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How to survive an earthquake? Take with you these 4 apps

Those who live in Chile, Mexico or Japan know that an earthquake is likely to happen, but the truth is that there are earthquakes everyday around the world and once per year there is a great earthquake somewhere, according to IRIS geological research. With this frequency it is always useful to be informed about what is happening around us, see how to protect ourselves from an earthquake, how to check if our loved ones are safe during an earthquake and how to help them if necessary.

To do so there are plenty of apps that are great tools to survive an earthquake. We have tested many of them and we have shortlisted the best ones to use when a natural disaster happens.

GET INFORMED

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One of the most reliable sources to know if an earthquake is happening near us, in the case we have not felt anything yet, is the app

EC Report. It is a comprehensible news feed with information of all the earthquakes happening in the world from different reporting agencies and it is supported by the non-profit organization SOS Earthquake.  

Experts can predict times of more common earth movements, however they usually shake suddenly.  One of the advantages of being notified with EC Report is that it informs users about where exactly the event is happening, what magnitude it is and how to be ready for the replicas that follow the earthquake, which can be devastating.

EC Report works as a news feed for earthquakes around the world, including those that occur in remote islands and allows us to geolocate to have information about the area in which we are. It also displays useful news such as escape routes from the city, state of roads, water or electricity supply.

Users can notify when a seismic event is happening using the button ‘I felt it ‘. It is free and available for iOS and Android and has a desktop version.

LOCATE YOUR LOVED ONES IN REAL TIME

One of the biggest concerns we have when we are immersed in a natural disaster like an earthquake is to know if our family, close friends and colleagues are safe. For this reason the best solution is to have a real time geolocation application such as Wave Application.

Wave enables users to share their location in real time with their loved ones on a private map, so they can stay connected at any time and know where the others are. In addition to sending the position it is possible to set a meeting point on the map that is visible to all, get the estimated distance to there and the estimated time of arrival (ETA). We can also select any of the users and see how to reach him/her and how long it would take us to get there.

On Wave we can select a session for a limited period on time such as 15 minutes or choose the unlimited waves that runs until we stop them, this last one is the perfect tool to use during an earthquake.

GET PREPARED

Those of us who live in an area with a long tradition of seismic movements such as Central America or Southeast Asia are more aware than anyone that it is necessary to know how to act after such a scary event that can leave us in shock. That is why SAS Survival Guide app is one of the must-have apps that we should have installed if we live or travel to areas with earthquakes.

This guide presents in a simple and practical way tips to get ready for a natural disaster, giving us the experience that elite training techniques of Britain’s toughest fighting force have. It is a great way to be calm if something happens as we are ready to deal with it.

Once the event occur, the application displays a list of tips that reply our most frequent questions such as where to take shelter? Is it better to be under a lintel of a door or under a table? Do we stay at home or do we go out on the street? All of them are answered by earthquake geologists and emergency experts.

For the more adventurous ones, besides instructing us it has a quiz to see how much knowledge we have learned. It is free and available for Android and iOS.

RELY ON YOUR NEIGHBOUR

If something has happened near us, our neighbor would also have felt it and is the closest person we have to help us. Next Door is a social network app designed to be used in small communities and neighborhoods as a way to interact with neighbors, discuss local issues, talk with them, put ads on the virtual bulletin board and be on hand in case someone needs it.

This app was born as a way to help neighbors in their daily routine, however, it soon proved to be a powerful security tool. As the Daily Mail newspaper points out, a family in Houston, Texas, used Next Door app to ask their neighbors for help over the Hurricane Harvey and one of them came to rescue them in a canoe.

The application is now available in the US and it is expanding its service throughout the world. It is free and available for iOS and Android.

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What kind of traveler are you? 4 types of travelers and best itineraries for each

Most of us have heard different stories and experiences about the same city when we talk about traveling. We are different people with different tastes and requirements when it comes to organizing a trip. Making a travel itinerary is not easy, so we have prepared a travel itinerary for each of the 4 main types of travelers: the cultural, the party lover, the athlete and the food lover.

Since a group of friends usually consists of different types of travellers, Wave Application is a great solution to travel in group, enabling friends to split and come back together at any time. It displays a private map locating each friend in real time in which is possible to set a meeting point, to see the estimated time of arrival. It also has a chat to type, speak and send images. It’s free and available for iOS and Android.

GASTRONOMIC TRAVELER

There is a type of traveler who chooses his his destination based on the food preferences. It is the one who looks at Instagram photos of dishes instead of pictures of beaches and who has more than one food related app on his smartphone. If you identify yourself with this short description, you are a gastronomic traveler.

