Do you wish you got a little more from your GPS? Would you like to know when there is a traffic jam up ahead and the best way to get around it? Would you like to know which gas station on your route home has the best price? Waze.com is a GPS with turn-by-turn navigation app for smart-phones that gathers information from other Waze users to give you information on traffic, gas prices, alternate routes, road hazards, and more. According to Waze:
Waze is all about contributing to the ‘common good’ out there on the road. By connecting drivers to one another, we help people create local driving communities that work together to improve the quality of everyone’s daily driving. That might mean helping them avoid the frustration of sitting in traffic, cluing them in to a police trap or shaving five minutes off of their regular commute by showing them new routes they never even knew about.
Waze supports iPhone, Android, and selected Blackberry, Nokia and Windows Mobile devices. Waze also has a blog.
Are you always looking for Wifi hotspots when you travel? Would you like to find a new WiFi cafe in your city to hang out at? Hotspotr.com is an online community edited listing of over 18,000 WiFi hotspots in over 3,700 cities around the world. According to Hotspotr:
This is a community-driven listing of Wifi cafes and hotspots… Hotspotr grew out of a simple need: find out which cafes were laptop-friendly and had free WiFi… The guiding principles are 1) keep it focused (no need to be all things to all people) and 2) make it by and for the community. It’s Simple… no account is needed; anyone can add a listing, or edit a listing that’s already there.
WiFi hotspots can be searched for by zip code, address, and intersection, or you can find them on the interactive Google map. Hotspotr also includes a page of WiFi etiquette tips and an app for iPhone.
Could you use a vacation? Do you only have one day free but still want to get away and have an adventure? Perhaps a good day trip is in order? DayZipping.com is a website with over 1000 great ideas for day trips starting in cities all over the world. According to DayZipping:
Catering to argonauts, adventure travelers and everyday explorers with a schedule to keep, DayZipping was founded by self-christened conquistadors. We’re hopelessly stricken by hodomania, and we’re out to provide a startlingly easy answer to an eternal question: “What shall I do today?” We’re frightened by the thought of exhaustive week-long itineraries, and we’re guessing that you too would prefer to take vacations — and life in general — one day at a time. Our intentions are twofold: we’re out to make exploring your own backyard a lot more exciting, while also giving you quick and painless access to an ever-expanding library of trips in places that life may take you. Who knew flying by the seat of your pants could lead to so much fun?
Day trips can be browsed by location and sorted by popularity, price, or distance. You can also sort by category which may include (depending on the city): Adventure, Art & History, Entertainment, Family Friendly, Food & Drinks, Nightlife, Outdoors & Nature, and Shopping. DayZipping has an app for Android.
Do you love to travel and visit historical sites and museums? Do you get tired of caring around guides and reading a lot of text, but still want to learn the history of the places you visit? Do you wish you could simply listen to good historical information on your smart phone? AudioViator.com is a website where you can download free audio guides for historically significant places around the world. According to AudioViator:
AudioViator is a collaborative project among internet users. With AudioViator you can create and download audioguides in several languages and share your knowledge with people while they visit monuments, cities, nature reserves and anything else you can imagine! We know it’s just not the same to visit a city or a museum if you have to read large texts and carry heavy guides. It’s much better when you can listen to the history and explanations of the best spots and their details. This is why AudioViator wants to spread culture with your collaboration.
If you’re an expert on a historical site you can contribute by creating an audio guide. AudioViator has an app for Android.
Do you need a place for your dog to stay while you’re on vacation but hate the idea of your best friend being cooped up in a kennel? Or perhaps you love dogs and wouldn’t mind taking care of an extra dog or two while making a little extra money? DogVacay.com is a website that matches dog lovers who are going on a vacation with dog lovers who are willing to board and care for an extra dog. According to Dog Vacay:
Dog Vacay is a community where dog lovers can connect with one another to find and provide safe, convenient and affordable ways to care for their best friend. Whether you want a one-bedroom apartment for your Chihuahua or a 10-acre ranch for your Greyhound, hundreds of options are available for you to find the perfect spot for Spot… It’s better than a kennel where Spot will be stuck in a cage all day. Home boarding gives your dog individual attention, fun with a small number of well-socialized dogs, and supervision from a responsible pet owner.
DogVacay offers insurance, emergency veterinary support, and photo updates, so you can be confident your dog is in good hands while you’re away. Dog hosts can set their own price (DogVacay takes a 10-5% service fee) and have control over the dogs they accept. Meet and greets between hosts and dog owners can be arranged prior to a boarding agreement. DogVacay also has a blog.
