iPhone Travel App Video Review: TripCase #SXSW


tripcase logo travel app

Oh how I love to travel.

One of the tricky parts of travel, however, is staying organized.  From the moment you book your airfare to the meetings, dinners, parties and everything in between- it can be a bear to keep track of it all.  What’s a traveler to do?

In steps TripCase.

sxsw interactive 2014 jen knoedlIn the attached video, I am experimenting with the new app during SXSW in Austin, TX.  With so many options and events, I knew I could use all the help I could get in organizing all my trip details and information.

Success!  TripCase helped me to organize the details of my trip all in one spot.  Both manually, and by forwarding confirmation emails, I added items to my “SXSW Trip”.  Voila!  Everything in one cohesive app- that I can share with family and friends.

And I loved that when my flight was delayed, TripCase alerted me plus my family and friends that I invited to “follow” my trip details. That’s pretty cool. tripcase travel app iphone android jen knoedl

TripCase has also integrated seat maps for airplanes, weather maps for wherever you are or wherever you are headed.  Plus they took the extra step of incorporating driving directions- no more cut and paste!  Gotta like that.

If you are an active traveler, or even just a casual traveler- try getting yourself organized with TripCase.  It’s free for iPhone, Android and other smart phones.

Please leave a comment and subscribe to my YouTube channel!

**This is a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own and any recommendations given are in earnest for the betterment of my readers and viewers.


Petergof Nightclub’s Alien Invasion 2013 #Event #Venue #Holiday

The Friday after Halloween may seem like a hard night to get folks to dress up, but not if you are Petergof Nightclub in Northbrook, IL.  Connected through my friends at Paradigm Next (thanks Yana and Alex), Alien Invasion 2013 was to be my first time visiting this venue.

petergof alien invasion 2013

Petergof is a restaurant, a banquet hall, an event space and a nightclub all rolled into one great space with a big, free parking lot.  Cocktails were moderately priced at $7-$9.  The space is beautiful, well-maintained and the staff was friendly (which is HUGE for me).

Check out the attached video to see all the fun including a costume contest, gregarious DJs, girls dancing in bikinis, the mesmerizing saxophone player and more information about Petergof in general.

You can also keep up with Petergof Nightclub on Facebook for the latest event information and lots of pictures from the event.

petergof nightclub jenchicago

PS: Know someone looking for #SocialVideo?  Email me here.

9 Reasons You Need More Than One Video With @JenTravelsLife

Every now and then I take my own good advice and do something really smart, like create a video that says explains what I have been saying since the dawn of man…

You need videos- with an “s”.


Well, I’m glad you asked- because Mom recently convinced me to create a video of what I was explaining to her on the phone.  She’s so smart.  So, here are 9 reasons you, and every business, needs more than one video.

  1. VARIETYwhy you need videos #social video

PS:  This video is dedicated to Mom for taking me to gymnastics when I was younger.

Learn How To Use #Hashtags With Basics From @JenTravelsLife

#Hashtags are an organic community creation.  Some things come and go.  Some things linger forever.  Originally used to categorize conversations about the #NaturalDisasters, they has evolved into a promoter’s dream-come-true; “more online noise” and everything in between.

In this video, I include some basic tips for understanding the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE & WHY related to hashtags.  If you have specific questions, you may leave them in the comments below or tweet me @JenTravelsLife.

hashtag video jen knoedl

MOVIE REVIEW: Les Miserable #Redbox

I’m fairly easily inspired.  People amaze me.  (Well, in both ways, but let’s focus on the positive.)

A cold Memorial Day Weekend is the perfect setting for me to catch up from my travels, do tons of laundry and let Redbox play in the background.

I don’t know why I didn’t have high expectations for Les Miserables… I guess it just looked depressing.  But it’s not.  Well, not if you dig deeper to be inspired by the strength of the human spirit.  Then- it’s incredible.  And inspiring.  And I was almost too mesmerized to fold clothes.

poster les miserable redbox jenchicagoI think I saw an earlier version of this film in college, but I had little to no recollection of the story.  I’m either all in or nothing, I guess.

So on a macro level, the sheer genius of human creativity in making this movie blows me away.  And the performances?!  You can’t fake that.  You really have to feel it.  And I did.  ALL heart.

Then there were so many individual stories all perfectly intertwined and all appealing to the part of me that has felt that before.

It wasn’t just romantic love.  She loves him and he loves another…  There is also family love, both by blood and by honor.

And self love, and love of country… and God’s love.   I mean… this is powerful stuff.  I could go on, but you really should experience it for yourself.  Les Miserable is a “must watch” movie and I highly recommend it.  Just don’t forget the Kleenex.

How To Let A City Spider Live Even When You’re Scared

Just rewatching the video makes my toes curl again.  Spiders freak me out.  All those legs.  And that web stuff.  Yipes.

spider city chicago

But also- I know they do good things.  Eat bugs, walk around, maybe we make medicine from them, they save the city from bad guys…

So when I saw this one in the window- well first I screamed a little, but then I thought “Instagram“.

After sharing his/her 8-legged picture on Facebook and viewing the responses, I knew what had to be done.  Here comes one “How To Let A City Spider Live Even When You’re Scared” video.

Oh yeah.  I saved a spider’s life.  That really happened.

(There’s a metaphor in there somewhere.)


