The past decade has seen an enormous shift in the way people travel, a change directly correlated with the rise of the mobile phone as the dominant way of accessing information.
As the laptop ceases to be an absolutely travel necessity, the smartphone has become the heart of many travelers’ experiences.
One new way to engage with these travelers — and to help them have a memorable, satisfying travel experience — is to create If This Then That (IFTTT) formulas that can automate some of the pain away.
These small chunks of magic are called recipes, and each recipe creates a causal link between a specific digital behavior. Here are some of our recommendations for dominating the holiday travel season.
And while you’re at, consider how your company might be able to provide a recipe that helps travelers!
Southwest check-in reminders
Southwest is a favorite for business travelers on a budget, as the fares are low, the network broad and the bookings flexible without change fees. Despite all that goodness, Southwest keeps things affordable by not having assigned seats — that means that line position is determined by check-in time. One of the most frustrating things is checking in online late and getting a poor boarding position. This recipe eliminates that Southwest problem.
Simple mileage tracking
There has been an explosion in “connected car” startups focused on modernizing the automobile experience. Some apps have emerged to automatically track mileage for later reimbursement, while also including adding features such as maintenance tracking. One startup, Dash, offers an automation ideal for anyone that needs to log trips in an old-school spreadsheet for later reimbursement. This recipe drops all trip logs into a Google spreadsheet for later submission.
Automated travel GIFs
Marketers seeking some automated engagement (if there is such as thing) might be interested in this recipe that posts any new travel-tagged GIF from Giphy, the GIF database, onto Facebook. This recipe lets you add a message with a question, such as “What inspires you to travel?”
(Be careful though, as with any automation there’s the potential for someone to bomb the tag. This means that any picture — NSFW or otherwise — could simply be tagged “travel” to be posted!)
One of the best parts about IFTTT is the number of Evernote integrations. This is great news for users of the note-management system. Our favorite recipe takes any travel itineraries from Gmail and place them into a specified Evernote Notebook — especially handy for road warriors without a corporate travel tool to keep them organized. No more fishing through Gmail Search to find that one email, as the trip details are automatically loaded into a Travel Notebook on Evernote.
BONUS: The Do Camera
The Do Camera is a not only a handy tool for travelers but also marketers working in the field. The app allows you to share photo moments to hundreds of social sharing channels without having to open up each individual app.
This includes sending to Dropbox or Evernote for easier tracking relating to specific events or locations. This is a simple addition to the ecosystem that can do wonders in managing both the digital copies of photos but also where they are posted and to whom.