Sizzling Websites and Apps for Planning Your 2014 Summer Vacation

Where Will You Spend Your Summer Vacation? Pictured: Naples Botanical Gardens, Florida

Where Will You Spend Your Summer Vacation? Pictured: Naples Botanical Gardens, Florida

Hello WFLA viewers! I’m assuming you’re like me and can’t WAIT to get a jump start on planning your summer vacation. Following are websites and apps I mentioned on today’s show, in addition to a couple more. These resources will make planning for your summer vacation fun and easier.

opens in a new windowRoomerWebsite with Mobile App Coming Soon
I’m always leery of booking a non-refundable hotel room. Sure, it’s a great value but if my travel plans change at the last minute, I would lose what I paid for the hotel room. Well, there’s a solution to calm my hesitation. opens in a new windowRoomer is the first online marketplace that allows travelers to purchase nonrefundable hotel rooms from users looking to recover some of the money they would otherwise lose. Think of it as the “StubHub” of the hotel industry. It’s a win-win-win for everyone involved: the seller gets some or all of the money back, the buyer gets a great deal on a hotel room and the hotel has the opportunity to generate more revenue such as in dining, the gift shop, and resort amenities.

View Roomer’s opens in a new windowYouTube video.

opens in a new windowCheapOairWebsite and App
Because they have partnerships with more than 450 global airlines, opens in a new windowCheapOair is the leading online travel agency offering users the best prices for hotels, flights, car rentals and vacation packages. It’s the perfect one-stop-shop for finding last minute deals. Even better, CheapOair has a call center with representatives available 24/7 to help you find a specific deal.

View CheapOair’s opens in a new windowYouTube video.

Related: opens in a new windowSharing Economy Offers Not-So Lonely Options for Solo Travelers

opens in a new windowRouteHappyWebsite and App
Travel planning and traveling can be somewhat stressful but summer vacations should be about being happy. opens in a new windowRouteHappy allows users to search for the “happiest” flights. Users type in travel dates and the destination, then the website returns search results with the happiest options. Happy factors include nicer planes, available entertainment, inflight WiFI, extra legroom, larger seats and more. It combines user submissions and combines hundreds of data sources to build a proprietary Flight Product Attribute Database called Flightpad, to create a new type of flight search.

View RouteHappy’s opens in a new windowYouTube video.

opens in a new windowMenuStatWebsite
If you’re watching your weight or looking to lose weight, it’s all about nutrition. I know this because I’ve lost about 30 pounds after working with a nutritionist. For those conscious about gaining a few extra pounds during their summer vacation, opens in a new windowMenuStat offers nutrition information on more than 35,000 menu items at 66 of the nation’s largest chain restaurants. This free, online database was created by the New York City Health Department.

opens in a new windowTripItWebsite and App
Sure, just about every airline has an app but what I like about opens in a new windowTripIt is it has the ability to manage all of your travel plans and itineraries in one spot. After users make their travel bookings, just email them to TripIt and almost instantly, the itinerary is added to your profile. You can also sync your Google and iCloud calendars. This eliminates the need for looking at different apps and websites for your travel reservations because they’re housed in one, convenient place with TripIt.

View TripIt’s opens in a new windowYouTube video.

opens in a new windowPeekWebsite and App
Traveling to London, Paris or Boston and looking for something fun to do? Reach for the opens in a new windowPeek: Tours & Activities App, which has information about tours and experiences in 17 U.S. cities as well as London and Paris. Take the personality quiz to tailor the results to your preferences. For those traveling on a budget (and who isn’t these days?) explore the “under $50” option. You may find a touristy must-do activity or a unique experience to brag about to your Facebook friends.

opens in a new windowAARP Member Advantages Website
I realize there was a time when Baby Boomers ripped up that AARP membership card because they were in denial. But ya know what? You’d be crazy to do so today because of the fantastic savings and value-added amenities AARP Members receive when showing their card, especially when it comes to travel. For instance, visit a Liberty Travel agency and save on a five-night vacation. AARP Members can also get a discount on their annual ZipCar membership plus earn a $40 credit for a savings of 33 percent from what the general public receives! That’s just the beginning. Visit opens in a new for a complete list of travel discounts for AARP Members.

View AARP Member Advantages opens in a new windowYouTube video.

As a sidebar, did you know the first Gen Xers will turn 50 next year? My, oh my. Time flies!

Where will you be heading for your summer vacation?

opens in a new windowDisclosure: I was a guest of AARP Member Advantages during the May 2014 Life@50+ Expo where I learned more about saving with AARP. Opinions are my own and AARP Member Advantages did not review this post.


Author: Solo Travel Girl Admin

Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

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1 Comment

  1. I love your blog Jen…so glad you made the TV spot fun…you looked fabulous darling!!!!

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