To begin with, it is advisable to look at a map of cuisines of the world and get an idea of what can be found. One very interesting website is Oup Blog, which offers a compendium of foods and dishes from each country, typical appetizers and desserts.

Once we have selected some places to go, it is good to know what to eat in the city we have chosen. To do that there are apps like TripAdvisor, which has the opinion of millions of users throughout the world. It filters the restaurants by cuisine, location, price and more options. It is free for iOS and Android.

Another app that we love when we prefer to stay in our Airbnb room and ask for food is Munchery, a food ordering app that only offers healthy dishes, with nutritional information of each dish.  In addition, it enables users to schedule orders for each day of the week and make a perfect healthy calendar.

OUTDOOR ENTHUSIAST TRAVEL ITINERAY PLAN

We all have a friend who takes the travel photos from above, usually from a mountain, captures clouds and sunsets in them and always keeps the mountain boots in the backpack.

The nature traveler is the one who always wears a raincoat for when a monsoon falls on a volcano in Indonesia or who knows the best bike tour to travel Europe.

Fist of all we can dive in specialized listings of destinies depending on the activity we would like to do. This post lists the best ski resorts to go this year and this one the best beaches to surf in the world. or divers, we have found very interesting the app DiveMate that offers information on many grottos and caves around the world. It is great for seabed experts and it is available for iOS and Android for free.

For hikers we recommend the website Hiking Project, which has a database of 106.000 miles of trail to hike all over the world with information about peaks, weather forecast and tips from other hikers.

CULTURAL TRAVELER 

The cultural traveler has visited the Louvre, the temples of Kuala Lumpur, the world’s first train stations and the decorative arts museums of various cities around the world. These lovers of art and history enjoy seeing cities for what they were and what they can be and need an adequate travel itinerary.

To look for artistic references of any work it is great to have a look at Wiki Art, a website that features thousands of artworks with detailed explanations about them.

Those who travel with the interest of buying art can download the application of one of the most famous auction houses of the world, Sothebys, which announces all available pieces in their house with filters adapted to prices and personal tastes of the buyers.

PARTY TRAVELER

Finally, let’s talk about those who love talking to strangers, make friends at festivals or mingle with local people: Social and party travelers. One of the best apps to organize an itinerary for party travelers is Get Crowd App, an app that manages the calendar, events and contacts to have organized each day of the holidays.

For those who want to meet travel mates for party, we recommend Party With A Local, an app that connects travelers from all over the world with locals to live a wonderful night out.

Now you are all set. What type of traveler are you? Let us know in the comments below.

Best apps to boost your creativity for free

Being creative is a skill that can be enhanced if we know how to boost it. Although many of us think that it is an activity reserved for artists, creatives or designers, the truth is that being creative is suitable for everyone. It also has great benefits for our brains that can help us work better.

The are plenty of hacks to increase our creativity depending on the activity we are doing.  We might require some apps and tips to help us when we are developing a brainstorm and some different ones when we are getting stuck to reboot our brain. Let’s see at what stage we are and discover the best apps to boost creativity.

DO A GREAT BRAINSTORMING

To start organizing ideas, to draw new connections and conclusions, the best thing to do is brainstorming. It is a fun way to free the imagination by throwing ideas, joining them to others and seeing the concepts that are formed.

One of the best apps to try is Simple Mind, an intuitive dashboard in which users can spread their ideas, make connections on the tree diagrams, add notes, charts and reorganize them as many times as they want. It has a free version for iOS and Android, which is good enough for organizing a business day or a plan. It also has a professional paid version for companies that comes with more features.

Especially for academic areas, one of the most recommended apps is Popplet, available for free on iOS, that enables professors to organize several diagrams for different classes, add tags and print presentations from them.

BE CREATIVE IN ALL WORK TASKS

Challenging ourselves everyday while optimizing our work is simple. For example, if part of our work is building tables in excel, we should learn how to do dynamic tables, get basic notions of SQL and optimize our work. Or if we have to send a bunch of emails we could improve our performance by creating some templates and making lists on a CRM software. By doing this we forge new work methods with which to move faster and create new connections.

To optimize work users should first organize all their work tasks in a diagram to see which processes they can actually improve. To help with this, the app Udemy is an open course directory that offers online courses about several areas with explanations on how to improve certain tasks. For example, there are courses about how to code, how to define a framework, how to organize time at work or how to meditate, among others. It is available for free for iOS and for Android.

