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A Look at the Latest Technological Amenities Offered at Hotels

limo service LA, LA limo, los angeles limoNot all hotels keep up with the latest developments in technology. You can see this in cases where facilities fail to offer Wi-Fi service, for example, despite this becoming an industry standard to attract and keep guests coming back. A lack of decent TV programming is another sign that you are not staying in a top-notch hotel. 

With that in mind, a recent article at Travel And Leisure examined some of the tech innovations that hotels are starting to take advantage of to improve the guest experience.

For example, Starwood Hotels is reportedly investing $100 million between now and 2017, offering room service menus on iPads and letting guests use an app to adjust the temperature and lights in their rooms. 

Behind many new technology innovations is Starlab, a digital and design studio in Manhattan that aims to find the next innovations for hotels.

Of particular noteworthiness at Starlab are a couple of wall-mounted displays that showcase streaming images taken by hotel guests at Starwood hotels around the world. The majority of these curated images were of food, which is always a favorite of social media enthusiasts.

Regarding ordering room service via an app, Travel and Leisure noted that the first room service order made with a mobile device was a Caesar salad. We can expect to see more examples hotels letting guests use tablets and other gadgets to request service going forward.

Starwood is also preparing to deploy a series of Bluetooth beacons in its public areas, designed to transmit details about guests as they approach staff members, so the hotel employees can greet each person by their name.

Hotels are also stepping up their game when it comes to social media. Starwood is said to have hired about 30 employees who are tasked with monitoring what people are saying on Twitter and Facebook, to the tune of 3 million social media updates each year. 

Guests turned to social media to complain about check-in lines as well as to get help when they’ve locked themselves out of their rooms (it’s easier to tap your mobile device’s screen that it would be to take the elevator down to the lobby to have someone let you in).

At Exclusive Sedan, we know how much our passengers rely on the comforting amenities at hotels to stay refreshed during business trips. We’re glad to hear that hotels are taking advantage of new technologies to offer guests a much better experience.

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How You Can Cut on Business Travel Expenses

limo service LA, LA limo, los angeles limoWhere are the accolades for employees who consistently turn in travel expense reports that go under budget? If companies don’t provide some kind of incentive or at least praise their workers for curbing business travel expenses, it is easy to see why some people might not sweat over their per diem money or fret that they booked a more expensive hotel room than they really needed. Companies in the United States are expected to spend at least $310 billion in 2015, according to a recent Yahoo Travel post.

You reduce travel expenses at your company pretty painlessly simply by paying attention to past mistakes that tended to boost what workers had to spend on hotel and airfare bookings.

For example, if a company says workers can spend at maximum $200 on a hotel room or $600 per round-trip flight for business, the employees may only view the upper limit as important. They will tend to spend as much as they can instead of looking for a great deal that will satisfy their creature comforts while on the road. They may understand that improving the company’s bottom line helps ensure their own regular paycheck, but when it comes to expenses, some workers start to feel entitled to as much as they can snag.

Another area where you can really control costs is by always planning ahead for your travel arrangements. If people in your company are notorious about making last-minute bookings, find out what the problem is. Those who cannot control their schedule because of outside pressures may not have much room to wiggle, but when you have regularly scheduled meetings with clients or go to the same trade show every year, it’s easy to put these items into your calendar so you can purchase tickets well in advance.

Whether you choose to give your employees a percentage of the money they save when curbing travel expenses or simply elect to recognize them with public praise, you’ll want to start getting them into the mindset of being frugal for their upcoming trips now.

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Tripomatic App Has Just Been Updated to Give Users More Maps

limo service los angeles, LA limo service, sedan service los angeles, sedan serviceIt can be tough to stay organized when you are preparing for trips. With so many details to keep track of, from flight information, transportation to and from airports, tasks that you need to accomplish on the ground and all the items that you must remember to pack, travelers need all the help they can get.

This is why many people find it convenient to use the Tripomatic Trip Planner app on their mobile devices. Tripmatic’s developers recently updated the app to enable users to get more maps. Rather than making multiple in-app purchases to get specific new information loaded into the app, users can make a single purchase to get access to an unlimited amount of offline apps.

