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13 Ways to Fit Travel Into Your Summer Schedule

Question: As an entrepreneur, how are you finding time/budget for travel this summer? (name one tip)

 

1. Make for a Happy Homecoming

“This summer, I’ve gone to Denver, L.A., Nevada, Orlando and Montreal so far! The key is planning the week of your return in advance. Don’t take any meetings; instead, spend that first morning easing back into your flow. Catch up on your emails and assignments. If you have focused work time during the week of your return, you’ll be all caught up and won’t feel burned out.”

 

2. Set Up Passive Income Streams

“I’m going to St. Lucia on my honeymoon this July, which has been a great motivator to finally set up some automatic sales funnel systems for my company. This way, I’ll have a constant stream of people coming to my site (and hopefully, buying my product) while I’m away. I’m looking forward to kicking back with a tropical drink and knowing that my income hasn’t stalled while I’m in the Caribbean!”

Top 10 Travel Tips for Freelancers

I am fortunate enough to travel a lot, both for work and for fun, over the years I have developed an internal checklist of things I do pre and during any travel you embark on so here’s my top 10 travel tips:

01. Make sure you cancel the paper!

I nearly always forget this one but I do try to remember as otherwise it sits on our doorstep and anyone going past knows you are away, or it goes through the letterbox and fills up the porch.

Facebook Veteran Ari Steinberg’s New Startup Vamo Taps Big Data To Book You Cheap And Easy Travel

Travel planning is a nightmare. So many moving parts cause decision paralysis and fear you’re getting gouged. That’s why 7-year Facebooker Ari Steinberg just raised $1.6 million for his new startup Vamo. It’s building what Ari calls “the holy grail for travel…a site where you can book a full vacation” or business trip. Priceline, Expedia, and TripAdvisor may have something to worry about.

Now, Steinberg’s quick to say his forthcoming product Vamo isn’t a direct competitor to those travel booking and review sites. He was very cagey about the details of how Vamo will improve the travel planning experience. But what he envisions could encompass them all.

Steinberg came out of Stanford and worked as an engineer at Facebook in the early days before becoming a manager. He and two other employees founded the Facebook Seattle office together, which grew from the three of them to 150 staffers before Steinberg left the company last October. He’s a worldly guy with a penchant for wanderlust, and over his visits to Brazil, India, Japan, China, and Italy he realized how arduous travel booking was.

Steinberg tells me, “It’s a full weekend-long operation just to pull all the pieces together to plan a trip. How long? Where am i going? How long am I staying there? How do I get from place to place? The whole process is really difficult.” Isolated, each piece is easy to plan. But since all the parts are tied together, making the best decision on all of them simultaneously is a huge challenge for our brains. Which dates do you prefer? When is the hotel you want available? When are the flights the cheapest?

“There’s something called a ‘constraint satisfaction problem’. It’s a really geeky way of assembling all these different variables and trying to optimize them” says Steinberg. The solution requires serious engineering work on big data, machine learnings, algorithms, scalability, and distributed systems.

Ari Vamo

That’s why Steinberg came out of stealth now and raised the $1.6 million. He needs to recruit a bigger team of top-notch programmers. The funding comes from a coalition of early-stage firms and angels across entrepreneurship and travel.

Investors include Adam D’Angelo (Quora), Aditya Agarwal and Ruchi Sanghvim (Dropbox), Adrian Aoun, Akhil Wable, Ben Ling, Bono (U2), Box Group, Charlie Songhurst, Crunchfund, Dave Morin (Path), Fritz Lanman, Hadi and Ali Partovi, Hank Vigil, Jed Stremel, Keith Rabois, Kevin Colleran, Marc Bodnick (Quora), Max Levchin (PayPal), Sam Shank, Scott Banister, Spencer Rascoff, and SV Angel. The money will help Steinberg grow the team from its current four-person headcount, and tackle the engineering challenges involved in optimizing travel.

“With Vamo we’re helping people have richer travel experiences. They have a limited amount of time off and want to make the most of it. We want to give you all the joys you can get from travel.”

You can sign up now for access when Vamo goes live.

 

Ari Steinberg is Founder & CEO at Vamo and previously a software engineer at Facebook.

Dopios Secures Seed Cash From Openfund To For Its Getyourguide-Meets-Tripadvisor

Tour guides or sites like Getyourguide (out of Germany), or Peek, the San Francisco-based travel site that gives users a curated list of options in individual cities, tend to come down on the experience side. Other travel sites likeTripadvisor veer towards the advice side. But few startups have attempted both sides.

Dopios, a new travel community, allows travellers to search for local guides by destination, and then filter the results by their own preferences to find a trip that suits them. For example, people who like going out may like to find a guide who can take them to all the speakeasies in San Francisco. At the same time the community can also give personalized and tailored advice to travellers. In other words: advice, experiences and local people as guides all under one roof.

The company was originally started by Greeks living in San Francisco, but has now moved back to Athens. Founder Alexandros Trimis says right now Greece offers “talent, cheaper operational expenses, and a strong desire from the public to see something positive happening.” He’s also secured the startup’s first institutional investment from the Openfund, which put in a seed round of 120,000 euros.

After testing in Greece, San Francisco and Istanbul, today Dopios opens up guides and communities in London, Berlin, Barcelona and Buenos Aires.

 

Company:Dopios
Website:dopios.com
Launch Date:2012
Funding:€120k

dopios, or ‘local’ in Greek, is a community marketplace where travelers can discover authentic experiences created by locals. Users can get travel tips before they go, plan adventures for their next vacation, and meet new friends. dopios is taking travelers beyond the guidebook and plugging them into the true experiences of their destinations.

