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One thing we liked when we checked out the Peeka Jack Dorsey-backed travel start-up which offers curated travel activitieswas the Perfect Day section, in which various celebs and tastemakers (the likes of Tory Burch, Piers Morgan, Devon Aoki and French Laundry’s Timothy Hollingsworth) all put together sample schedules for a day out in a destination of their choice.
Now, since that went down a treat, they’re opening the feature up to the little people like you and me and sweetening the deal with a $1000 site credit for the person voted the best Perfect Day curator.
The idea behind the feature is simple. It's “an online library full of the best travel tips around the world written by local experts and your friends.” You know how when friends are in town, and you write them a list of places to go? It’s like thata spread of things to do from morning to night, plus a hotel recommendation. In fact, if you write your list up for Peek, next time someone visits, you can just send them the link, where everything will have been uploaded into a funky little map with photos (a bit reminiscent of Foursquare Lists...hmm).
Travel Websites / Travel Search Engines / Peek / Travel News / Active Travel / Zozi / SideTour / → All Tags
Peek.com. It's not NSFW, we swear, but it could be taking your money pretty soon anyhow.
Peek is the newest travel site out there with something to sell, but its focus is actually on experiencesnot hotel rooms or flights or gear or anything else but the opportunity of getting out there and doing something without going through too much organizational trouble. Browse their available activities in San Francisco, San Diego, California Wine Country or Hawaii (more destinations coming soon), click-click-click-purchase and you're all set with a biplane ride or a ghost tour or a photography workshop. We'd equate it to tacking shore excursions onto a cruise, except you're not on a cruise; you're on your own trip with the desire to add some adventure.
The design of the site is clean, with a focus on juicy images. It's in the style of Jetsetter.com or Airbnb.com. We're going to be nit-picky and note that the banner image (shown above) is of a coastal town in Italy, which is not currently a Peek destination. And it goes without saying that the reason Peek is enjoying so much favorable media coverage is due somewhat to the investment of Jack Dorsey (creator of Twitter, CEO of Square).
In another great "duh, why wasn't this done years ago" movie, travel search site Hipmunk.com is now displaying Amtrak train results alongside airline flights when you search. It's official too; Amtrak is literally and figuratively onboard with the whole thing, and heaven knows any extra oomph thrown on their side to help fight for passengers with the airlines is bonus.
So here's what's up: search for flights like usual on Hipmunk. If there are Amtrak options between them, then the Amtrak trains will appear in the results, very much like regular flights do now.
We've made the point once or twice before, but not only do we adore innovative travel search engine Hipmunk on its merits, but there's also something about their cute little mascot that seems custom-built for the Internet. We're not sure that the success can be reduced down to a simple formula, except inasmuch as the Internet loves cute animals that are kind of animated, and the Hipmunk mascot is a cute animal that's kind of animated, and so the Internet loves the Hipmunk mascot.
Hmmm. Apparently it can be reduced to a simple formula after all.
So much can viral videos be reduced to formulas, apparently, that the Hipmunk people have gone ahead and done exactly that in their first stab at video advertising. Explaining on their blog that "everything's better with cute animals," the search engine brought together members of sketch comedy show SMBC theater and asked them to dress up like some of the Internet's most famous stars. Then they had the actors recreate those stars' most famous moments, the result being a series of homages to cute animals doing cute things (with some exceptions for annoying animals doing annoying things, because sometimes the Interwebs have a problem distinguishing cute from annoying).
Are travelers getting spoiled now with the increasing availability of in-flight WiFi? The answer is maybe a little, but that's the way the cookie crumbles. We know that for us, booking flights now has the added worry of figuring out whether our options will have in-flight WiFi or not, and having it becomes a larger and larger part of our final decision. Some airlines will tell you straight out on their website which flights have it, but what about travel search engines that comb through lots of airfare from many different airlines? You've got to go figure it out for yourself usually, before clicking "Book It."
Then in swoops our recent crush Hipmunk.com, which has not only swiftly revolutionized the way you search for airfare and hotels, but has just recently saved the days by adding a little WiFi indicator directly onto flight results that definitely have the internet up in the skies. According to Jacqueline over at Hipmunk, this added detail is huge because "we want [travelers] to see all the options, trade-offs, and flight info in one glance without having to click through to the details."
Jaunted Interviews / Hipmunk / Travel / Travel Search Engines / Travel Websites / Animals / Travel Tech / → All Tags
He's an infographic fiend, our small obsession, and even our Travel Tweet of the Week; yes, he's the Hipmunk. This sprightly little chipmunk is no less than the mascot for the most exciting and fresh travel booking engine out there right now. Hipmunk.com, though less than a year old, has already become our default search site for pricing airfare and hotels, so we sort of crashed their headquarters last week in San Francisco.
If you want to read the tech trend story on how Hipmunk got started, there are plenty out there. The site had momentum from the first, seeing as how its foundersAdam Goldstein, Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanianare behind the popular social news sharing website Reddit and well known in their own rights. We could tell you all about that, but instead we're far more interested in things like the fact that they just bought an office couch (it's IKEA, and lime green)! And they're developing hoodies!
Baggage Fees / Hipmunk / Travel Search Engines / Travel Websites / Checked Baggage Fees / → All Tags
This is the only tippy top of it
Holy crap. You know that little chipmunk mascot that likely keeps drawing you back and back again to search flights and hotels on Hipmunk.com? Well, that anime-cute rodent has been doing some serious number-crunching behind the scenes, and Hipmunk has released a beautiful, want-to-lick-it lovely infographic that easily educates the traveler on the history of evil, evil Baggage Fees.
The infographic is quite long, covering all the major soap opera-like drama that's gone down with airlines and oil prices and whatnot since 2000. There's a few "Hip Tips" for getting around baggage fees, and we especially love the shark feeding frenzy graphic about half-way down. Finally, they make us frightened for the coming of space travel. SEE THE WHOLE THING HERE.