Travel to Live Blog

Stories of our adventures and updates about the site.

Month: March 2017

April Update: TTL comes to Android and much more!

We’ve been working hard on the April Update and are excited to tell you what’s changed with the site. Thanks to the folks at Betabound, we got a lot of good feedback and testing in the last 2 weeks. We actually released a small patch last week, too. Below are some of the major things we’ve changed.

  • login now persists, so no more logging in every time you visit the site!!
  • email (Account Kit) login fixes
  • you can now get your current location on the map
  • info window now shows how far away things are from you!
  • we added an FAQ – let us know via email if something is missing
  • Google POIs are now clickable, which makes it easier to add things to your trip
  • new users now receive a welcome mail!
  • no more trips taking place in the year 1969 (sorry, time travellers)
  • now you can add your travel blog even if you don’t use WordPress
  • all kinds of smaller bug fixes

But that’s not all. We’ve also launched an Android app in the Google Play store!

New in April Update: TTL for Android

Go ahead and try it out. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on social media. Now that this patch is out of the way, we’re going to concentrate on some big features. Stay tuned and keep travelling!

ITB Berlin 2017 Report: Our Experiences

We’re back in the office after ITB Berlin 2017. This was our first time to the show and we expected something bigger than Travel Technology Europe but it was even bigger than expected. But was it better? We’re not sure.

ITB Berlin 2017: The good

A big show means a large variety of talks and topics. At TTE, the talks were obviously focused on technology, which was right up our alley. ITB had a lot of things that simply didn’t apply to us but more than enough interesting ones to fill up the schedule. Because the show was bigger, we also had better opportunities to meet with people in the industry and trade ideas. The ITB Networking tool made it easy to look up other show-goers and contact them about working together. We especially enjoyed meeting with what3words‘s Richard Lewis – great guy, awesome product! Check it out.

For a travel startup, you should really make your way to ITB Berlin, if you can. It’s a great place to connect with people in the industry and learn more in general about the market. In the worst case, it’s just another excuse to travel and see an amazing city. We loved our trip to Berlin and are looking forward to our next opportunity to visit Germany’s capital.

  • Large variety of topics
  • Great networking tool
  • Many different people and companies to connect with
  • Awesome city

The bad

Big shows can have big problems. Everybody knows the Germans are stereotypically a very organized and efficient people but what you may not know is that they will often tell you that Berlin is a unique and different place in Germany. I’m not sure if that’s the reason but the organization at ITB Berlin 2017 left us wanting.

Confusing signs and strangely ordered halls left you scrambling to find the right talk. Talks were back-to-back, so it was sometimes impossible to get there on time, if two interesting talks were in two different places. They were also a little too short, usually being only half an hour long. This led to some talks feeling rushed or too summarized. Finally, the app had a lot of information but just couldn’t deliver it with a good interface; it was the source of many headaches last week.

Now while Berlin (and Germany in general) has some great food, don’t expect anything but your usual convention fare. Only decent food at a high price was available at ITB Berlin 2017! We fled each day to the safety of nearby restaurants, where we gorged ourselves on German and international cuisines, including Syrian, Vietnamese, and Japanese food.

  • Organization was in need of improvement
  • Talks too short, with too little (no) time between them
  • Hungry convention goers need better food options!
  • Convention centre is not very central

Berlin

Berlin itself is a really great city. We didn’t get a lot of time to look around but we did have some time to eat. Like any major city, you’ll find a large variety of cuisines, pretty much anything to satisfy your desires. The best thing is that prices are very reasonable, unlike in some other major capitals, like London or Paris.

Königsberger Klopse, a specialty of my grandfather’s homeland

Top: liver and mashed potatoes.
Bottom: Maultaschen with fried onions and salad.

Japanese food at House of Small Wonder in Berlin

We didn’t just eat. On the final day, we celebrated our travel conference victory with a visit to Berlin’s victory column.

Berlin Victory Column

The weather wasn’t great on most days but this was actually one of the sunnier days. The photo was sadly taken during a cloudy moment!

