What, No Chocolate?

The Webman has done a lot of traveling over the years for business and for pleasure.  About 90% of that has been domestic travel so I am hoping to inverse that to 90% international travel in the years ahead.  Time to see the world!

Most of the places that I have stayed have been your very typical hotel chains such as the Marriott, Starwood, Hilton, Hyatt and all the others where we could get points and hopefully cash them in for an upgraded family vacation at a later date.  For those that have done extensive business travel, you know what I am talking about.  Not much join in this but accumulating a few million points – priceless.  Unfortunately even these small benefits are now being taken away by companies.  The last company I worked for actually had their own account for the airline miles that I traveled so that they could benefit with lower fares.  I get it but geez, let the employees get some benefit on this.

I was a very naive traveler when I first took to the airways.  The definition of a family vacation growing up was driving to Orchard Beach in the Bronx.  Out in the morning and back in the late afternoon.  Not that I am complaining as I really enjoyed my times there, but I had no experience with planes, trains or beds that were not my own.  I took my first business trip when I was 22 years old to Chicago.  At the time I was working for  a first class, industry leading beverage company and all travel, even for a peon like me was first class.  So I was picked up in a limo, flew first class to Chicago, was picked up by a limo there and was given the Presidential Suite at the hotel where I was staying.  I had never seen a bathroom with a phone in it before 🙂

Well those days have passed but as a consumer our choices for finding incredible places to stay has improved immeasurably.  AIRNB has created a website whereby you can rent just about any room almost anywhere in the world.  Yes of course there is some risk to this, but why not live a little.  www.airnb.com

AIRNB connects people who have space to spare with those who are looking for a place to stay. Guests can build real connections with their hosts, gain access to distinctive spaces, and immerse themselves in the culture of their destinations. Whether it’s an urban apartment or countryside castle, AIRNB makes it effortless to showcase your space to an audience of millions, and to find the right space at any price point, anywhere.

And they are growing like a weed.  It booked 4 million nights of accommodation in users’ homes in 2011 — that’s four times the amount of business it had done in the previous four years.  Most of this growth (75% of it) came from outside the U.S. — from Europe, for the most part. London, Paris and Berlin are three of Airbnb’s five biggest hotbeds of listing activity.

Here is a link to a really cool infographic from our friends at Mashable about AIRNB – http://mashable.com/2012/01/26/airbnb-infographic/

I have not used AIRNB myself yet but will when I can.  Let me know what your experience has been by commenting below.

All the best.

Webman

Getting the Deal – Part 4

Continuing on the theme of smartphone enabled discounts and your ability to find opportunities that you never dreamed of, today we will cover a number of vertical industry solutions/applications that are aligned to your interests.  So not the stuff you do everyday (If you do I am very envious!), but the stuff you do to have some fun.

Can we dance with your dates?

Here are a couple of very interesting deal sites/applications that have disrupted the norm and provide awesome values:

  • Airbnb – They connect people who have space to spare with those who are looking for a place to stay. Guests can build real connections with their hosts, gain access to distinctive spaces, and immerse themselves in the culture of their destinations. Whether it’s an urban apartment or countryside castle, Airbnb makes it effortless to showcase your space to an audience of millions, and to find the right space at any price point, anywhere.  www.airbnb.com
  • GiltGilt Groupe provides instant insider access to today’s top designer labels, at up to 60% off retail. Become a member and find something new every day for women, men, kids and home as well as exclusive local services and experiences, and one-of-a-kind travel packages. www.gilt.com
  • Crowdseats – Crowd Seats gets you in the crowd for your favorite games with ticket prices 50-90% off face value! Crowd Seats is the only Group Buying/Daily Deals site for sports fans. All it takes is an email address to start receiving our exclusive deals for sports tickets to your favorite teams in your city.  www.crowdseats.com
  • Goldstar – Helps people get out more to live entertainment, like theater, comedy, sports, music, performing arts and even things like wine tastings, sushi making classes and rodeos.  www.goldstar.com
  • Zipongo –  Zipongo is a Unique Online Marketplace for Healthy Living.Finding healthy natural foods amidst a jungle of processed products isn’t easy for a life on the go. Neither is finding time for fun exercise with friends and a good night’s sleep. We let you zip through your shopping and planning with the confidence that you’re making the best choices for your enjoyment, health, and wallet, so that you still have time for active fun with friends. www.zipongo.com

OK everyone, go have some fun and save some money on the things you really like to do.  You can find these sites on the web or in the app stores for your smartphone.

Let me know what apps you are using to save some coinage by commenting below.

Awesome day!

Webman