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.


Women in Travel Summit 2014 Chicago with @TravelGoGirl & @JenTravelsLife

Check out my interview with buddy Beth Santos of Travel Go Girl.  The Women In Travel Summit is coming up in Chicago March 14-16, 2014 at Palmer House Hilton Hotel.

Let me know in the comments below… where would you LOVE to travel next?!

women in travel summit


Like Travel Go Girl on facebook: www.facebook.com/travelgogirl

Tweet Travel Go Girl at @travelgogirl

Tweet me at @JenTravelsLife

@VirginAtlantic Launches New Kids Pack #kidfriendly


Keeping kids entertained at 30,000 feet can be a difficult task but the experts at Virgin Atlantic have come to the rescue with the introduction of a new kids pack.


Once on-board, all children under 12 are given either a red or black waterproof bag – perfect for keeping their bathing suits in once on vacation – which is full of useful and fun items for the journey ahead. The bag contains a child-sized eye mask printed with either star-shaped sunglasses, Kanye West’s style shutter shades, goggles or snorkels, warm socks with a sneaker or sandal design, a rainbow pen and a Lonely Planet Travel Journal. Also being introduced into the pack in December is a Where’s Wally? book.

Gemma Lochrie, Senior Cabin Crew at Virgin Atlantic commented: “We have so many families travelling with us and we know how difficult it can be for parents trying to keep children entertained on what can be a really long flight. We always try to make it as easy as possible and in addition to our new kids packs, we’ve put together a few simple tips to help parents arrive at their destination stress-free.”

Virgin Atlantic Kid

Cabin crew tips for families travelling with Virgin Atlantic

  • Ensure your little ones receive a children’s meal on-board by ordering one online 48 hours in advance. The meals offer plain food designed to appeal to children. Examples include: Pasta Bolognese with dinosaur pasta, yogurt tubes, Fruit Shoot juice, bags of fresh fruit and vegetables, mini Chedders, raisins, jam sandwiches
  • Although Virgin Atlantic’s award winning inflight entertainment gives kids a superb selection of the latest movies as well as their own dedicated TV channels, if you know your child has a favorite show load it on to an iPad or DVD player as this can buy you precious quiet time
  • Speak to our crew once on-board as they provide all parents travelling with children with a plastic bag – we know they generate a lot of trash.
  • Take pre-made cartons of formula which are easy to pour into bottles rather than making up the powder which is fiddly and messy.
  • Although we have a “baby-box” on board with a few diapers, jars of baby food, plastic spoons and straws for emergencies, make sure you take plenty with you!
  • Before your trip buy new toys and keep them hidden.  Get one new toy out every hour to entertain your little one and put each toy away before getting out the next new distraction
  • It’s fine for children to walk up and down the aircraft during the flight as they will get restless. Try and keep them seated and strapped in during the meal and drinks services though as the aisles can get blocked with the carts
  • Avoid giving children sugary treats and soda on-board.  It makes them more restless and fidgety and just means more trips to the restrooms!
  • Bear in mind that the toilets are always very busy at the end of the flight and are locked and out of use when the seatbelt sign goes on for landing so make sure to do your toilet trips with plenty of time to spare to avoid any accidents!

Like Virgin Atlantic on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/virginatlantic
Tweet Virgin Atlantic at @VirginAtlantic
Tweet me at @JenTravelsLife

#TravelTalk Google+ Video Hangout with @JenTravelsLife 9/3/13 2CT

#traveltalk #traveltuesday #videoshow #talkhost #haiti #thirdworld #volunteertravel

Meet my special guests:

Josh Bradshaw; Director of Friends of the Children of Haiti  

Sarah Kelley:  Health Care Practitioner 


What do people ask you most related to travel? OR What gets you “fired up” about travel?

BRADSHAW:  I started late – before age 31, I had only flown ONCE in my entire life. Since then, I’ve flown over 200 times – or 200 segments, anyway.
It’s all about the courage to click the “book now” button, and then work, beg, borrow, or steal the time off and funds to depart. The universe conspires in favor of the dreamer.
“What would you do, if you weren’t afraid?” is my mantra.

KELLEY:  Why do you want to volunteer your money and time for other people? Medical missions take me back to why I went into medicine in the first place–to help people. There are not a lot of “thank you’s” in my job anymore. Patients in developing countries really appreciate the medical care we bring to them and allow us to immediately see the impact one act of kindness can have on another human being.

Where is your DREAM TRAVEL DESTINATION? And why?

England, because it is my family’s home land. That’s a very generic answer, but it’s true.

I would love to tell you I want to stay in one of those huts on the ocean in Tahiti, but I’m afraid I would get bored in one spot too long! Italy is on my travel wish list. I would like to explore the country from top to boot, seeing the Alps, the Vatican, all of the historical landmarks and artwork, Venice, Rome, and even Italy’s little neighbor, Sicily.

Got an interesting TID-BIT, TIP or TRICK regarding travel?

