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Can a new smart-trip planner create my dream vacation? By me for ‘Condé Nast Traveler.’

Condé Nast Traveler

Last week I tested a new digital smart-trip planner for Condé Nast Traveler:

This week, Inspirock launched what it claims is “the first free smart trip planner that instantly learns your personal interests and creates an itinerary just for you.” On average, the Inspirock team says, travelers visit 38 websites over 21 days when planning a trip. The startup aims to cut that number down significantly by using machine learning and—you guessed it—big data.

Found out how Inspirock did when I put it to the test in hopes of getting a trip full of restaurants, bourbon, and pony races.

The best Fourth of July hotel deals, by me for ‘Condé Nast Traveler’

Condé Nast Traveler

Last week Condé Nast Traveler published my round-up of the top 10 domestic hotel deals for the Fourth of July weekend:

The Fourth of July is less than two weeks away, but there are still plenty of hotel deals available if you’re planning a last-minute getaway. Here are ten U.S. cities offering hotel bargains this Independence Day weekend, according to data from Hotels.com that compares this year’s average rates with last year’s prices.

Read the entire article at Condé Nast Traveler.

Thanks to Hotels.com for sharing its data.

Detour got even better so I wrote about it again for ‘Condé Nast Traveler’

Condé Nast Traveler

Back in March, I called Detour “an audio guide that’s actually worth paying for” in an article for Condé Nast Traveler. (The app offers “location-aware audio walks” that guide travelers through a “This American Life”-like story.)

Yesterday, the app, got an important update. So, follow-up article:

A new series of “location-aware audio walks” in Barcelona, Berlin, London, Marrakech, New York, and Paris are making what might be the world’s best audio guide app even better. Until this week, Detour—which Condé Nast Traveler previously called “an audio guide that’s actually worth paying for”—only had walks in its hometown of San Francisco and, in a one-off collaboration with Radiolab for SXSW, Austin.

Read the entire article at Condé Nast Traveler.

Behold the newest way to find the best airfare deals, my latest article for ‘Condé Nast Traveler’

Condé Nast Traveler

Today Condé Nast Traveler published my latest article,  “The Newest Way to Find the Best Airfare Deals”:

ExitFares, which launched last month, monitors numerous online sources to “uncover mistake fares, promo codes, and deals from regional carriers and airlines like Southwest that might not be widely distributing their fare data,” says Naveen Thattil, the company’s founder. The best deals are then aggregated and emailed out to users who sign up for free once-a-day updates.

I suspect we’ll see similar services launch soon, each promising to data mine more sources than its competitors and having slightly better interfaces than its predecessors.

National Press Club now includes this guy, right here

National Press Club membership cardLast month I was accepted into the National Press Club, a Washington, DC-based private club for journalists and communications professionals with about 3,500 members.

“It is a social and business organization dedicated to supporting the ongoing improvement of the profession of journalism,” according to its website.

The National Press Club has been around for about a century. Its headquarters is in downtown Washington, DC, so I expect to be working from there often.

(And, yes, I blocked out my membership number so no one impersonates me and runs up my tab at the bar.)

 

What the Apple Watch means for hotel guests, if anything (my latest for ‘Condé Nast Traveler’)

Apple released the Apple Watch today. And, because you’re an Internet user, you know that!

There are slew of potential uses for travelers. But, of course, we heard similar hype a few years back about the now discontinued Google Glass.

For Condé Nast Traveler, I looked at what the Apple Watch could mean for hotel guests—and if it’s likely to live up to its hype and potential:

“Will the Apple Watch Revolutionize Hotel Stays?”