Another app of small courses is Course Guru, which boasts MIT and Harvard and other courses from reputed universities, all for free. In appearance courses are longer than in Udemy, so they are reserved to those users who have more time and desire to focus on a new knowledge. There is a wide variety of topics from music, to meditation, although we mainly find programming and finance. It is free and available for iOS and Android.

SEARCH FOR INSPIRATION

Searching for inspiration is an important part of the creative process and seeing other ideas definitely helps us to develop our own ideas. Depending on our job area, we can use generic apps such as Pinterest, a worldwide social network where people post their ideas for decoration, design, meditation, time management and much more. Be careful, it is so addictive. It is free for iOS and Android.

For designers, one of the greatest directories is Dribbble, an app with a desktop version that showcases the work of millions of web and graphic designers around the world. Opening an account requires an invitation from other member so it is reserved for people who are already in the design industry. It is free and available for iOS and Android.

Another interesting directory for designers is Behance. It works like Dribble but it is open to anyone. It is free and available for iOS and Android.

HAVE AN EMERGENCY EXIT FOR WHEN YOU GET STUCK

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When we get stuck at work or in our daily life we need to make a pause and refresh our mind. Studies show that the best way to work is to do intervals of 90 minutes followed by breaks of 20 minutes.

In these breaks we should do a different activity such as having a coffee with our workmates, checking our social media notifications or doing any other thing that relaxes us. However, there are also specific apps that introduce a bit of peace to our life. One of the best is Stop, Breathe & Think, an award winning app that has more than 3 millions of users. It displays a meditation routine, enables users to register how they feel at any moment and find motivating tips every day. It is free and available for iOS and Android.

In addition to meditating, other researchers agree that listening to music is beneficial to reset our mind. Among the music applications we find fascinating large directories with artists from around the world such as Spotify, SoundCloud or YouTube, all of them free and available for iOS and Android.

However, we also love to create music by ourselves.There  are several fun apps valid for experts and amateurs in music such as Figure, an app in which users can compose a song by choosing chords and musical instruments. It is available and free for iOS.
Another nice app is Magic Piano, that provides a virtual piano and the possibility to create melodies while it teaches us how to to play it. This one is a simple and relaxing app, available for free for ios and android.

How to take care of a long distance friendship

When we are abroad or in a new city our friends become our family. We may be doing an Erasmus scholarship or working in a new city. In all cases, we end up having a wide collection of memories with different groups of friends that have helped us live a memorable time. However, in most cases our relation with them becomes a long distance friendship.

All we want to do is to keep our friends from abroad but it is difficult. As time goes by, tasks of adult life occupy our time with work, social commitments, family and the friends we have in town. So, how do we keep our long distance friends?

Recent studies and opinions from writers all over the world say that maintaining a friendship in the distance is a complicated task but a very rewarding one. We only need to take a little time, have the appropriate digital tools and follow these 5 steps to make the friendship a lasting blessing.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF APPS

Fortunately, we live in a time when social applications help us to be connected with those we love, even miles away and be part of our friends’ lives. Among the most innovative tips that the youtuber Soundly Awake talks about are the video video chat apps. There are plenty of them such as Facetime, Skype, Hangouts or Whatsapp.  Snapchat deserves special mention for the amount of funny filters with which to hold a conversation by video call and make it an even funnier experience.

Sometimes it is not convenient to set a date to make a video call, however, and we find it difficult to find a moment to sit on the sofa at home or relax in a cafe and catch up with those friends who live far away.

In those cases it is easy to have a good messaging application with full functionalities on hand to talk on the way home, on the subway or anywhere without having to organize a time for it.

VR FOR MAKING IT MORE REAL

Technology evolves making a lot more real to have those virtual encounters. There are many Virtual Reality games that build a virtual world where it is possible to interact with friends separated by seas and oceans. Among them we can try Alt Space VR, a virtual world in which to create an avatar and live different adventures with friends and even invite other unknown players.

Nathan Grayson’s chronicle tells how, in different scenarios such as labyrinths or places in the American West, he connected again with his girlfriend who lives in another city and made new friends along the way. The aim is not only playing a game but recreating with the avatar the behaviour we usually have, chat and act in the same way we usually do, so our friends connect with us emotionally.

MEET THEM IN NEW EVENTS – REMEMBER THAT FESTIVAL YOU SHARED?

It is probable that a good part of the memories we have with friends that live far away have to do with common hobbies that we had when we lived nearby. It could be going to see football, ice skating, marathon solidarity or music festivals.