Do you hate leaving your pets behind when you go on vacation? Would you like to take them with you but find the task of finding pet-friendly places to eat and stay for the entire trip a little daunting? GoPetFriendly.com is an online travel guide for people who travel with their pets, featuring a huge database of pet-friendly destinations. According to GoPetFriendly.com:
A family vacation just isn’t the same without the entire “pack.” The thought of leaving the furry family members behind just doesn’t seem right. But locating affordable, pet-friendly accommodations, restaurants, and activities seems like a daunting task. GoPetFriendly.com (GPF) makes pet travel easy and most importantly, fun. With an extensive database of pet policies for nearly 30,000 pet-friendly hotels, bed and breakfasts and campgrounds throughout the United States and Canada, GPF offers users the ability to search for accommodations at various price points that suit their travel needs. Whether you’re traveling with multiple pets, cats or larger dogs, GPF takes planning a trip with your furry loved ones to another level.
On GoPetFriendly.com you can find a Travel Search feature (which includes Hotels, Campgrounds, Restaurants, Activities, and Services), a Road Trip Planer, Destination Guides, Travel Tips, and more. GoPetFriendly.com is always adding to their listings so if you know of a great pet friendly place that they missed you can suggest it. GoPetFriendly.com also has a blog.
Does it seem like a struggle everyday to find a decent place to park? Are you often late for appointments because you spend too much time looking for parking spaces? ParkingInMotion.com is an app that can give you parking information like lot and garage locations, the number of available spaces, rates, lot entrance points, and more, all in real time. According to Parking In Motion:
Parking In Motion (PIM)… is a provider of dynamic and real-time parking data. PIM offers comprehensive coverage in 500+ cities in the US, Canada, and Europe by providing rates, hours, entrance points, and occupancy information. Additionally, the database includes on-street meter and sign restrictions in the top 26 US markets. In addition to its direct-to- consumer smartphone app, the company has entered into partnerships with leading GPS navigation companies and app developers to reach a large audience of users. Building on its resources and relationships with operators and municipalities, Parking In Motion serves as an industry leader in providing accurate and instantaneous real-time parking info to the world. By empowering drivers with intelligent information and an ever-expanding database, PIM’s innovative approach makes it easier than ever for motorists to find available parking.
The free Parking In Motion app is currently available for iPhone but an app for Android is coming soon. Parking In Motion also has a blog.
Would you like to get away or go home for the holidays? Do you need to find a better deal on airfare to make it happen? Airfarewatchdog.com is a website that posts great deals on airfare that are hand selected by actual people rather than computer algorithms. According to Airfarewatchdog:
Airfarewatchdog is the only airfare web site that includes fares chosen & monitored by human beings. We include fares on all airlines, including the increasing number of airline-site-only & promo code fares. We’re an airfare monitoring and alert site that provides free fare alerts to subscribers and visitors. We include fares on all airlines, including Southwest, Allegiant, and some you may never have heard of. And we also include promo code discount fares… The fares we list on this site: 1.) Have suddenly gone down (overnight or during the day), 2.) Are lower than their historical average, 3.) Are usually offered by just one or two airlines serving the route, 4.) Are in our opinion a good deal when taking into account the route, fare restrictions, time of year, or other factors, 5.) Have at least a few seats available at the sale price (we check “by hand”), (and) 6.) Are often unadvertised and short-lived.
You can sign up to have the best deals departing from your city sent directly to your email. Airfarewatchdog also has a blog.
Are you a frequent flier? Have you accumulated a lot of both frequent flier mile and rewards points from multiple sources? When it’s time to book a flight do you get confused trying to sort it all out to get the best deal with your miles and points? Secured.MileWise.com is an online service that keeps track of all your frequent flier rewards and lets you search for flights in cash, miles, and points, finding you the best deal for your unique situation. According to MileWise:
If you have rewards in multiple programs (frequent flyer miles, credit cards, hotel points…), figuring out how to use them can be a real pain. MileWise tracks all your rewards in one place, and once it’s time to travel, figures out how you can get the most value. Just tell us where you’re going, and we’ll show you all the different ways you can use cash, miles or points to book your flight. We’ll even recommend the best way to pay based on your travel preferences and reward programs.
In addition to finding you the best ways to use your frequent flier rewards, MileWise keeps track of when they expire and sends you a warning. MileWise also tells you how many miles or points a flight will earn and warns you about hidden fees. MileWise includes discussion forums and a blog.
Is discovering unique food your favorite part of exploring different cultures around the world? Is sampling the local cuisine your favorite part of traveling? Spoontrip.com is a website that helps you plan travel adventures where the focus is on exploring the unique cuisine found at your destination. According to Spoontrip:
Spoontrip is the first international platform for activities related to gastronomy and wine. Site-specific visits, meet-and-greets with producers, tastings, gourmet ateliers, cooking classes, weekend stays at a farm, and gastronomy-themed holidays are just a sampling of the offers found on (Spoontrip)… Spoontrip supplies travelers with local links worldwide, using gastronomy as an entry point into a culture. Offers are added and managed on the site by the providers themselves. These passionate individuals or professionals are proud of their products and eager to provide travelers with a unique experience.
Culinary activities can be searched for by location, type of activity, date, or any combination of these three, and result can be narrowed down further by more specific criteria. Once you decide on an activity, reservation can be made directly form Spoontrip. Spoontrip also has a blog.