The reason why you would want an offline option is that you never know when you might run into problems with your cellular data services provider. There could be local problems that prevent everyone in the area to use their phone for Internet access. Now, Tripomatic will let people save maps to more than 450 destinations and use them on their device while offline, and the company says it will be adding more apps every month. Note that users who have previously paid to download a map multipack will get to upgrade Tripomatic free of charge.

Tripomatic enables users to plan new itineraries in mere minutes, with a curated list of more than 100,000 places. You can also use it to determine how long it will take to get from one destination to another and hotels in each place you visit. What’s more, the app will provide you with weather forecasts so you will know what to pack and what activities might be affected. Tripomatic will sync data across all your devices, so you can easily switch between using it on your smartphone and tablet.

Using your smartphone to keep track of your itineraries is crucial when you have a lot of meetings to attend. If you have been using Tripomatic to help with your travel arrangements, you’ll appreciate the new offline mapping options that are now available. Tripomatic is available for iOS and Android devices.

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Keep Up with Your Podcasts While Traveling

limo service LA, sedan service LA, LA limoHow often do you listen to podcasts on your mobile device or computer? Many people find podcasts a useful way to get the latest information in their field. Podcasts are also a great way to stay entertained, with thousands of these free audio files being generated on a variety of topics. Whether you are listening to your favorite business gurus or updates on your particular industry or just want to unwind with some good stories, podcasts are a great way to stay engaged and entertained.

However, when you are traveling, you might need to make some adjustments in your podcast listening. For example, if you rely on Wi-Fi to access the Internet and service is not available while you’re in transit, you’ll want to plan ahead and download the latest episodes of your favorite podcasts before you head to the airport. You can store copies of podcast files on your laptop or tablet computer or keep them on your smartphone.

The original source for podcasts is Apple’s iTunes Store, of course (podcasts got their name from the iPods created by Apple). You can find podcasts from the Wall Street Journal, Mad Money with Jim Cramer of CNBC, for example, or the Harvard Business School, the Suze Orman Show or the Motley Fool. There are likely podcasts being generated in your particular niche as well. Apple’s free app for playing and downloading podcasts is called Podcasts (not surprising).

You can also get your podcasts by downloading them directly from the providers’ own websites, or use a third-party app, such as Stitcher.

If you are also a fan of listening to audiobooks during your travels and use, you should know that the company also offers a number of podcasts.

Bringing podcasts with you during your next trip will ensure that you can have timely and useful information at your fingertips while away from the home office. Instead of wasting time staring at an in-flight movie that you’re not really interested in viewing, you can fill your mind with news and information from your favorite podcasts.

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Apps For Combating Jet Lag

limo service los angeles, LA limo service, sedan service los angeles, sedan serviceWhen you travel to distant locations for business, do you find that the effects of jet lag are so powerful that you need more time than is available to recuperate and recharge your batteries?

Some people seem to be able to readjust their body clock and don’t seem to be really bothered by jet lag, but others experience the familiar routine of waking up at strange hours because they are still living according to the clock at home.

After spending so much time and effort setting up your meetings and working out the details of your trip, it would be a shame if you were so worn out by the effects of jet lag that you weren’t on top of your game with business colleagues.

With that in mind, a recent post at Road Warrior Voices provides some details on three apps that will help you combat jet lag and get the most out of your next lengthy trip.

Developed by the University of Michigan, Entrain simulates your circadian rhythm and makes calculations to give you advice on the best lighting conditions (you will be told to expose yourself to light or to remain in darkness accordingly). The app’s recommendations are based on information from the journal PloS Computational Biology.
Jet Lag App

The Jet Lag App, developed by OZOMedia, is designed to reduce the negative effects of jet lag, using an algorithm that helps you gradually adjust your sleep patterns. You can also save up to 10 trips in the app, which is handy if you frequently travel to the same locations on a regular basis for your company.
Jet Lag Rooster

Have you ever been woken up by a rooster that is greeting the new morning? It would be great to have a steady sleep schedule liked that while traveling! The Jet Lag Rooster, developed by SWAN Medical Group, lets you customize your trip’s sleeping schedule. It offers recommendations about proper light exposure and when you should avoid the sunlight as you reset your clock.

