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5 of the Most Helpful Travel Apps

 

While living abroad, I was able to pick up the tips and tricks of other travelers. Not much to my surprise, the trick to getting the BEST deals was all tied up in the apps you download. Today I am sharing 5 of the most helpful travel apps I use when while exploring different parts of the world!

1. SkyScanner

I used Skyscanner multiple times for flights around Europe. It lists the best deals for cheap flights, hotels, and car rentals. The best thing about Skyscanner is that is gives a comparison between different airlines. Sometimes I found it in my best financial interest to fly a popular commercial airline because of luggage fees associated with smaller, budget airlines. Skyscanner allows you to go through the complete booking process on their app.

 

travel app

 

2. Uber

I debated putting Uber on the list. Anyone living in a decently sized city will most likely already have this on their phone. However, it wouldn’t be a true article if I didn’t include it. I believe in the power of Uber. Whenever I felt unsafe walking around various parts of London late at night, I wouldn’t hesitate to call an Uber. It is better to drop some cash on a cab when you are worried for your safety, than to risk potential harm by walking alone. I loved that I could share my ETA with friends and family. I would often share my location with one of my housemates or my mum for peace of mind.

 

travel app

 

3. Time Out

Time Out is a great source to find the best entertainment while in the city. I use it frequently to check theatre, museum, and art reviews. This is a great app for people who want a more “local” art experience due to the fact that they review and write about more than just mainstream theatre companies. Time Out reviews will help you get the most out of your stay in a city  while keeping it exciting, plus you can book tickets directly from their app!

 

travel app

 

4. Hostelworld

A good hostel can make or break your traveling experience. We have all heard horror stories from people staying in hostels that didn’t live up to their expectations. Search by city or hostel to read reviews and see photos before you make a choice. From the app, you can also make group bookings with no additional fees. As a solo traveler, finding the right hostel can greatly enhance your experience by bringing you together with like-minded people. (And I’m not just saying this because I contributed to this post on their website).

 

travel app

 

5. Autoslash

Some of my best memories were made by taking a road trip through the UK. We were always on the hunt for the best deals. Austoslash allows you to compare rental car prices in your area, since they fluctuate just as much as flights! Just make sure you meet the country’s driving standards (age, drivers license, etc.).

 

travel app

 

These apps kept me safe and entertained while exploring the world. What are your favorite apps for traveling? Share them with me in comments. I am always looking for the best travel apps for deals and bookings! Happy exploring, everyone!

Basic Analytics for Your Business

 

Knowing and engaging with your audience on social media is a crucial and great way to build an online community between your business and potential clients. You might have social media profiles for your business but you aren’t seeing the results you would like. One key factor to relating with your target audience is to know who you are reaching right now. Today I am going to teach you how to locate simple analytics on three of the most popular social media networks.

1. Facebook

Facebook, in my opinion, is often the most crucial social media network for your business in terms of engagement. It’s the best platform for people to learn more about who you are and what you do.

First, find your business’s Facebook page. At the top of the page, below the search bar, you will see the tab called ‘Insights’. Facebook offers a preview of the most important analytics at the top of this page. You will see the dates of the analytics you are viewing, page views, page likes, the reach of your page within this specific time-frame, post engagements, and videos.

On the left-hand side, you will see more options. Click on any of these for more insights. For a basic understanding, go to ‘Page Views’. This will tell you more about who is already viewing your page. You can customize your search by section, gender, country, city, and device.

After you take a look at your basic analytics, you can make a simple judgement about who is engaging with your content. Is it your target audience or do you need to get back to the drawing board about the content you are producing? This is essential to know, especially if you are offering a very specific service.

 

analytics

2. Twitter

Twitter is a wonderful platform for networking within your niche. For instance, I use Twitter to be an influencer on the topics I write about and to learn from other influencers. For my own business, I rely on Facebook and Instagram to build a following of potential clients. However you use Twitter, these analytics will help you get the most out of it:

Log onto your Twitter account. On the main page, click your little profile picture on the top right-hand side. In the drop down menu, select ‘Analytics’ (easy, right?). The most prevalent problem I have when viewing my Twitter analytics is deciphering the time frame of which I am viewing. Twitter has a month-by-month approach to how they layout their analytics.

You will first see ‘Top Tweets’ and ‘Top ‘Mentions’. Your top tweet is the tweet that generated the most reach and engagement. Your top mention is an “Influencer” (someone who has many followers) that has engaged directly with one of your own tweets.

On the right-hand side, you will see a simple breakdown of the month so far. It will show the number of Tweets you have sent, the impression they have made (how many people stopped to view them or engage with them), how many profile visits you’ve had so far this month, how many people have mentioned you in a Tweet, and how many followers you have gained.

Further down, you will see your ‘Top Follower’ who is someone with a large following that also follows you; last, Twitter displays your ‘Top Media Tweet’, which is one of your own Tweets that contains media (an image, video, gif, etc.) and generated a big response.

While Twitter analytics are fun to look at in terms of “oh my goodness, I’m so popular!”, the most useful of these analytics in terms of engagement is your ‘Top Tweet’. Use it as a spring-board for content creation: What made it engaging? How can I create more of this?