EVENT: @CRAVEChicago May Chat for Entrepreneurs at @EdelmanChi

One of the things that I enjoy most is learning.  I really enjoy new shoes too.  Alas, to have more shoes I need money, so learning about making more money online is the next logical step.  If you too would like to learn some different approaches to making money online – you should join us for this month’s @CRAVEChicago chat.  I’ll be moderating along with a hand-picked stellar panel at the renowned, Edelman in downtown Chicago.

money hundred

When it comes to e-commerce, blogs and service based businesses, making money online CAN be a click away. We’re going over hot topics you need to know to set up your business online.
  • Paypal, shopping carts, web ads
  • Mobile apps and online services
  • Online return policies, shipping costs and PayPal orders
  • Protecting your reputation as an online store
  • Passive income – Make money while you sleep
  • Safeguard your online shop (have one? creating one?)
What do you MOST want to hear about?  Tweet @CRAVEChicago!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013  7-10pm
Edelman Chicago
200 E Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60602

Check out the other speakers, get more info and register: http://cravechatmay.eventbrite.com/

PS:  Are you a female entrepreneur?  Email me for a code to come to the event as my first-time guest.

When #VirginAtlantic invites you to coffee… @VAAintheUSA #BeautyTeam

When you love the idea of international travel (or just love the idea of Richard Branson, for that matter)- you say “yes” when Virgin Atlantic Airlines Beauty Team invites you to coffee.

Sure- they’d love for me to tell you that they are relaunching a seasonal flight to London from Chicago, but that’s just good information for all of us to know.  I’ve yet to visit London.  How about you?  It’s arguably the most expensive city in the world and that is absolutely amazing.  So- if you have the scratch, take a jaunt to Europe on the @VAAintheUSA party ship.

Oh  and, if you fly in 2014, you’ll get to see the new #VAA uniforms.  Virgin Atlantic has just announced that British fashion icon, Vivienne Westwood, will design the airline’s new uniform for not only onboard Cabin Crew, but its staff in the Clubhouses, Spas and airports around the globe.  You can bet the new threads support the legacy of style and class that is Virgin Atlantic.  The point is, if we met for coffee I might share these two bits of information with you, so that was easy.
@vaaintheusa #chicago #flightattendant @JenTravelsLife #virginatlantic
I met up with @VAAintheUSA at the Intercontinental Chicago Starbucks and, as they spoke of their previous night out, we became fast friends.  The first topic was the differences in men between Chicago and London.  They inquired about the very Chicago way to say that a man has an overinflated ego.  I told them I would tell them where they should have gone next time they visit The Windy City.

“Douchebag?  As in a woman’s douchebag?”, they ask.

“Yeah.” I respond.  ”We don’t say it in Texas either and  I don’t really get the connection but when you say it in Chicago… everyone knows what you’re talking about.”

They then laughingly repeated “douchebag” SO loud in Starbucks, I literally covered my face laughing.  You could tell by their accents they were just learning the word and that I was the obvious trouble-making teacher.  We decided that “tool” was their equivalent.  I loved them all instantly.

After we got the important stuff out of the way,  we turned to “beauty in the air”.  Virgin Atlantic has their own beauty team, beauty program AND beauty magazine for their flight attendants and the team was in town on a promotion tour.  I learned so much in the few hours I spent with them.  Attention to detail is what these people are all about.  I told them it makes me think that they must be this conscientious in other aspects of their business, and thus a safer airline.

That line of thinking doesn’t necessarily translate, but I think most people would agree with me on this one.  As a marketer myself, I’m always analyzing why I feel the way I do about brands.  #VAA seems super buttoned-up, innovative and classy.

As we drank our coffee, the team asked if I would like a quick makeover before I left.  The attached videos are what happened next.  Watch to learn the eyebrow comb-over, how to line your lips, why you should wear red lipstick and a few quick and easy updos.  You may also follow the team on Twitter for more tips.

PS: Shout out to the #BeautyTeam- I had a blast!  –> Rebecca Creer – Chief Beauty Officer, Mim Allgood – make-up manager, Helen Kavanagh – hair manager with Ombi Farr and Jess McGinley – Cabin Crew

Join me, @GogobotChicago & Travel Enthusiasts in Chicago #MeetUp Group

gogobot chicago travelersAs some of you may know, I am the Community Manager for @GogobotChicago and it is my role to start, grow and foster an enthusiastic travel community here in Chicago.  One of the ways that I have done that is by starting a group on MeetUp called Chicago Travel Enthusiasts.  (Click to join!)

What I like about the community on MeetUp (vs Facebook) is that when people RSVP for an event- they are more likely to actually show up.  This is a video of our last event which was a simple lake shore walk.  We had a blast, got some exercise and talked about future plans.  If you are looking to be part of a diverse community of people passionate about travel, who like to “get out there and DO stuff”, join us!


Video Production by Gogobot user Pasquale of Rockit Projects – http://www.rockitprojects.com

How To Deal With Negative Comments On Your Videos

The thing about video is that “it takes a village”.  Sure, there are some ways that you can get around all that and be the one-woman show that I often find myself producing, but when you can partner with others like Indirap Productions, life becomes so much easier.  Ahh… all I had to do was show up and talk.

In this video with Monika Rydz I spoke about how I deal with negative feedback related to video.

Basically, you just gotta be like a duck and let it roll off your back.  You know?

The reality is that if you are going to put your videos on YouTube, and you start to get thousands of views, some people are gonna be mean.  It boggles me too, but whataya gonna do?  YouTube really should make people more accountable as far as getting an account because the anonymity of the viewers is definitely part of the problem… but that’s another post.

Oh- and those lyrics that I couldn’t remember in the video from by Fall Out Boy go like this… “I don’t care what you think as long as it’s about me”.

Ha!  Haters gonna hate.  Keep making video.

So… what’s keeping you from making video?

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