BRADSHAW:  Hostels – learn them, love them, use them. Some of the most interesting experiences of my whole life happened out of chance meetings with like-minded travelers in hostels around the world. They can be loud, crowded, intense, and sometimes smelly – but it’s the sure-fire way to gain an authentic experience and be immersed in the surroundings with people from other countries and cultures.

KELLEY:  Be prepared! I carry a backpack with all of my essentials and always keep it with me on the trip. Little things, like a flashlight, some Dramamine, or a pack of gum may make all the difference in a good travel day or a bad travel day!

google hangout logo #traveltalk @jentravelslife

Join in #TravelTalk here.

Can’t make it live Google+ Hangout video chat?  Check back here for the recorded YouTube episode.



#TravelTalk Google+ Hangout with @JenTravelsLife 8/27/13 2CT

travel talk google+ hangouts on-air live jen knoedl

Meet my special guests:

Alejandro Flores; Federal Regulatory Inspector for Aviation  @Alflo3000

Joseph Coureur  Travel Author  @RunningTheGlobe

Yana Nirshberg  Avid Traveler  @ParadigmNEXT


What do people ask you most related to travel? OR What gets you “fired up” about travel?

@Alflo3000 - People usually ask me what they can or can’t take on an aircraft or in checked luggage, but I can usually answer a lot of other questions.

@RunningTheGlobe - They mostly ask how I can afford it, but I actually travel pretty cheaply. Instead of decided where to go and finding deals, I find the deals and let those decide where I go.

Where is your DREAM TRAVEL DESTINATION? And why?

@Alflo3000 - I would love to travel back to Japan. Lovely place.

@RunningTheGlobe - The North Pole. Not many people have run marathons on all seven continents and the Pole.

Got an interesting TID-BIT, TIP or TRICK regarding travel?

@Alflo3000 - If you’ve seen one airport, you’ve seen ONE airport. All airports are built different, have different peak hours, and different types of personalities. The only consistent part of the equation is ME. Therefore, I plan every trip the same, plus or minus half an hour. Know the category of your airport.. The category should give you an idea of how busy the airport is. Plan accordingly.

@RunningTheGlobe - BookMyAward.com can find great business class awards. Tell them what points you have in which programs and they see if they can make it work.

google hangout logo #traveltalk @jentravelslife

Join in #TravelTalk here.

Can’t make it live Google+ Hangout video chat?  Check back here for the recorded YouTube episode.




PS:  Watch my first episode in the video below!

#TravelTalk Google+ Hangout with @JenTravelsLife 8/20/13 2CT

This week I finally launched the first episode of #TravelTalk, a weekly Google+ hangout with special guests and audience interaction.   True to beginning anything, my first special guest was not able to make the chat, leaving me to embark on my first episode alone.  So in the spirit of a true adventurer- I went for it.

I’m glad I did, because this first episode ends up giving some background on me, my love for travel and my upcoming travel plans to Guatemala to learn Spanish.  You’ll also find an interesting conversation about 2nd and 3rd generation Latinos who don’t speak Spanish but want to be a part of the trending Hispanic market.  (That’s me.)

Tune in every Tuesday and let me know what you want to talk about.  From here on out, I will have a variety of guests on the show.  Know someone who would be a great guest, sponsor or advertiser for an upcoming episode(s)? Email me here.

Circle me up on Google+ for #TravelTalk updates.  Tune in Tuesdays at 2pm CT.

travel talk video blogger host jen knoedl google+ hangout on-air

To be a guest on the show or to sponsor an episode(s), email me here.

Super Quick Travel Updo inspired by @VAAintheUSA @JenTravelsLife

When time, or humidity or travel means you are going to have a bad hair day… never fear.  Virgin Atlantic Airlines Beauty Team taught me a little trick the last time I saw them and I was able to (somewhat) re-create the magic on my own in a hotel bathroom.  You’re gonna need some fake hair and long bobby pins.

Hotel lobby bar, here I come!


Like them on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/virginatlantic

Tweet Virgin Atlantic Airlines at @Virgin_Atlantic  @VAAinthe USA

Tweet me at @JenTravelsLife

@Virgin_Atlantic @JenTravelsLife quick updo

@Virgin_Atlantic @JenTravelsLife quick updo

@Virgin_Atlantic @JenTravelsLife quick updo

@Virgin_Atlantic @JenTravelsLife quick updo

Elegance in Meats Deli in Northbrook, IL @JenTravelsLife @MonikaRydz #travel #Vlogger

On a road trip with my friend Monika, I used my iPhone to find a lunch spot that was quick, healthy and cheap.  Enter Elegance In Meats.  They got great reviews on Yelp and “deli” to me means coleslaw.  I like coleslaw these days… is that weird?

Address: 3135 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Illinois

Phone Number: (847) 480-6328


Like them on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elegance-In-Meats

Tweet me at @JenTravelsLife

Elegance in Meats jentravelslife deli

Elegance in Meats jen knoedl deli


@JenTravelsLife explores Indiana! #roadtrip #weekend


South Michigan and Indian are only a short drive from Chicago, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can slack on your travel arrangements.  Check out this road trip video series with Samson and Nourhy.