Meeting your friends in one of those events is one of the best ways to instantly revive the good times, jokes and attitudes you used to have with them. To facilitate the meetings, we use Wave Application, an app that enables two friends or a group to share their live location in real time on a private map. It is a fun, creative way to find each other in a festival while spotting each other moving in real time, chatting and getting to the meeting point. Wave is free and it works in all devices.

DO THINGS AT THE SAME TIME

A Reddit forum has found that doing things simultaneously with friends in the distance is one of the best ways to connect with them, beyond the weekly or monthly checkup of how life is going. To do this, we can choose a movie that interests us and view it at the same time with our friends on Letsgaze or Rabb.it web.

Gamers recognize that to spend good times play online challenging games and that this is the best way to get together with others and have a good time. It can be Minecraft, World of Warcraft or the Sims, but the thing is to spend hours playing with long distance friends.

GO TO VISIT!

It may take 5 or 10 years since we do not see some of our friends in the distance but as the youtuber Lindee LinkMusic points out, when two friends meet again it seems that nothing has changed. This is true when the relation is maintained by social networks, letters, events, online games, etc.

If friends continue to connect, it is okay to get reacquainted from time to time and feel like they were living in the same city. If we take a long trip we can choose the stopover in Toronto and take the opportunity to see a friend, go directly to see the friend in Spain or stay halfway, say in Singapur. The important thing is to take a weekend to live adventures as we did before. Take advantage of these tips to plan an affordable getaway.

Best apps for navigating in the city in 2018

When we are in a traffic jam we often open Google Maps or Sygic or Waze to see the traffic in real time and save a few minutes by taking a new, clearer path. When we travel to a new city we no longer go to the tourist office for a map but open our favorite GPS navigator app and find the ‘duomo’ at first sight. We are expert users. That’s why navigation apps no longer seduce us with words like real time or precision. The future should offer us more. Therefore we have shortlisted what news we can find now in the world of mapping to find friends, avoid traffic and locate anything we want for you.

1. ORDER AHEAD WHILE DRIVING

Some navigation apps strive not only to optimize the routes but to offer a complete experience for the users while they travel or commute such as having the possibility to see and compare petrol prices in the nearest gas stations, to find free parking spaces, to avoid accidents or to see the state of traffic.

All this useful information makes our daily travel more bearable, but if we could also use that time for personal benefits such as ordering food, that would be great. That is what somebody thought at Waze app, which has recently made an agreement with Dunkin Donuts to allow us purchasing coffee and doughnuts directly from Waze while we use it to drive to work. That means when we arrive to the store our order is ready to pick up.

This integration may be a faster way than simply using the breakfast brand’s own app. Presumably, we believe that it will use the ETA (estimated time of arrival) of the route we have chosen and notify the nearest store when we will arrive. Or so they should.

“It could be almost anything that a driver could order ahead and have ready for pick up,” said to Associated Press Jordan Grossman, head of Waze’s partnerships in North America. According to a Dunkin Donuts representative, the agreement made sense because both services are related to the time of the commuting, people drive to work and pick up a coffee and a doughnut on the way to the office.

2)  VR TO NAVIGATE IN A CITY

Walking in the city with a navigation app to meet friends, to find the new sports centre, to go to a grocery shop or just to walk around without getting lost are some of our daily activities. What could be more interesting than adding to them a bit of virtual reality? We are not suggesting anybody to go hunting Pokemons like crazy in the streets, again, but to find useful information on the way.

By viewing the city through the camera of the smartphone, the app Blippar draws lines on the ground with arrows that tell us which street to take to arrive to our destiny. It also shows floating titles over the monuments and shops and places useful information of the city around marked spots. It is a completely new way of exploring a city and having interesting information beautifully placed around. The possibilities are as novel as the technology Blippar uses, which replaces the GPS with a system of Urban Visual Positioning System.

“The accuracy of Urban Visual Positioning can take location-based AR to new levels of engagement, for example virtual departure boards in front of train stations, interactive guides in front of famous landmarks, or even a virtual menu hanging on the wall of a restaurant”, said the company in its website. The apps is still a beta version but it will be released soon

3) MORE WAYS OF TRANSPORT

Here is one of the most used navigation apps that was created by Nokia years ago and now has millions of users around the world. Its new alliance with Hyperloop will place its technology to their native app Virgin Hyperloop One. This app will soon include Hyperloop routes in its repertoire of transport options. As we know, Hyperloop is still a transportation prototype that is expected to reach 1200 kilometers or 700 mph per hour, but there is still no train built and running. So, why then is there an app that includes it?