Being worn out from a long journey and having to deal with the effects of jet lag is a common predicament for business travelers. We hope that you will find these app suggestions useful and that they will help you get the most out of your next business trip.

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Don’t Miss These Exciting Oscar Viewing Parties

It’s that special time of year in Hollywood once again. The entire entertainment industry is abuzz about which Oscar nominees have the best chance of bringing home the golden statue.

The 87th Academy Awards are scheduled to take place February 22, 2015 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. As per custom, the ceremonies will begin at 5:30 after all the stars have crossed the red carpet to meet the throngs of well wishers, industry luminaries, and of course, the hundreds of paparazzi hoping to make some tantalizing pictures.

If you are not attending the ceremony yourself this year, you can always have a great experience at one of the many Oscar viewing parties that will be held throughout the city.

With that in mind, here’s an update on some of the Oscar viewing parties slated to be held in town.

Public Kitchen & Bar

This venue at the Hollywood Roosevelt  is a fun place to watch the Oscars with your closest friends. It’s situated right across from the Dolby Theater.

Laemmle Royal Theater

You can enjoy watching the Oscars in the comfort of a private screening room at this theater, which people can rent for $500.

Hollywood American Legion

One Last Party is slated at the Hollywood American Legion and is designed to appeal to fans of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit franchise.

Norby Walter’s 25th Annual Night of 100 Stars

This stellar event takes place at the Beverly Hilton and is invitation-only, where you may get a chance to encounter movie producers, stars and other powerful figures in the entertainment industry.

Elton John’s Party

Famed musician Elton John holds his annual Oscar party at the Pacific Design Center. Money raised through tickets to the event will go to the AIDS Foundation, so you’ll be doing some good while having plenty of fun.

If you hope to get the most out of your Oscar viewing party experience, arranging for limousine transportation to your celebration is of the highest importance. On a special awards night like the Academy Awards, you want to make a big splash as you enjoy the evening’s festivities.

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Google Now Offers Google Earth Pro for Free

limo service los angeles, LA limoToday’s travelers have it easier over the pioneers who were constantly forging through uncharted territories. We typically don’t need to worry about finding a location, even if it’s off the beaten path, because we have access to GPS information and other data via our mobile devices.

Now, there is a plethora of information to help people make the most of their journeys, such as user-contributed trip reports, instant access to reservation systems, all made possible through technology that’s connected to the Internet.

A major case in point is Google Earth Pro, which had been providing users with the same pictures that they could get with the free version of the application, but includes tools that business professionals use to get more out the fire hose of global information.

Previously, Google charged users $399 per year to use the professional version of Google Earth, a software tool that shows users a spinning virtual globe. The application has its roots in Keyhole, a satellite imagery company that was funded by the CIA.

Business travelers and the people who support them have been using

to do tasks such as print out high resolution photos of their destination and automatically geolocate places anywhere on Earth in a blink of an eye.

What’s more, you get access to advanced tools in Google Earth Pro, enabling you to generate animated movies to previsualize a trip. People who need to do extensive research on a particular region will appreciate that the professional version lets you map numerous locations on the planet simultaneously and then integrate information such as traffic data, images and demographic details about each place.

In order to get access to Google Earth Pro, you will need to request a key from Google (free of charge). Your username for the application will be the email address you use to sign up. Google will send you a key to this address and then you can get started using this sophisticated tool to help you on your next journey.

Innovations in software and technology seem to be appearing at an increasing pace. For busy travelers who want access to the detailed imagery of planet Earth, Google Earth Pro should prove to be an ideal tool for planning trips and getting a better understanding of the environment around them.

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Upcoming Awards Events You Won’t Want to Miss

limo service los angeles, LA limo, sedan service LAWhether you are an entertainment industry professional yourself or have been invited to attend any of these special upcoming events as a special guest, you know that you will make a better impression when you use chauffeured services to get you to your destination.

Why not relax and let a professional driver take care of getting you to the awards ceremonies on time? You will be dropped off at the front instead of wondering where and when you are going to find parking. All you’ll need to worry about is making sure to wear dark sunglasses so you aren’t blinded by all the flash photography from the paparazzi!

