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"Where should we eat tonight?"
Avoid the usual weeping and gnashing of teeth that follows that question by whipping out your phone and grabbing an answer from the new Eater app. All the mapped restaurant recommendations and food news for 22 US cities is the work of the awesome folks at Eater.com' family of sites.
Even if you're not into the drama behind the creation of the "cronut" (a combo donut and croissant) or obsessed with Top Chef gossip, you'll want to download this app. Hey, who doesn't want to be "in the know" as to where the newest 11-seat omakase spot has opened? That's what we thought. And, by the way, it's totally free and available in both the iTunes & Google Play stores.
Social Media / Travel Websites / Airlines / Airline News / Delta / Tumblr / → All Tags
We’ve been checking on Delta and their blog for quite some time, but lately they haven’t don't much with it. Let’s just say we know a thing or two about maintaining a blog, and we’re pretty sure that posting stuff on a somewhat regular basis is usually a good idea.
Well it looks as though Delta must have realized they were missing out, as they recently just revamped and relaunched their blog. Let’s just hope they continue to give it a little love and affection each and every day.
They’re calling the revamped blog “Taking Off,” and thus far it resembles one part in-flight magazine, one part social media. In fact it’s part of the Tumblr family, so be sure to follow what Delta is doing if you’re into that kind of thing.
Social Media / Frequent Flyer Miles / Business Class Travel / Star Alliance / Tumblr / Travel Websites / Comedy Travel / → All Tags
WHEN I’M FORCED TO PAY $9 FOR A SANDWICH IN ECONOMY
Tumblr is good for two things: porn and GIF blogs. Oh, wait. This week we can add a third thing to that list; Tumblr is also very good at being worth over $1 billion (to Yahoo, who just purchased the microblogging platform).
Since even mentioning porn twice in this post may get us blocked from your lunchtime reading, let's talk about GIF blogs. In particular we'd like to draw your attention to one, frequentflyerlife, started over a year ago by Star Alliance frequent flyer, @melissaiscool.
Travel Booking Sites / Travel Websites / RouteHappy / Travel News / Travel Tech / Airplanes / Travel Hacks / → All Tags
"I'm thinking of flying First Class for my big vacation trip!" - Friend
"Not on [redacted airline] you shouldn't! It just won't be the First Class experience you're imagining. Try [different airline] instead; at least it's lie-flat seats." - Us
"Ooh, okay. What else would I get?" - Friend
Cue a two-hour phone conversation that only ended in exasperation on both ends, after googling and browsing airline websites 'til we were blue in the thumbs. If only Routehappy.com had existed last week.
Routehappy actually went live last Friday, which may have been too late for our first timer friend in First Class, but it's right on time for a traveling public increasingly paying attention to the availability of perks on planes. At its heart, Routehappy is a flight search and booking website built and powered by self-proclaimed #avgeeks. At its full potential, it's an educational tool to make you the most informed traveler on the entire
In October, we took a sidelong glance at Peek, a new-ish travel experience site focused on fun, unique activities that help travelers really get to know a place. San Francisco, San Diego, California Wine Country and Hawaii were the first destinations to be unveiled, but this week the menu is expanding to include New York, Miami and Orlando.
Being pretty active New Yorkers ourselves, we thought we'd size up some of the options Peek is offering for visitors to the Big Apple—among them, a Brooklyn Brewery tour, red carpet tickets to the TriBeCa Film Festival, and a package deal on New York's still-thriving interactive theater show, Sleep No More.
Frequent Flyer Miles / American Airlines / AAdvantage / Airlines / Airline Loyalty Programs / Travel Websites / Dream Vacations / → All Tags
Spending all those hard-earned frequent flyer miles is often just as painful as collecting them in the first place—especially if you earned them during a few transcontinental flights in a middle seat. American Airlines usually has pretty decent availability, and with their partners in the oneworld airline alliance it’s not too tricky to get to plenty of spots across the globe. Thankfully they’ve made redeeming your points a little bit easier, as they’ve just introduced a new search tool.
The computer nerds over at American Airlines just revealed their latest project, as they now have an award map for your searching and booking pleasure. Sure there are some shortcomings with the new tool, as sometimes partner awards are kind of limited. However, we’ve got to say it’s pretty darn unique and a step above what some of the other carriers are doing.
You’ll need to act quickly if you still want to escape on a spring break of your very own, and All Nippon Airways (ANA) is trying their very best to help you out by pointing you in the direction of Tokyo. A slick new website and interactive elements are part of the whole promotion called “Let’s Do Japan.”
Sure you can check out what’s available both on board and on the ground, but the way in which ANA is involved is pretty creative. They’re using what they’re calling the "Manganizer" to help you create your own manga—like a Japanese comic. Upload your photo or take a new one, and then you’re free to modify your image accordingly. Add glasses, snazzy eyebrows, and maybe even a little facial hair. After a brief load time you’ll be starring in your own comic, and the next thing you know you’ll be booking a trip to Japan—well, maybe.
We love us a good advertising campaign, and that’s especially the case when it’s clever, creative, and involves plenty of travel tidbits. The latest print pieces from Expedia and their arm over in the UK utilize baggage tags from airports all over the globe to illustrate where you need to go and when you need to leave.
The marketing gurus over at Ogilvy cooked up the new advertisements, as they pieced together three letter airport codes to create a little bit of a story. This isn’t the first time that these IATA airport codes have been used to sell stuff, but we’ve got to say that this has got to be one of the more clever applications.
Creative Review has the backstory on how things were thought up. In total there were around nine ads that finally made the cut, but the firm promises that there were many more created that will never see the light of day—including some that might be less than appropriate for print.
Do you need another online user-generated travel guide, asks travel site Skift. Because if so the Wikimedia Foundation has some good news for you. The group, which is indeed the one that runs Wikipedia, is taking its travel wiki Wikivoyage out of beta next week. So now if you can't find something on TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet, Virtual Tourist, Concierge.com, Yelp, Schmap, 43 Places, etc etc... Yeah, we're not totally sure why this is necessary. And yet here we are.
As Skift points out, the launch has been a long time in the making. 26,500 destination guides written by contributors, with the same style and licensing as Wikipedia entries, don't just write themselves. Though if the project sounds like a direct challenge not only to existing guidebooks but to a certain Wiki-based online travel guide, that's because it is. There were even several lawsuits about the fight between Wikitravel and the Wikimedia Foundation, if you're interested.
Travel Contests / Travel Websites / Travel Search Engines / Peek / Travel News / Active Travel / → All Tags
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).
If the travel budget is looking a little low this season then it just might be time to sharpen your sweepstakes skills, as Travelocity is looking to give away quite a sweet prize. The online travel broker is going all-in with their garden gnome and, to celebrate, they're giving away something a little bit bigger than the typical vacation. That’s because this prize is going to be valued at right around $65,000—nice.
The grand prize of this latest "Gnome Nabbed" campaign is a trip around the world for you and a buddy. You won’t know where you’re going until you’re there, but Travelocity is planning for you to visit six different destinations between November 29 and December 23, and you’ll be back just in time for Santa.