According to the company, Hyperloop wants to start showing to the world what the trip will be like and prepare the navigation technology for it. It will not only be a navigation app but will also serve other services such as booking a trip or even booking a car with the integration of the Lyft transport app.

“Hyperloop is not just about A to B, it’s an end-to-end passenger experience,  that means no waiting at any point along the journey,” said in a statements Matt Jones, Virgin Hyperloop One’s SVP of Software Engineering. He also added: “Here shares our vision for optimizing travel. We will redefine the passenger experience by offering real time, on demand travel connecting hyperloop, other modes, and even indoor walking directions.”

We might wonder if Here will also integrate this experience in their app in the future. Stay tuned for it!

4) FIND YOUR FRIENDS AND THE PLACE TO GO AT THE SAME TIME

One of the most basic needs we have is to find people. When we try to find a physical store, it does not present so much challenges because it does not change its emplacement. However, people are in constant movement and it is difficult to find them in crowded places such as in city centers, bars, shopping areas or parks. That’s why the Wave Application app it is a great tool to find friends by sharing live locations on a private map in real time.

In Wave, group maps represent a new level of interaction between friends or relatives, because of the possibility of placing a meeting point on the map visible for all group members. In this way, when we are meeting our friends at a restaurant on Fridays we can see who is there if we are late, how long it takes us to arrive there using ETA, who is still at work and whether our friends have decided to go to other place. Wave also has a complete chat and millions of users worldwide.  

“There are no barriers for real time location services anymore, so our biggest challenge is to become an indispensable tool in all the smartphones users. That is why we are continuously developing new features to complete the user experience and applying H2H marketing approaches to better understand what our users need and do our best to give them those solutions” said Manuel de la Esperanza, CEO of Wave Application, in a statement.

What do you think of these options? For more information, stay tuned and discover the new features in the navigation and geolocation systems.

Why celebrities love agritourism and what’s in it for you

Many of us think that going to a far for agritourism on holidays is an experience reserved to young travelers that seek to pay the trip of their dreams by picking kiwis in New Zealand or collecting grapes in southern France. However, agritourism is not a remunerated work, it is a form of vacations that more and more celebrities do to be in contact with the earth, literally. Here is why you should do this experience that will make you one of the best in your life.

What is agritourism? It is a different way of spending holidays by taking part of rural jobs in farms to help in the garden, in the collection of plants and mushrooms, in the care of animals or in the production of foods such as honey, jams, sauces, preserves or wine.

The benefits of spending a few days in the field are incredible, most users in forums say that it has reduced their stress of everyday life, the city, traffic jams and noise and has connected them with the environment. Due to increased demand more and more farms around the world offer agritourism accommodation.

The trend has also reached the celebrities, who look forward to disconnecting from the media focuses and going back to the roots. Some of them have even acquired their own farm, like Russell Crowe, who owns a horse farm in New South Wales. It may seem that the stars live among cushions, but nature is an opportunity to relax that also other celebrities like Julia Roberts take advantage of at her farm in Taos to feed her pigs and cows.

Agritourism can be very accessible for any traveler. Visitors stay in traditional farmhouses, eat the local food collected in the garden or produced in the region and dedicate several hours of the day to help in the daily work. Tasks vary greatly depending on the area chosen and the level of work they want to do. Let’s have a view of some of them:

For example, choosing a vineyard in the Italian Tuscany may be a good idea to stay in an old farmhouse overlooking the wine fields and smelling the fruity scent before getting involved in one of the production activities. It could be collecting the grapes, stepping on them to make the pasta with which the wine is made, or participating in its bottling in the large wooden barrels in which it ferments and picks up those characteristic flavors of fruit and wood. The lucky ones can end the experience with a wine tasting to learn how to differentiate the nuances of the wine.

Other popular agritourism excursions include courses to learn how to identify raw materials such as mushrooms, chestnuts and berries, see when they are ready to pick them up, when they can be eaten and how to prepare them in the best way. What about making honey or  jam and enjoy one of the best breakfasts in the world? Food lovers will enjoy their future trips having that knowledge learned!

Although the agritourism is mostly related to enjoy local and ecological food, in fact there are emplacements for all type of activities like the production of essential oils, the treatment of flowers and grass to make creams and relaxing ointments or the production of perfumes. Can you imagine making your own bath kit with lavender that you have collected yourself?