Magnuson Grand Hotel

Magnuson Grand Hotel @JenTravelsLife

Cambodian Thai


Cambodian Thai Restaurant @JenTravelsLife travel

Cafe Navarre


@CafeNavarreSB @JenTravelsLife restaurant


Like Cambodian Thai on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cambodian-Thai

Like Cafe Navarre on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cafe-Navarre-South-Bend

Like Magnuson Grand Hotel on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Magnusonsb

Tweet Cafe Navarre at @CafeNavarreSB

Tweet me at @JenTravelsLife

South Bend Indiana @JenTravelsLife

Summer in Chicago with @JenTravelsLife #ThingsToDo #Travel

You ever get people asking you the same question over and over again?

Like “Where did you get those shoes?” or “What’s the best place to go for pizza?” or “Why aren’t you married yet?”

Anyway- this is my list of top summer picks in Chicago.

gogobot hands #travel

Lakefront Path

Walking along the lake is one of my favorite places to take a visitor, regardless of the time of year. Great place to ride a bike, walk a dog, go for a jog or hold hands with your sweetie. There are endless photo opportunities with the peaceful and calming water that feels so far from (and yet so close to) downtown.

Millennium Park


Millennium Park is absolutely what make Chicago great. The vision that they had in creating so much public land near Lake Michigan was brilliant. Even if you’d outlive in the city all the CTA converges at millennium Park so you can get in and out with no fuss. It is an absolute must-do regardless of the time of year.

The Signature Room at the 95th


Sure it’s in the top of every Chicago tourist’s list but there’s good reason. The view from the 95th floor of the Hancock Building is truly exceptional any time of day. If you time it correctly, you can even watch Navy Pier’s weekly fireworks show while you wine and dine. Locals know some of the best photo opps are in the women’s washroom. An absolute “must do” in Chicago!

Ravinia Festival


Clarence Buckingham Fountain


When you are in the Millenium Park area, Buckingham Fountain is a “Must Do”, especially in summer. It’s a gorgeous backdrop for pictures and was in the opening scene of “Married with Children”, the 80′s sitcom.

Wrigley Field  Wrigley Field travel


I was not a fan of the Cubs or beer until I went to Wrigley Field. I hope this place never changes. I know that there are efforts to upgrade but it is so cool just the way it is. I will say yes to a game at Wrigley Field even if I don’t know who’s playing. For some reason a hotdog tastes better when six people had to pass it to you.



Great spot for low-key lounging with friends or on a date. Located in the heart of River North, if you can snag a patio table, you’ll be in people-watching heaven. Can’t go wring with a pizza and house wine.

Mario’s Italian Lemonade

Grant Park



Oak Street Beach

Wendella Sightseeing Boats


Chicago Segway Tour


Macy’s State Street


Lincoln Park Zoo


I love that the Lincoln Park Zoo is always free and open year-round. And they are trying to do good by the animals in the zoo yet somehow I found the experience kind of sad.

Chicago Cultural Center


Jay Pritzker Pavilion

Garrett Popcorn


Garrett Popcorn brand needs no introduction. Yes, it IS as good as they say and they lines can be a bear at certain locations and certain times. There really is no one that does a better Chicago Mix of Cheddar and Caramel flavors.

Tavern On Rush – Steakhouse


When I decide to show someone the “Viagra Triangle” this is usually the spot that we spend the most time. There’s always an excited and eclectic crowd drinking martinis and feasting on fresh seafood appetizers and steak dinners.

Piccolo Sogno


I dated a guy that took me here a few times and that might be part of the reason I kept dating him. The food and service are top notch and though it’s not cheap, it’s not quite as high as some of Chicago’s other stellar restaurants. Everything on the menu is amazeballs.

If you can score a table on the deck- you won’t be disappointed. The trees, the laughter, the wine… Just make sure you don’t mistake your love for the venue as love for your date. :)

PERFECT date night venue.

Devon Avenue

If you love Indian food, this is THE area to be! It’s like a whole other world of culture in this neighborhood. Make a day trip of getting a henna tattoo, shopping and, of course, eating.



Founded in 1983, Chinatown is a fantastic example of a culturally progressive neighborhood. Though people from all over the world visit- the locals manage to keep the energy, and vitality of the Asian culture alive with no apologies. A walk through Chinatown can be an educational history lesson on the customs of the Chinese American community.

Michigan Avenue Bridge

I love all the bridges in Chicago because they merge beauty, photo opps and function all in one. If you see people trying to take a picture and you’re not in a hurry- offer to take it. It’s what a local would do.

Shoreline Water Taxi


Vertigo Sky Lounge


Beautiful venue and beautiful people. Atop the Dana Hotel, Vertigo boasts spectacular views and pricier-than-average cocktails. If the weather is nice- the outside deck is is a little slice of magic.

ROOF on theWit


Another great spot to appreciate views of Chicago. Be prepared for a long line on the weekends while “VIP”s sweep past. The cocktails are beautiful, as is the crowd, but I’d bring my own company anyway.



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