How to Use Technology to Plan a Remarkable Vacation | technology

If you can still remember the Flintstone’s, chances are you are not quite as savvy with some of the newest travel technology as the current generation, but it’s never too late to learn.Tweet a TwacationTwitter is a powerful tool for friends and family to help keep track of each other, but it also happens to be a nifty search tool in planning some pretty remarkable vacations. Twitter feeds enable various companies, such as Travelocity and American Airlines, to keep their followers up to the minute on the very latest deals and savings going on.If you thought that registering for a daily travel newsletter was up to the minute, you’re actually missing out on some of the best “last minute” deals available each day. Many of these bargains are only offered on Twitter (United Airlines calls them, “Twares”), so if your not already Tweeting, it might be a good idea to set up an account. An account is not necessary for the search function, but it will allow you to follow other vacationers and ask questions.

The search feature on Twitter allows visitors the opportunity to type keywords, find great deals (type-in “travel deals”), and locate fun things to do (“Christmas festival”, “water park”, etc). A nifty trick is to use a minus sign in front of your initial keywords, followed by another keyword which expresses content you’d like to extract from your search. For instance, if you type, “ski colorado – durango”, it will eliminate all ski related subjects in Colorado associated with Durango, and so forth.While you’re at your destination, you can also use Twitter to keep abreast of any special events in the area, such as festivals or new exhibits, while also gathering quick consumer reviews on restaurants and attractions. The easiest way to follow this type of “on the road” update, is through a compatible cell, such as an iPhone.Traveling Via iPhoneComputers are great, but what limits their practicality while on vacation, is their pure cumbersome size and design. This is where an iPhone makes perfect sense. Using one of the many travel applications available (for various fees), you can literally place the entire world at your fingertips, including packing reminders (your toothbrush), and proof to your friends (via GPS) that you are actually where you say you are.

A few popular, “free”, applications to keep in mind for your next trip are Wikitude, Citysearch,, and OpenTable. Wikitude is a useful travel guide holding over 300,000 points of interest. Citysearch locates your favorite shops, restaurants, and night venues. If you like to take roadtrips, helps locate lodging, food, and gas; while the application, OpenTable, helps discern which restaurants are worth your while. OpenTable works by offering consumer ratings along with a sample menus of the types of food served.Fred Flintstone only wishes he had this kind of practical, technological convenience!

the best business to start right now

Nearly everyone likes the idea of being their own boss. Entrepreneurship has long been a popular goal. With the current challenging economic times, this goal is even more desirable – and more difficult – than ever. Many hopeful entrepreneurs are turning to their computers, as internet based businesses typically have low start up costs and are easily managed in one’s spare time. This leads to the question, just what is the best business to open on the internet?

You have probably encountered a variety of get-rich-quick schemes (if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is), and work from home offers (usually minimal pay, and they still include a remote boss breathing down your neck). Along with these simple sounding, yet not feasible, solutions you will find a host of expert advise. If these experts claim to have a one-size-fits-all solution telling you the best business to open on the internet consider this a red flag. In truth, the best business to start online depends largely on the person starting it.

One of the first rules of business is selling what you know. We are all experts in something. Hobbies, interests, life experiences and current or previous employment can provide you with above-average knowledge of skills in specific areas. Likewise, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Think of things you are better at than your peers, and specific strengths such an organizational skills or communication. Make a list of your own special qualifications, and use that to build your own business opportunity.

Once you have determined your skill set and area of expertise, it’s time to decide what to do with it. Here are the top three ways to turn your skills into online business opportunities.

1) Affiliate Marketing. If you have enough knowledge about a subject to create an informative website, you can easily monetize it through affiliate programs. For the cost of a web host, and the time to build a website you will be on your way. There are companies in nearly any niche imaginable, offering affiliate programs. Select the ones you feel comfortable promoting, and post testimonials or advertisements on your site along with the affiliate link. You will receive a percentage of every sale made from a click-through on your website.

To start with, you will need enough content for a 5-10 page website. Make sure you provide valuable information or insight, as this will keep your traffic and page-rankings high. Add to your site weekly at minimum. Fresh content will boost search engine traffic. Affiliate marketing can be easily incorporated into a static website, blog, or both.

2) Outsourcing. Contrary to popular belief, outsourcing isn’t all about sending our jobs overseas. Many companies are streamlining operations by contracting out work previously done in-house. If you have skills such as accounting, preparation of legal paperwork, or art that can be performed remotely, this may be the easiest and best business to start online.

There are a growing number of websites dedicated to freelance work. You can choose one of these or create a website to promote and sell your service. This is very similar to setting up a professional practice with a home office, except your clients come to you virtually.

3) Consultation and Tutoring. If you have truly expert knowledge in any particular area, you can start your online business by selling that knowledge. Whether the subject is world travel, coping with grief, or advanced algebra people in need of an advisor will typically pay good money. This option requires good people-skills, as you will likely be dealing with clients one-on-one.

You will need a website to promote your service, and allow potential clients a way to contact you. It can be a simple one-page site with a description of services and contact form, though websites including valuable information about the topic will lend credibility. Online communities and topic specific forums are often the best, free, places to advertise your business.

Depending upon your specific area of skills and knowledge, the best business to open on the internet may be some combination of the three discussed above. Whatever your choice, remember the first rule of business (sell what you know), as well as the second rule – offer value to the customer. This is always a winning combination.