Vehicles for hire have existed since the 1600s. First there were hackney carriages, then yellow cabs, and even electric-powered taxicabs in the late 1800s. The yellow taxis have been around for over a hundred years now! For over 400 years, people obtained transportation for their specific point A to specific point B from a fulltime, professional driver.
Uber came along in 2009 and disrupted that tradition by providing the platform for peer-to-peer transportation. Meaning, Uber’s technology serves as the middleman to connect a driver with a car, with someone who needs a ride at that very moment, in that area.
There are many legal cases active across the globe involving Uber as it spreads its footprint. Obviously, the rise of Uber has impacted traditional transportation companies and unions. Uber is further looking to expand its opportunities by developing Uber Eats (a food delivery service), as well as partnering with aviation and boats for Uber-style service offerings.
Open the Uber app and request a ride within a few minutes of being ready to go.
The app displays your trip on a map, and provides different vehicle options and the respective prices.
The app shows you your estimated time of arrival, and how far away your driver is from you right now.
Once you select Request, your ride will come to you!
What you need to know
Give yourself some flexibility in your planning, in case a driver isn’t close to you when you request a ride.
Choose from different classes of cars based on your needs for that trip.
The pricing for each vehicle option depends on the current demand, so the same trip may be a different price depending on when you need it.
If you’ve set up a non-cash payment option, just leave the car when you’ve arrived at your destination.
Uber asks you to rate the driver, and gives you an option to provide a tip— you can just give them cash as a tip, too. The driver also rates you.
Pros and Cons
Convenient to have a driver take you door-to-door, and be able to track your trip.
Easier to request a ride, as opposed to taking time to figure out what the local cab company’s phone number is.
Select from different types of cars for different occasions.
No fiddling with cash or credit cards if you’ve chosen a non-cash form of payment— payment can be handled through the app.
There may not be a driver available in the area you need.
Pricing may vary due to supply and demand, “surge” (higher) pricing is common during the busier times of day or during high traffic events.
Airbnb and its technology connects property owners with folks in search of lodging. Essentially, Airbnb is removing both the hotel and the travel agent from the equation of finding quality lodgings across the world, while directly connecting owners and renters.
Airbnb has also opened up the options available to travelers. No longer are travelers limited to just hotel rooms and bed and breakfasts. Now, renters are able to choose from new options for their upcoming visits, including renting an entire private home, condos, or even just a spare bedroom in someone’s home.
Airbnb users feel a sense of community with the other users, and rely on ratings and reviews when making their decisions.
Airbnb is also known for its slick technology focused on providing great photos of the property, and making it as easy as possible for travelers to explore lodging options across the world from their smartphone!
Here’s how to do it:
Open the Airbnb app or website.
Enter your filters for the search: select your location, dates of travel, how many bedrooms, and if you want a pool, or washer and dryer.
Review your lodging options! They range from a shared room, a private room with a live-in host, or the whole home. Use the filters to narrow down the options.
Use the map to help you see where the rooms/homes exist in relation to your activities.
Read the reviews—it’s up to you to find an owner you’re comfortable either staying with, or interacting with.
Look up other opportunities: Airbnb also offers experiences, such as hikes, yoga, and concerts, available near the area you’re searching.
What you need to know
You’ll be interacting with an individual, not a corporation or a person working the “front desk.”
Make sure you are comfortable communicating with the host via email and texting.
Read the reviews about the property owner to decide if you are compatible with their style and the property.
You will be responsible for making your own bed, washing your own towels, and cleaning the kitchen during your stay.
Each property has “house rules” to follow, so be sure to review those first before you make your reservation.
Pros and Cons
Might be a larger space than a room in a hotel.
Likely cheaper per square foot.
Access to a full kitchen, washer, and dryer are possible.
More like living as a local.
Experiences with a live-in host will be more personal than employees at a hotel.
It may take a bit more time to book an Airbnb rental due to the back-and-forth communication between you and the owner.
You’re doing your own cooking and cleaning.
You don’t have the built in accountability of the host that you would expect with a traditional hotel or hospitality chain.
In the late 1990s, Netflix revolutionized the home movie-watching experience by letting us rent DVDs by mail. Ten years later, they innovated again by using video streaming to let us pick from a library of thousands of movies and TV shows from our homes.
Netflix is now a force in the production of new content. Their impact is disrupting the movie studio environment, and they are green-lighting many types of TV shows and movies that would not have stood a chance of being produced by the traditional production companies.
Further, Netflix is changing how content is being consumed. Not only do they recommend content for you, they release their TV series in a block format—all of the shows from one season are released on the same day. This release style gives the consumer control of when to watch what they want, and on the device of their choice.
Here’s how to do it:
To watch program at home you must have a high-speed internet connection.
You’ll also need a device to view it on. Options include: a “Smart TV,” a TV with an HDMI connection (so you can connect a small streaming media player), a computer, your smartphone, or your tablet.
After the hardware is figured out, sign up for an account on either Netflix’s website or you can download their app on your mobile device.
Once your account is setup, let Netflix know about your favorite movies and shows. A queue of programs to view will be established in your profile.
What you need to know
There’s a choice of three monthly costs.
If there’s more than one person using your account, be sure to set up a Netflix profile per person. That way, one person’s 1880s British romance movies don’t show up in the list along with the other person’s 1980s teen comedies.
You can download content to watch later—this is great for traveling.
“Binge watching” is when you watch all, or many, of a series’ episodes back-to-back-to-back. Be sure you have the local pizza place on speed dial so you don’t starve!
Pros and Cons
For the cost of one month of the top plan, Netflix likely costs less than one person going to one movie in the theater, and Netflix lets you watch as many movies or TV programs that you want each month.
Watch anywhere you have an internet connection using your smart TV, a streaming media player, a computer, a smartphone, or a tablet.
If you get in the mood for a certain type of movie or program, you can easily search what you want from the comfort of your home.
Your current internet speed may be too slow to watch a streaming program—you might have to consider upgrading your internet service.
No live TV is available, like news or sports. There are other services available for that using similar hardware, though.
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