Sunday, November 24, 2013

How I Use Worldmate to Organize My Trips

airline travelIf you travel much at all, you know how keeping up with flights, hotels, and rental car information can be a challenge. What if organizing it all was as simple as forwarding an email? That's the beauty behind Worldmate.
  1. Sign up for a free account at Worldmate.com
  2. During the setup process, look for your Worldmate email address. You will find it by going to "My Profile" and then "Manage My Emails." Highlight and copy that address.
  3. In your Contacts, create a new contact and call it "Worldmate." Paste the email address you just copied into the email field. This email address will be important later.
  4. Download the Worldmate app to your mobile devices.

Booking a Trip
Whenever you make a reservation for a plane, hotel, or rental car, you get an email confirmation. That confirmation will become the centerpiece for organizing your trips in Worldmate. When you receive one of those confirmation emails, simply forward it to Worldmate. Since the Worldmate address you will be using is unique to you, Worldmate matches the confirmation to your account regardless of the device from which you are sending it.

Viewing Your Upcoming Trips
Once you have an account and have forwarded some of those email confirmations, you can view your trips.
  1. Log in to Worldmate, either on your computer or mobile device, and you will see a list of your upcoming trips.
  2. Click on a trip, and you will see each part of the trip: your outbound flight(s), rental car pick-up, hotel check-in, hotel checkout, rental car return, and returning flight(s).
  3. Click on any of the items just mentioned, and you will see the related details: confirmation number, contact information, price, etc.
Worldmate is smart enough to take all of the confirmations you throw at it piecemeal and know that the flight to Atlanta connecting to Houston, the hotel reservation in Houston, and the rental car reservation in Houston are all related. Worldmate gives the trip a name: "Trip to Houston," and assigns a starting and ending date to the trip. Worldmate even recognizes when one or more days of the trip is missing a hotel reservation or rental car, and provides a clickable link through which a reservation can be made.

You can view information from past trips as well. So, if you need to know the address for the hotel at which you stayed three months ago, going to the "Previous trips" menu provides that information.

Helpful Updates During Your Trip
Each morning during your trip, you receive notifications on your mobile device related to what you need to know about the day. Flight numbers and departure times, hotel check-in information, and more is provided when you need to know about it.

You may find you do not need to enter the details of your trip into your calendar. Since Worldmate pushes you the details each day, the calendar entry can be minimal. You could get by with "Trip to Houston" as an all-day event spanning the duration of your trip. The calendar would stay clean while Worldmate holds all of the details.

The only caveat when relying solely on Worldmate during your trip is that you must have a reliable Internet connection, either through Wi-Fi or your mobile device's data plan.

What I have described is free. You can opt for the Gold Membership plan at a cost of $99.95 per year. You get the ability to sync Worldmate with your calendar, flight alerts, and suggestions for alternate flights when a reschedule is needed. Personally, I am able to receive this information through other means, so the free account meets my needs. It provides all the details, neatly organized, and keeps my calendar clean. Very importantly, Worldmate is ridiculously easy to use.

Worldmate is available for Android and iPhone. BlackBerry users should look for "BlackBerry Travel."

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