Memorial Day has come and gone, so how are your summer plans looking? If you’re dreaming of a summer trip, but the plans are not in place, we’ve got five travel websites and apps to help you imagine, plan and book your ideal summer vacation.
5. Start Social to Figure out Where You Want to Travel
There are tons of travel startups that are built around crowd-sourcing you’re trip, but Gogobot is actually building an engaged community of travelers we can get behind. Head to the site if you’re looking for inspiration. There you’ll find a list of trending destinations, with travel guides to each, as well as user recommendation from more than 5 million places around the world. Like Yelp and Foursquare, as a social network it can become addictive as users gain points for offering reviews, recommendations and other engagement. Users also have a passport, where they can keep track of all their trips and build credit for countries, cities and places they aim to go. The more you use, the more tailored your travel recommendations will become. Download the free app (for iPhone or Android) to have access to the network on the go, plus you can turn to your photos into professional-looking post cards.
4. Be Creative When You Book
Peter always advocates looking for alternate airports and creative routes to find the most affordable way to travel, especially during the high summer travel season. So how do you find those flights? Hipmunk has become a go-to office resource for buying plane (and train)tickets. What makes this search engine different is that it doesn’t just sort potential flights by price, time, duration, and number of stops. You can also sort flights by a combination of those factors–which you do by clicking the “agony” button. While a long layover (we’re talking 11-hours) might seem like agony to some, to us it’s an impromptu opportunity to check out a new country.
3. Find Activities
You’ve decided on where to go and found the best way to get there, now what are you going to do. That’s where Goby comes into play: it’s a GPS-tracking app and website that boasts 6 million things to do across the country. It’s an encyclopaedic range of fun activities that aggregates hyper-local content for activities and accommodations. You’re asked what (do you like to do), where (what US city do you want to do it in) and when, so that you can have access to concerts and other events.
2. See Something Weird on the Road
The key to a good summer vacation is not to just see the expected. Roadside America is all about finding the weird, bizarre and outrageous. First a book, now a GPS-based app and website, the site has more than 10,o00 bizarre finds you’ll want to stop for on a North American road trip. Options include kitchy attractions like a statue of the world’s largest muscle man, architectural finds like one-of-a-kind tree houses, American history with historic plaques and landmarks. Use the app or the website to build your entire route across the country and find bizarre attractions at every stop.
1. It Pays to Wait Until the Last Minute
While you need to book a flight at least 45 days in advance, sometimes you can find the best hotel deal by waiting until the last-minute. With the app Hotel Tonight, you can log at noon that day and find up to 70 percent off area hotels. The app uses your phone’s GPS to pull up area hotels and sorts them by categories such as basic, hip or luxury hotel every day. Outside the app, you’ll find live booking support 24 hours a day.
For more travel websites, apps & technology, check out:
- 5 Cool New Travel Websites You Can Use
- Know Before You Go: The Best Travel Apps & Technology
- Checking in While You Travel
- Top 10 Free Apps to Keep You Entertained
By Lily J. Kosner for PeterGreenberg.com