Getting out of town—for business or pleasure— is the best. But how you get to your destination and experience it once you arrive can make or break each and every trip. I haven’t tried all these service that let you travel like a VIP, but the ones I have tried are divine— it’s all about access to luxury without having a Tom-and-Gisele-sized wallet.
Sure, you could cab it to and from the airport—or take a chance on an unknown car service you Googled to find, but if you want guaranteed good service, reliability and a high-end experience when traveling by car to and from your destination, Blacklane is your best bet. Via their app or your web browser, the company connects passengers with licensed and insured drivers in more than 250 cities around the world. Simply plug in your pickup and drop off location to tap into a network of top-of-the-line vehicles and drivers where you can schedule a ride in seconds and get an on-the-spot—and honest—quote. (Hidden fees like tolls and gratuities all included.) It’s not just the ease of use that will make you feel like a VIP, it’s the five-star service.
Tried this at SXSW and was very impressed… it had that feeling that you used to get from Uber (but has quickly worn off), but with more attention to detail and service. Two jetlagged thumbs up.
One Fine Stay
Just because you want to live like a local on vacation (or on the road) doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality or service when it comes to your accommodations. One Fine Stay connects you with private homes and villas in more than 180 destinations around the world—everywhere from Portugal to Paris—complete with access to a 24/7 guest services team to help with any needs or issues that might come up during your stay. But that’s not all: Every single home has been personally vetted (as in visited and signed off on) by the company to ensure that it meets their exacting hospitality standards that make your travel experience one of a kind. Plus you can expect extra special touches like concierge service (lest you need an in-home massage or a restaurant rezzie) and hotel towel and sheets service.
Foodies with a preference for Michelin-starred meals take note: Velocity is a new app that helps you book a table at more than 1,100 gourmet restaurants in cities around the world ranging from LA to London. Sure, the most-talked about restaurants are all included (think Blue Hill in New York or Coya in London), but even more notable is the app’s ability to direct you toward under-the-radar finds, recommended based on your location, occasion and availability. Beyond just booking a table, you can actually pre-pay for your dinner via the app, saving you the awkwardness of flagging down your server and calculating your tip after a glass of wine (or three).
Commuter flights—say, between Northern and Southern California—don’t have to be hard. JetSuite X is a new semi-private air travel experience that makes it a cinch to skip the airport lines (and stress) without paying a zillion dollars to get off the ground. In fact, when you book a trip, you can go from parking to take off in 15 minutes or less. Not bad when you don’t feel like sacrificing a full day just to get from Burbank to Oakland. Planeside luggage drop-off, first-class style legroom and complimentary beverages and snacks are just a few of the perks included when you book with JetSuite X. It’s tough to put a price on convenience, but it’s so surprisingly affordable you don’t have to.
Tried this on a quick business trip to Berkeley, and was impressed. I’ve never flown private, but parking right outside the airplane hangar and stepping on-board felt pretty darn Kardashian.
And you thought the TSA Precheck line was good…
For the days you make it in record time to the airport only to be hit with a security line that wraps ‘round and ‘round, there’s Clear, a new service that, for just $15 a month, gives you access to a dedicated line at airport security where something as simple as an iris scan or finger tap whisks you through in record time. Currently available at over 30 airports nation-wide, you simply have to enroll online then verify your identity in person (at one of those same locations) in order to gain access to the fast lane. Then, that’s it—you’re set and can breeze through airport security without pause, no matter how many flights you take per month.
Any of this VIP-style services look like how you wanna roll? Let me know in the comments?