I recently received a special offer from a trusted travel site – a source I purchase from regularly online. Okay, it was Gilt, in fact. I’m a big fan of the members-only shopping site and I’m either pleased or embarrassed (depending on the day) to say that I am a Gilt Noir member in good standing. That means I shop there a lot. I trust them. I like their style. And they like me, too. So occasionally they pass on special offerings.
This particular offer was through Luxury Link, a travel site that promises special, above-and-beyond experiences at the best hotels and resorts, worldwide. And Gilt was offering an additional percentage off to Noir members. Awesome! (Or so it seemed.)
Lobby at L’Albereta – A travel offer I received through the now defunct Luxury Link site
Yes, that’s right. An Instagram-themed hotel called 1888 has just opened in Pyrmont, Australia, a suburb of Sydney, Australia. The rooms are decorated with Instagram photos – and if you have more than 10,000 followers on Instagram you can, supposedly, stay for free!
After a whirlwind week of anniversary celebrations, out of town guests and an awesome birthday party, I’m now writing my first post on my new retina-display iPad. So I’m feeling kind of “techie”. And I’m inspired to share three new (at least to me) travel apps that look useful and fun.
1. The first one is iExit from Metrocket. This interstate exit guide will provide information in real time about what’s coming up at the next off ramp. Sounds great for my next road trip. You can check out the next best bathroom break or food stop and you can search for a specific place to see when the next (Starbucks? Cracker Barrel?) one will appear. This app has consistently good reviews and I’m planning to try it out next week.
2. Next is Airports by Travelnerd. This free app provides detailed information such as airport maps, terminal maps, ground transportation info and parking options for over 70 popular airports – and you can use it with or without Internet access. Plus, want to cut you expenses? Use the app’s airport coupons or find another user to share that expensive cab ride with!
3. And last but not least, if you’re traveling with Fido (or Rover!) you’ll love Dog Park Finder Plus by Tech Wanderings. Find the closest dog park (over 6,600 of them!) with new info like hours, whether or not they’re fenced or good for small dogs, etc. Photos, user reviews. Plus information on over 12,000 pet-friendly rest stops. Arf!
Okay, I have to say, I just had a pretty great experience dealing with the folks of @DeltaAssist, the Twitter-based customer service arm of Delta Airlines. I needed some information on some trips I took earlier in the year, for tax purposes, and I was on a deadline. I really didn’t expect to get what I wanted in the timeframe I needed it. But my tweet was answered almost immediately by the very pleasant ‘Winston G’, who then was able to un-archive the details I needed and send me copies via email – all within about 15 minutes! Meanwhile, I was working online – no downtime – and I could see that @DeltaAssist was busily helping other folks who had missed flights, or gotten stranded due to weather. I was very pleasantly surprised. Thanks @DeltaAssist!
Still stuck on what to get that special traveler this holiday season? Here are five things I find make traveling easier and more fun — from a super $5 stocking stuffer, on up! Most of these items I already own and travel with regularly – and they make unexpected and useful gifts for someone who travels.