Possibilities are endless but don´t worry, not all of them require people waking up at down to feed cows, unless you want to. The objective is to learn about how to work in the field in a sustainable way. The best part is that you can go alone or travel with your friends and family and take advantage of an astonishing outdoor experience.

Where to do Agritourism in the world

Practically in every country in the world you can do agrotourism, since it is a practice that is becoming a trend and that also helps rural communities to introduce the benefits of tourism without transforming their traditional essence.

However, according to Brad Tuttle, editor of the magazine Budget Travel and expert in agritourism, the best destinations vary according to the season of the year.

In spring he recommends farms in the European part of the Mediterranean Sea, with places in Greece, Italy and Spain, as well as Croatia, Montenegro or Bosnia. The most typical places include vineyards, agricultural farms and care of small lambs and goats.

In summer he recommends traveling through the western center of the United States, in states such as Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The most common type of agritourism is in corn plantations and tomato production with which tourists can have the chance to eat what it is produced there. If you want to know more take a look at this fabulous directory with more than 700 farms in the United States to choose your next vacation in nature.

In the fall Tuttle suggests traveling to California to work in the local vineyards and taste the sweet and dry wine of the region. We add to his list the magnificent farms of India, in which, according to travelers’ forums, it is possible to immerse in all the tasks of the farm with the family, such as going shopping and selling at the markets.

Finally, in winter Tuttle says he’d go to one of the thousands of vast farms in Australia or New Zealand, and enjoy the fruit, corn, animals and the bright sun.

If you want to have a look globally, dive to this super directory with farms all over the world and share your experience with us!

Top world’s resorts to ski this winter

We all know that skiing or snowboarding is not exactly cheap but since some of us practice it once or twice a year, we shouldn’t’ miss the chance to go to a resort with long slopes, powder snow, good weather conditions and enough capacity to avoid long queues at the chair lift. 

Not everyone has the same level of skiing, so when we ski in group it’s normal to split for a few hours. The problem comes when we start to feel hungry and can’t find the others to eat together. To make easier lunches and beers on the slopes, we use Wave Let’s Meet App, a free app that enables two or more people to share their location in real time on the same private map.

Wave is so precise that we can follow our friends going down the slopes, but that’s not all: Wave also has great features such as setting a meeting point and calculating the estimated time of arrival. Wave also has a super fast, complete chat to type, share pics and send audios.

To help you decide where to go, look at the list of the best ski resorts in the world and the cheapest and the top quality ski destinations in the world:

EUROPE

In Europe there are several key areas for skiing, starting with the Swiss, French, Italian and Austrian Alps and following the French and Spanish Pyrenees and the north of Spain. In the east we also find several good tracks in the mountains of Georgia although they are less popular.

What we like most about skiing in the Alps is that it has powder snow almost all year round and it is surrounded by charming and cute small towns.

THE ALPS

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BEST-IN-CLASS SKI RESORT IN THE ALPS

One of the most reputed ski resorts is Zermatt in Switzerland. It is a very complete resort with 322 km of slopes for all levels, almost half of them are for intermediates. It also has tracks in the forest for spectacular views during the race and glacier slopes.

Given its high altitude, more than 3000 meters, it offers lift passes throughout the year, although it is at risk of bad weather and storms every few weeks. Like all renowned resorts, the facilities offered are memorable, with a large number of restaurants, accommodation and entertainment for skiers.

How to get there: The closest airports are in Zurich and Geneva.

Price: One day ski pass costs from 90 dollars.

BUDGET SKI RESORT IN THE ALPS

The long mountain range of the Alps offers very good seasons at very low prices in France, Austria and Italy. One of the best rated for the cheap ones is Livigno, placed in the Valtellina mountains of Italy. It is a wonderful and well-known resort for skiers and snowboarders of the world, with wide and well groomed tracks. Most of them are dedicated to intermediate levels Its views from the chair lifts don’t  have to envy to those of Zermatt.

How to get there: The nearest airport is in Milan.

Price: It costs one day from 50 dollars.

THE PYRENEES

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BEST-IN-CLASS SKI RESORT IN THE PYRINEES

Grandvalira in Andorra is a resort of 210 km of slopes with almost 100 km suitable for beginners. It is a very complete option to go skiing in a group with people of different levels, since it has several styles like alpine skiing, ski mountaineering and a wonderful snow park to do all kinds of jumps. The resort is close to the restoration and accommodation areas, as well as to the typical tax-free shopping area of Andorra.

How to get there: Andorra, Barcelona and Zaragoza airports are the closest.

Price: One day from 53 dollars.

