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Giving yourself the gift of technology

Mar 24, 2014 @ 8:39 am

By Sheryl Rowling

I did something crazy this weekend: I went to London to see a play. What makes this even more crazy is that:

*It's tax season.

*I planned the trip less than 3 weeks ago.

*I live in San Diego.

You see, my favorite musical, We Will Rock You, is closing in London after a 12-year run. (There's still an opportunity to see the U.S. tour through this summer.) I just couldn't bear to not see it one last time. So, at 1:00 am after a late night at work, I started playing "what if" on my iPad.

Within an hour, I had booked a pair of round trip flights for my husband and myself, using only 20,000 miles each way! I purchased primo tickets to the play and reserved a room at the St. Pancras Renaissance using my Marriott points.

Was it serendipity that I could do all of this so easily at the spur of the moment?

We left Thursday morning. I slept on the way to New York and worked while flying to London. How amazing to have wifi over the Atlantic! I was even able to email the hotel to request a very early check-in.

My iPhone was set for international use and my small overnight bag contained my iPad. These two tools enabled my trip during this busy time of year. Phone calls and cellular data were used sparingly because of the cost. (Of course I would not hesitate using if it was necessary.) For the most part, I wrote emails on my iPad at night using the hotel's free wifi. The rest of the time, I used my phone - taking advantage of free wifi that was available almost everywhere, including the Heathrow Express train and restaurants.

My iPhone also came in handy as a tour guide. Since there was little time to plan, I downloaded the TripAdvisor app and was able to quickly organize our itinerary as well as make high tea reservations online.

The whirlwind weekend is over. I have to admit that it was a blast doing something so irresponsible! Technology gave me this gift, enabling me to:

*Reserve our flights

*Reserve our hotel

*Buy play tickets

*Keep up with my work

*Be responsive to my clients' emails

*Access a virtual tour guide

*Make reservations

*Check in for our flights

*And, of course, post photos to Facebook!

I will now retun to my normal, responsible self. April 15th is quickly approaching!

Sheryl Rowling is chief executive of Total Rebalance Expert and principal at Rowling & Associates. She considers herself a non-techie user of technology.

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