About 40 years ago, Richard Branson and his fiancée were in Puerto Rico flying to the Virgin Islands, when his flight was canceled. While other passengers were grumbling, he made some calls to see how much it would cost to hire a private plane to fly him and his fiancée there. He found a 50 seat plane that could make the trip for $1,800 and made a sign in the airport, right then & there, that said “Seats Available: Puerto Rico to Virgin Islands - $39.” As you can imagine, all the seats sold out almost immediately.
Uncover the truth about hotels with Oyster.com
[tools / technology / travel]
Oyster.com has a team of “special investigators” who “visit, photograph, review and rate each hotel.” Why? Because, like people, hotels choose to put their best foot forward when it comes to selling their services. They share the most flattering pictures - even if they’re old or from an angle that doesn’t tell the whole story. (I’m looking at all you with Facebook profile pictures from more than a year ago!) Oyster calls them out and makes sure you aren’t stuck with a bad vacation. Hopefully, TripAdvisor buys them so we won’t have yet another site to visit before booking travel ;)
Side note: I still don’t understand why their website is Oyster.com. Can someone explain??
Stay.com: Create your personalized city guide.
[tools / technology / travel / culture]
If you’re like me, you crowd-source restaurant recommendations whenever you’re traveling. It’s the best way to see cities you aren’t familiar with because you’re essentially guaranteed to have at least one amazing experience. (It’s how I ended up at Tickets in Barcelona over the weekend.) Stay.com lets you curate suggestions (from strangers or travel mates) into a customized guide book. Which is accessible, even without an internet connection. Awesome.
6 must-have apps for a stellar vacation.
[travel / photography / planning / life hacks]
I use Foursquare pretty frequently, but even if you’re not into broadcasting your location, it’s kind of amazing as a travel tool. Techli covers Snapjoy, Room77, Foodspotting, GateGuru & Gas Buddy, in addition to Foursquare, and why you need to download them before your next trip.
Quit paying for bad in-flight food.
[Food / Travel]
InFlightFeed is a resource for travelers to investigate [paid] & rate in-flight food. For frequent travelers, this could be a tool that limits growling stomachs!
Discover America with Roadtrippers.
[Apps / Tools / Technology / Travel]
Roadtrippers is a web app that provides you with the best places to stop when you’re traveling from point A to point B. After entering in your destination (and your start point) you can populate the map with attractions, entertainment, history, shopping, sports, etc. And you can even choose how far out of the way you’re willing to travel. I don’t have any road trips planned, but this app kind of makes me wish I did.
How to keep strangers from sitting next to you.
Esther Kim traveled thousands of miles on buses to ‘examine the unspoken rules and behaviors of commuters.’ From lying to “looking crazy,” these tricks could come in handy on your next commute - or even just the next time you’re in a crowded space.
LastBash: Plan and organize awesome group trips without hassle.
I’m not the biggest fan of event planning in the PR/marketing world. I tend to feel a bit overwhelmed and can’t seem to focus on all the details that need sorting. But when it comes to vacation or parties in my personal life, I usually nail it. Still, a gal could use some help - and GoogleDocs just aren’t cutting it. LastBash.com lets an organizer set the stage but gives you a platform to let others weigh in. It’s not the prettiest thing, but I’m excited to try it out.
Triposo: the best travel guide for your mobile device.
I can’t vouch for the statement above, but I will say that I’ve already downloaded this app and am super excited about using it to plan and document adventures. Triposo creates travel guides using algorithms. They are generated from (as far as I can tell) pretty high quality content so the guides themselves are useful and relevant. Check it out, yo!
Excursionist: Build your own travel adventure.
Excursionist lets you build a travel adventure by selecting components that have to do with both your passions and your destination. Not willing to do the heavy lifting? No worries - They also have trips curated by world class experts, from locals (a lighthouse owner in Norway) to celebrities (TV personality, Allison Fishman.)
Wanderfly: Personalized travel recommendations.
Wanderfly is a beautiful tool that helps you discover cities through personalized recommendations. Not sure where to go? No problem. Enter a few things you’re interested in and Wanderfly will make some suggestions. Got something you want to share? It’s easy to add your own tips as well!
Lugless: Send your baggage so you don’t have to travel with it.
Traveling with golf clubs or skis? Lugless gets your luggage to wherever you’re staying, removing the airport hassle. It’s not super cheap, but depending on the size of your bag and the length of your trip, it could be worth it.
The TSA has an insane budget and woeful track record.
A great infographic from Fast Company on the ridiculous budget and disappointing track record belonging to the TSA. As the editors point out, we do know that infographics can be misleading when interpreting data in… interesting ways, but still, to see that 7 out of every 10 weapons get past security isn’t OK!