BUDGET SKI RESORT IN THE PYRINEES

A very good and cheaper option for skiing in the Pyrenees is the Formigal ski resort in Spain. It has 137 kilometers of slopes of all levels, with very steep black ones and freeride areas in the mountains. It is a very lively resort also for a drink after skiing and offers all kinds of amenities and good food.

How to get there: Zaragoza and Barcelona airports are the closest.

Price: One day from 48 dollars.

NORTH AMERICA

North of America is a skier’s paradise in winter, with its high mountains outlined in snow for several months a year and a spectacular sun. Experts say that resorts In North America are the best managed and planned in the world although they are typically more expensive. Here we list the best rated in the continent:

CANADIAN ROCKIES

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BEST-IN-CLASS SKI RESORT IN CANADA

Whistler in British Columbia is the largest station in North America and connects three stations with chair lifts that form an extension of 200 km of slopes. One of the best viewpoints in the world is here, on the lift that connects the Peak Mountains.

On average, there are 12 meters of powder snow every year to enjoy skiing at all levels. Most of its slopes are intermediate although it has an astonishing 50 km of black slopes for professional skiers and several bowls with powder snow perfect for jumping.

After the renovation of last year in which new carpets for children were incorporated and 3 green slopes were renovated, it became a very friendly station for those who are beginners.

How to get there: Vancouver airport is the closest.

Price: One day starts from 120 dollars.

BUDGET SKI RESORT IN CANADA

The Revelstoke ski area, also in British Columbia, offers a more reasonable price with the joy of being the highest ski resort in America with 1713 meters of height. It is a small but very complete station with 55 km of groomed slopes of all difficulties and several areas adapted to other variants such as the Heliski and forest tracks. It also counts with a magnificent snowpark.

How to get there: Vancouver airport is the closest.

Price: One day starts from 80 dollars.

COLORADO

Aspen slo resort

BEST-IN-CLASS SKI RESORT IN COLORADO

Aspen Snowmass, in Colorado, is the most reputed station in America and the most sophisticated one. It consists of 237 km of slopes divided into 4 separate resorts with a shuttle that joins them and that are suitable for all levels.

In Aspen you can spend the whole day skiing and still feel that you don’t know the resort, given the great variety of marked trails, the ways in the middle of the forest, the highway areas and the powder snow areas, perfect for the most daring.

It is accessible to all types of skiers, which makes it good for a family destination. There is free shuttle to other parts of the resort and a free gondola between the top of the mountain and the picturesque city.

How to get there: Aspen airport is the closest but sometimes is closed due to the weather so it is recommendable to go to Denver airport.

Price: One day starts from 170 dollars.

BUDGET SKI RESORT IN COLORADO

Wolf Creek Ski Area in Colorado is known because its 100 km of slopes are extremely difficult. This makes it a paradise for the most veteran skiers. Its price is also attractive, since it stands at less than 100 dollars a day.

How to get there: Albuquerque is the closest airport, although it is more than 200km away.

Price: One day starts from 70 dollars.

MONTANA

Big Sky Resort

BEST-IN-CLASS SKI RESORT IN MONTANA

Big Sky Resort is one of the most difficult areas for skiing in the world, with 250 km of slopes among which 126 are black. To the difficulty of its trails is added a variety of incredible landscapes surrounded by forests and large slopes that make it one of the wonders of the country. What we also like is the small queues to go uphill, because of its large number of ski lifts around the 4 mountains where is placed the resort.

How to get there: Yellowstone airport is the closest airport.

Price: One day starts from 135 dollars.

BUDGET SKI RESORT IN MONTANA

Bridger Bowl in Montana offers a high altitude ski resort with powder snow that compensates its small size: it has 71 kilometers of its ski and snowboard slopes.

It is a very suitable resort in which we will not see long lines to take the chair lift, we will enjoy plenty of space to practice, especially if we are beginners and above all we will save a lot of money. For accomodation and facilities, visitors need to go to the neighbor city Bozeman, where they can also find a vibrant nightlife.

To get there: Yellowstone airport is the closest airport.

Price: One day starts from 60 dollars.

ASIA

NORTHEAST ASIA

japan SKI RESORT Nozawa Onsen

It is a spectacularly beautiful area for skiing in the months of December to March over Korea, Japan and China. In Asia we find smaller stations than in Europe or in North America, although the views and the amenities are well worth it for a skiing holiday.