Twitter now requires you to buy “Twitter Cards”, which is a more in-depth look into your analytics. This is why their basic analytics feature doesn’t contain more information about audience. If Twitter is essential to your business, this is a good option for you. However, there are many other third-party apps and software that help you track analytics across all social media platforms for a low-cost. I am familiar with Rival IQ and Sprout Social‘s analytics feature and would recommend both.

analytics

3. Instagram

Instagram is all about community. You are only allowed one website link in your bio, so drawing people to your profile must be done through engaging and compelling content with a subtle call to action.

The analytics feature is fairly new to Instagram. Pop on to your own profile and tap the bars on the top right of the page. The basic analytics at the top of the page are taken from the last week. It will show your impressions and whether they have grown or decreased from the week before.

You can scroll through your top posts. This is a great feature to see what sort of content is drawing more people in and continue to create similar concepts. You can also view the insights of your stories and how they are performing.

The last feature is a daily count of your followers. It shows what time of day you are gaining the most followers as well as how many. This is crucial to know for creating a posting schedule. You will want to post your content at these “high-traffic” times or slightly before. Timing is everything on Instagram. The more ‘likes’ you get in a short amount of time, increases the chances of your media being at the top of the search page and shown to a larger audience.

analytics

 

analytics

 

Remember, slow and steady wins the race! Don’t try to cheat the system by paying for followers and becoming “spammy”. Are you using a third-party software to help you keep track of your analytics? If so, please share in the comments section! I hope you find this post useful to you as you continue to grow your business.

 

Why Your Business Needs Facebook

 

You be living on a martian planet if you haven’t noticed small businesses taking over Facebook. It’s not just major brands and labels who are targeting markets through social media, your local dentist probably has a Facebook page! Here are the top three reasons why you need Facebook for your business:

1. Community

A great reason to put your business on Facebook is to create a sense of community. By being active on Facebook, you can engage with people in your local community and build relationships. Facebook is great for one on one conversations that can happen in the comments section. It’s a good place for people to ask questions about your business and receive quick answers. People are less inclined to call businesses to seek more information, they would rather find online resources to get their questions answered. Facebook provides the perfect platform for individualized answers to questions and a chance to increase sales through positive engagement before the potential client even walks through the door.

2. SEO

SEO, ever heard of it? It’s an acronym for “Search Engine Optimization”. The greater your social presence online, the more searchable your business will be. One of your biggest obstacles as a small business can be standing out against competitors. Creating a healthy community online across social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, etc.) will increase your chances of being seen on the first page of relevant google searches.

3. Meet Your Audience

Facebook analytics and audience engagement can teach you loads about your target audience. You will engage with people personally and have the unique opportunity to peak into your clients lives and interests (in a non-creepy way). Social media platforms now offer basic analytics directly on your business’s page. You can track who is visiting your page, their ages, genders, and where they live, among many other features. This makes it easier to create ads and promotions for certain audiences, increase engagement, and know what content your audience responds best to.

 

I’ve heard from clients that social media is just a “trend” and that we should rely on traditional marketing techniques. I agree with the general marketing philosophy of knowing your audience, targeting information that they would engage with, and promoting your brand where greater amounts of people will see it; However, we are a tech heavy world now and our eyes are almost always focused on a screen. You can quote me on this, social media isn’t going away any time soon. If your business isn’t currently online with a website and an established social media presence, you are missing out on a great opportunity for growth.

 

What are your favorite business for Facebook features? Would you ever try live Facebook videos to enhance your experience?

3 Ways to Start Living Minimally

 

When I first heard the term “living minimally”, I thought of living in a dreadfully tiny home for extended periods of time. A bit of research taught me that this isn’t the case. Minimalism is about being minimizing expenses on hoards of consumer goods in order to invest in things you really value. It’s a great philosophy to adapt for people who want to travel regularly. I am hoping to minimize my life in order to make space for things that I value. Here are my top 3 tips for begging to live minimally:

 

1. Spring Clean

It’s not quite Spring yet; however, as I have made my larger goals a reality, I have noticed a distinct need to clean out the clutter in my life in order to create better focus and increase revenue. I decided to check out ThredUP, an online service that delivers recycled clothing to your door every month! The idea is that you receive quality, gently used clothing for a fraction of retail costs. They also offer “kits” to help you clean out your closet. It’s great for those of you (like me) who want to get rid of some clutter but never quite commit to getting the clutter from your closet to the local charity shop or consignment store.

You can keep the a fraction proceeds for yourself (which is a great way to earn a little extra money for travel) or if you would rather, ThredUP will donate the proceeds to charity! I think it’s a wonderful and doable idea.

 

2. Create A Budget

When it comes to keeping track of my budget and spending trends, I like good ol’ paper and pen. I have tried apps in the past but I have found that keeping a daily list tucked in my purse and writing down how much I have spent on bills, food, and other goodies, really makes saving money a more tangible goal. I can better remember how much is in the bank and how to hit my goals of spending less. Find a strategy that works for your – sometimes it’s not in the form of the most trendy app but in old school strategies like balancing checkbooks and creating lists!

 

3. Visual Reminders

I tend to give into peer pressure a lot when I am trying not to consume more stuff or spend money. I find that photos, writing blog posts, and subscribing to websites that feature money-saving tips and tricks, help me be mindful throughout the day of why I set these goals and where I want to be in a year. Pinterest and other vision boards are great ways to get inspired!

 

While I am still figuring out what living minimally means to me, I can say that I have felt greater sense of calm in my life as I have made space for the things I truly value. It’s already been rewarding getting closer to my travel goals while dealing with less clutter.