Travel to Live visits Berlin: Brandenburg Gate

The infamous Brandenburg Gate. See if you can spot the mysterious Québec flag in this photo! Our French Canadian friends have got some prime real estate there in Berlin.

Although Berlin is a large city, it doesn’t feel like London, Paris, Rome, or any other major, overcrowded capital. They say Berlin was created out of many smaller cities and maybe that’s why it feels a bit stretched out. We liked it and could imagine living here. A lot of people must agree because Berlin’s population is exploding.

ITB Berlin 2017 was a success story for us

All in all, we really enjoyed taking the trip to Berlin and seeing the show. Most of the problems are problems of many big gatherings of people, so we can’t complain too hard. If you were at the show and didn’t get the chance to meet with us, send me an email and get in touch. Feel free to ask any questions down below!

what3words support added in latest update!

Maybe you’ve noticed the site has been running a little smoother in the last couple days. Our latest patch brings a bunch of bug and performance fixes to Travel to Live. We’ve also added what3words integration!

what3words breaks up the world into 3m x 3m squares

what3words is a global addressing system, which has assigned 3m x 3m squares to the whole world. Each of these unique squares has 3 words assigned to them, giving a unique set of words for any place on the planet. We thought this was cool, especially in countries where addresses are confusing or absent (ever try to find your way around Tokyo?), so we hooked up the API to our site.

what3words is now available for every map point in Travel to Live

Every point on the map has a what3words address now on the info page, so when you’re on your trip, you’ll also know a unique and easy-to-remember identifier for every place you plan to visit. We’ll be at hood.curtail.stunts next week for ITB Berlin, where we also hope to attend an interesting talk by what3words. Find out more about what they’re up to on their website.

Are you already using what3words? Do you think you’ll give it a try now? What other services would you like to see connected to our site? Let us know what you think in the comments below. In case you missed it, don’t forget to checked out our featured blogger, Globetrotter Post!

Featured Blogger: Globetrotter Post

We’re starting a new feature here at Travel to Live, where we highlight bloggers from the community. Travel to Live can help you promote your blog by adding it to your user profile. Don’t forget that bloggers can also add a trip widget to their travel blog. Today, we’d like to give a shout out to Globetrotter Post, an early adopter of our new promotion feature. By filling out their user profile, Globetrotter Post and other bloggers can gain exposure via our site, as well as plan and share their own trips.

We selected Globetrotter Post because we think they’ve got an interesting blog. Whether you’re looking for the best beaches of 2017, ideas about sustainable tourism startups or information about exercise while traveling, Globetrotter Post has you covered for all the latest interesting travel news. Their blog is also frequently updated and interesting. Have you ever had a trip where it seemed everything just went wrong? Read How I kept my cool when everything went wrong while travelling.

We’re always on the hunt for interesting travel bloggers to feature. The best way to get noticed is to sign up and start promoting your blog now. While you’re there, why not create a trip and start planning your next adventure! Or you can even recreate your old trips, add them to your blog, or share them on social media. Tag us @traveltoliv or with #traveltolive or #ttl and we’ll be happy to retweet.

Thanks to Globetrotter Post for being our first featured blogger. We look forward to many more!

Changemaker In Your Community by Actuality Media

We were recently contacted by Actuality Media with an interesting opportunity for student travellers to win a study abroad experience. They’re hosting a documentary competition, called Changemaker In Your Community.

Journalism, film & media students globally are invited to produce a 3-5 minute short film on a local changemaker making a sustainable impact on chronic social or environmental problems. The winning filmmaker receives 100% scholarship (worth up to US$3,350!) valid for a 2017 Actuality Media Documentary Outreach in Peru, Nepal, Nicaragua or Morocco to study the art and practice of filmmaking while telling stories about solutions that improve our world.

Sounds like a pretty cool opportunity for students and aspiring travel bloggers. If you’re interested, read more about the competition on their website. See if you’re eligible by checking the terms and conditions. Final submissions will be accepted no later than March 15th, so get to work! Good luck!

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