BEST-IN-CLASS SKI RESORT IN ASIA

Rusutsu, in Japan, is a resort that draws attention for the great contrast between the mountains and the vast planes that make up an incredible landscape in which its 42 km of slopes seem even larger. It is one of the areas with the highest concentration of powder snow in Asia and skiing and snowboarding here is a wonder. This resort offers spaces for other sports such as dog sledding, snow rafting and horseback riding.

To get there: Tokyo airport is the closest one.

Price: One day starts from 48 dollars.

BUDGET SKI RESORT IN ASIA

Nozawa Onsen in Japan is one of the first on the list of all ski portals due to the provision of its 44 km of slopes, very accessible and well distributed to enjoy the mountain. Practically the entire resort is dedicated to beginners with easy and intermediate tracks, carpets and esplanades for children. The black slopes, however, offer steep slopes with dry snow that hinder the movements of skiers.

To get there: Tokyo airport is the closest one.

Price: One day starts from 40 dollars.

How you will move around in your city in 2018: Smart cities

Millions of people struggle every day to reach their workplaces and study areas in cities in where pollution and long commutes are decreasing the quality of life of the inhabitants.

Smart cities want to solve some of the most common problems that plague the big cities, but what are they? We list here some of the main concerns: pollution, traffic congestion, poor light efficiency and lack of safety for pedestrian roads.

Pollution is a global concern that is damaging the health of the population and speeding up the climate change. According to WHO it is a serious global health risk that is responsible for premature deaths and respiratory problems, especially in the most polluted cities in the world in Nigeria, Pakistan and South Arabia.cityscape-2394753_1920

It is worth to mention the quantity of vehicules circulating in massive cities. Just in Mexico City, the most congested city in the world, there are 5 million of vehicles and there are 30 millions of car trips everyday. In Jakarta 2000 new motorbikes join the circulation every day, according to a recent study by Citymetric.

In Europe Bucharest is the most congested city and a recent study of Tomtom estimated that roughly every driver spends 128 hours of extra time driving per year. Other very congested city is London, that over the past decade has taken a series of measures to reduce traffic. Those go from expanding the public transport network and bike lanes, to taxing the most polluting vehicles and cutting the city center completely to traffic.

Technologies for Smart cities in 2018 and beyond

To address these problems, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are basically collecting data from pedestrian walks and vehicles roads to better understand how people travel around the city and how to manage their flow better. There are complex devices that estimate how many people move around certain areas and at what time, as well as surveillance and sensors that do the same in roads.

There are various ways to determine the flow of people though, for example London Subway uses Wi-Fi pings to learn how passengers travel.

Citizens can also take advantage of real time location systems. For navigation, apps like Waze gather traffic in order to estimate if there is a traffic jam or an obstacle on the road.

People walking or driving to meet their friends in the crowd can also use location services in real time like Wave Application, a free app that facilitates the meetings by enabling two or more people to share their live location on a private map with their contacts.

Once cities have started to comprehend how their citizens move around the city, it is time to implement changes and improve their quality of life. These are the ones that can be visible in the smart cities of 2018:

Find a pak spot

tesla 3

Studies show that finding a park spot raises the congestion. To help people park their cars Palo Alto city developed floor sensors that warned via an app users when a parking spot is available. Now the city is expanding its use over the city.

As cities are introducing timidly electric and gas cars the question on how to distribute the charge stations around the city arises. Would they been in malls, as they plan to be in Madrid or in private parkings as the Hong Kong Baptist University suggests? Well, it really depends on the city as smart technologies are very adaptable. 

Light the city

The light consumption of the cities can be more efficient and better distributed thanks to the ICT information to determine when and where it is better to turn a light on or off. Thus, in areas with more traffic or with greater incidence of crime, the application could alter the brightness of the streetlights. In 2018 several cities around the world will use this system, like Wellington in New Zealand.

Safety of Pedestrians

The safety of pedestrians is another measure that we can begin to notice in Columbus, Ohio, that will implement an efficient crossing system in one of its streets. In Dubai we will see a passenger counter in one of its crossings to reduce the waiting time of the traffic light if there is a crowd. On the other hand, we will see new crosses adapted to people with less vision, thanks to a system of lights and signals in New York.

Reduce waste of water

The parks and forests of the cities are necessary for everyone’s health. Increasing their extension could be feasible if the consumption of irrigation water is reduced. To do this, cities such as Barcelona are implementing humidity sensors in urban parks that will determine how much water is actually needed to irrigate the parks.

As you can notice, smart cities are not only electric cars or Wifi Spots. The possibilities are endless and the New Year is bringing us amazing technologies to improve our daily life. What is your city doing to be smarter in 2018? Drop us a line!