"Spend less time being interesting and more time being interested in people and the world" - Shira

The Dot Com Traveler

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Blogging this past year for Jaunted.com (officially pegged as Condenast's pop culture travel blog), I have had the opportunity of making one of my personal passions for global culture and meeting people around the world into an actual job. I feel so blessed for this!

It all began in February, when I traveled to Chile with 4 other journalists to shoot a Travel Channel pilot titled, Confessions of a Travel Writer. The now 1-hour special will be airing on August 10th at 9pm EST, so set your tivos! The show really peels away at the glamor of travel writing (which to many might appear to be a dream job), and shows the good, bad and ugly of it all. While we all traveled together, we also each had our own assignments and stories to tell. The team included National Geographic's Andrew Evans, Saveur Magazine's Chantal Martineau, MTV's Jimmy Im, Virtuoso's Charles Runnette and moi- the blogger gal!

from left Jimmy Im, Andrew Evans, Chantal Martineau, Shira Lazar & Charles Runnette

It was an honor to be the only new media journalist on the trip using local bloggers and my own social media tools (facebook, twitter, etc) to navigate each city to the fullest. My community were my travel guides and I crowd-sourced my trip each step of the way. The experience really showed me how globally connected we all are and how these tools are changing the way we interact and experience destinations. But it was just the beginning. Since then, I've had the opportunity of being on the CBS Early Show.

READ THE ARTICLE HERE AND WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW:


Watch CBS Videos Online

I've also joined Mastercard's latest summer promotion called "Break in Your Jeans". The campaign is not only giving away a pair of jeans to a lucky Mastercard holder, but a free trip to anywhere around the world with their 3 closest friends. So use your Mastercard until August 31st and you're entered to win! It's an awesome promotion to say the least and has had me being interviewed by many outlets about my own travel tips and expertise.

This has led me to write this blog post about some other sites/apps I think people should check out that will definitely help make their travel experience easier and even cheaper.

Besides those mentioned in the CBS Early Show piece including: Tripit, Dopplr, Couchsurfing & Twitter as a travel helper, here are a few others that have recently caught my attention:

Everlater.com
A really cool new social networking travel site. Not only can you make a profile to compare and contrast your trips with friends, but it includes videos and photo galleries, making it the ultimate online travel scrapbook too!

Worldmate
This is my favorite new one-stop travel app! Not only does it organize your itinerary, but you can use it to search hotels, car rentals, flights, weather, access and navigate maps. It also includes a world clock and currency converter. It's the perfect digital travel companion!

Seatguru.com

As we all know, where you sit can make or break your flight experience. While Seatguru might not be able to change your already booked crappy seat, it is the ultimate resource for the seat q's you might have for any flight or airline you might be on.

Packinglistonline.com
This is one of the travel sites that makes me chuckle... with guilt because yes, I admit to being an unfortunate victim to overpacking:

This site can help all of us overpackers and you organized folk get even more organized with customized options for any possible trip you might be taking.

As so with that I leave it to you- don't underestimate your needs to see the world and your community to help make your global adventures that much more colorful and authentic.

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