icon to the left of the web address in One Box, or the tab for the website, or the website’s icon on the New Tab page, and then drag it to the taskbar. That’s it. Once it’s pinned, it shows up as its own thumbnail, separate from Internet Explorer. Now all it takes is one click to start scheduling an event.

Further information: Microsoft product page