After all the honors have been awarded and the Hollywood luminaries have made their emotional speeches, your driver can whisk you off to a celebrity-filled after party without delay, helping you to beat the crowds.

With that in mind, here are some upcoming entertainment-oriented awards shows scheduled for February 2015, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Make sure you update your calendar and arrange for transportation.

Visual Effects Society Awards February 4

2015 Directors Guild Awards February 7

2015 BAFTA Film Awards February 8

57th Annual Grammy Awards February 8

2015 Writers Guild Awards February 14

2015 American Society of Cinematographers Awards February 15

Costume Designers Guild Awards February 17

30th Independent Spirit Awards February 21

87th Academy Awards February 22

The best way for you and your guests to arrive in style to any of these big Hollywood events is in a luxurious limousine. Inside the vehicle, you will be offered snacks and beverages and can focus on what celebrities you hope to catch a glimpse of.

You can relax and focus on the festivities instead of worrying about negotiating traffic when you take advantage of the services of a professional chauffeur who knows the ins and outs of driving through Los Angeles.  Exclusive Sedan Service Worldwide services many of the above award events, so look for us there.  Better yet, call us to help YOU get there!


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Else Expects 7 Million Travelers to Connect with Else Globe App in 2015

limo service los angeles, LA limo service, sedan service los angeles, sedan serviceTravelers looking to make a connection with someone in a new city can take now advantage of the new Else Globe app, which is expected to be used by millions of travelers in 2015.

What will you do with your free time during your next business trip? When you’ve been on the road for a while and would like to make some friends to have with fun in a new city, you might want to consider using the Else app to help you find some interesting fellow travelers.

Else has released the new Else Globe app and estimates that 7 million people in 43 countries will be using it in 2015 to make connections and plans to get together in groups around shared interests. Else’s app is designed to fill in the gap between the friends you already have online through social media, such as Facebook.

Now in version 4.0, the Else app is available for iOS and Android platforms as a free download. The update includes a group chat feature to help you finalize your plans with new people. The company is preparing to make special travel industry branded versions of the Else app as well.

Examples of activities that you can coordinate with Else include locating people who would like to attend a classical music concert that night, or to arrange a group outing to a local museum or special restaurant. Whatever strikes your fancy, you can find people who would be interested in going to new places and exploring the city with you.

Whether you are using a limousine service to take you to an airport in Los Angeles or are coming back to L.A. from a lengthy business trip, you’ll be glad to have access to travelers with similar interests thanks to the new Else Globe app.

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New Changes to Airlines for 2015’s Travelers

limo service LA, LA limo, los angeles limoAs the new year rings in, some may be wondering how air travel should be changing throughout 2015. While there have been several major travel industry disruptions, the prior year passed mostly without incident. Here are a few things that the savvy business and pleasure traveler should be aware of.

“Skip lagging” will probably become more common.

Skip lagging is a term coined by the website of the same name which describes booking a flight and then getting off at the layover. For instance, you might book a flight from Los Angeles through Dallas to New York and then get off at Dallas. Why? Because the costs are usually substantially cheaper. For whatever reason, airlines often price tickets like this at less of a cost than a direct flight. And now that the secret is out, more people may do this.

Smaller airlines are rising up.

While there was a monopoly there for a while, many smaller airlines such as Norwegia and La Compagnie are starting as investors get more money to challenge the big airlines. Smaller airlines may see more “boutique” air travel, which may be limited to specific routes yet more comfortable overall.

New airplanes will be coming to the market.

A few new plane designs with an emphasis on both fuel economy and passenger comfort are coming out, and this may improve not only the comfort level of flying but also the cost overall. As many know, though fuel costs have dropped in recent years, plane tickets have not. Changing the fuel economy of the planes themselves may be what is needed to see a reduction in overall flying cost.

More luxury options are available. 

Some planes are going the luxury route, under which selling a single $10,000 ticket is more valuable than selling a multitude of ordinary tickets. This may not mean much for those who aren’t millionaires, but people can always save up their miles.

Apart from the above, travelers should always be on the look out for new start ups and opportunities that could save them money. The travel industry is most definitely an industry constantly primed for disruption, especially because air travel costs have continually risen over the past decade.

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