7 Great Options for Finding Wifi on the Road

A few months ago Fred Perrotta wrote a great article about finding wifi abroad. Having now spent the past year traveling and finding “offices” on the road myself, I thought I would add to this list with a few other places I’ve found helpful for getting online.

Hotel Lobbies

If you’re not already staying in a hotel, hotel lobbies are a great place to get connected. More and more hotels offer free wifi these days and you can find out exactly which ones do by using a hotel comparison website and selecting only to view those with wifi. From there it’s a case of looking at which ones have friendly lobbies – places you would feel comfortable working in. I tend to look out for places with business conferencing services as they’re more likely to be used to non-guests using the hotel’s facilities and of course be used to giving the wifi password out to them.

Apartment Rentals

If you want a bit more space than a typical hotel room – I tend to like having a dedicated “office space” – then an apartment might be right for you. Sites like Airbnb, Housetrip and all of the other start-ups in the field all offer a great selection of apartments to rent by the night or month and it’s easy to segment so that the results only contain those with internet access. Recently I discovered Tripping.com which allows you to search sites like airbnb, wimdu and homeaway in one go. I’ve recently used it with a reasonably good degree of success to find affordable apartments (wifi equipped etc) that can be rented by the month.

McDonalds

If you don’t mind the smell of chicken nuggets, McDonalds is a handy place to get online every now and then. A large number of their stores worldwide have free wifi – at the time of writing more than 11,000 in the US, more than 1,000 in Canada and in most stores throughout Europe and Australasia as well.

Alternatively if you don’t mind the sight of hipsters, there’s usually a Starbucks in most major cities.

Career Crossroad: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Where your career takes you geographically is as important as your career itself. After all, as an under-30 professional, your next move might be the place where you stay long-term. That can be a great thing if you’re looking to put down roots and establish yourself in the community, but if you’re unhappy with the choice, it can make you feel tethered somewhere you don’t want to be.

Here are some suggestions for a few things you might want to consider in deciding whether you want to relocate or stay put.

1. Who?

Is it just you, or does this move involve other people? If you have a partner or family, of course you need to consider how the move would affect those relationships. Your partner’s profession might be an issue in deciding where to move – would he or she have employment options? Is it necessary for him or her to get any additional degrees? Would your partner even agree to move? If you’re not in that kind of relationship, perhaps there are other people to whom you want or need to remain close; if you have parents or siblings who need attention, whether you’re far away or not could affect their well-being. If you have children, you would want to make sure that a move won’t be detrimental to their schooling or other needs.

2. What?

What is the opportunity that you want to uproot your life to pursue? If you’re planning to relocate, do you have a prospect waiting for you, or are you hoping to find a job when you arrive? The job, itself, is a leap of faith. Certainly, you can never be sure that a job will be a good fit before you’re actually there. If you’re going to pack up your entire life and move to a new city, though, you want to be confident that the odds are in your favor that it will work out. Once you move, if the new gig doesn’t work out, you either (a) have to find a job in the new city (where you might not have many connections), or (b) pack your life again, perhaps break a lease or sell a home and re-start the relocation process back to your original (or another) city.

3. When?

When is it a good time to make a move in order to advance your career? Check the job market in the city to which you’re considering relocating. If you’re going with the hope of finding a job (as opposed to relocating for one that you’ve already accepted), try to gauge what the opportunity is in your field. If you’re a recent law school graduate and you know that three large firms in a particular city just laid off associates, now is not a good time to pursue a legal career there. You would be not only applying on your own merits, but also competing against more experienced associates who just lost jobs – not good odds.

4. Where?

Are you moving to something, or away from something? Perhaps you were born, raised and educated on the West Coast, but you’ve always wanted an East Coast experience; you’ll be thrilled to have a job in D.C., Boston or New York – you just want to move East. Or, maybe you’ve recently been let go from a job or suffered a relationship breakup and you need a change of pace… to start fresh, reinvigorate your career and your life, but it doesn’t really matter that much where you go. A little research can go a long way. Again, determining whether jobs in your field are plentiful in your chosen city is a huge factor as to whether it will be livable for you.  If you don’t have a specific destination, research your field and let that dictate where you move. Are you in a high-tech field like nanotechnology? Consider a location where there’s a nanotechnology college or research being done in the field, because that’s where the jobs are.

Pocket Guide to Nomadic Entrepreneurship

At the beginning of March this year I returned from a family vacation in Italy, Greece, and Turkey; packed up my apartment in D.C.; and flew on a one-way ticket to Mexico. A few weeks later I launched my new website and began actively building my business as a nomadic entrepreneur – and it was the best decision that I have ever made.

I’ve been in the entrepreneurship world for awhile now working at startups, VC firms, and non-profits and even running an entrepreneurship center at a university. I had clients of my own but I wasn’t fully committed to my own journey through entrepreneurship until I took the leap and figured out a way to combine my passion for entrepreneurship with my passion for travel. Now, I help first-time entrepreneurs plan, launch, and grow businesses that will fit with their overall lifestyle goals and I do it while living in a different country every month or so and exploring entrepreneurial ecosystems around the globe.

Was it scary to quit my day job and run off to a foreign country? Of course, but I couldn’t sleepwalk through my life anymore and this was the best way I knew to wake up.

If you’re in the same boat, here are some tips that can serve as your pocket guide to taking the leap and becoming a nomadic entrepreneur:

1. Make sure being a nomad makes sense for you.

Hopping from country to country every few weeks may sound glamorous, but it can be lonely and a colossal pain in the a— to actually do. If you’ve never been outside of your home state, I wouldn’t recommend running off to Bali on a one-way ticket as your first adventure. Get your feet wet by participating in things like Under30Experiences to learn your travel style and see if living out of a suitcase is something you really want to commit yourself to.