Archive for January, 2017

ExpertFlyer & appPicker’s Top Travel App Picks for 2017

In 2017, there are no more and no fewer topics to discuss when it comes to travel.  We all want to decrease wait times and costs, while increasing comfort, fun, safety, and flexibility.  That’s a tall order requiring time, commitment and research.  It’s no wonder developers are hard at work to help solve this dilemma with just the right app – In fact, there are an estimated 80,000 travel apps on iTunes alone!

As consumers look to simplify their travel experiences, having to vet tens of thousands of apps to make life easier doesn’t seem so easy.  So, how does one separate the wheat from the chaff? We asked app expert, Tiernan Quinn, founder and CEO of, the leading indie iOS app blog on the web.

According to Quinn, there’s so much more than counting downloads when it comes to identifying a truly unique app that fulfills its promise and fills a niche that no one else has conquered. “We get under the hood, and manually test and explore new apps on a daily basis so we can provide a true testament to the app’s performance – which many times is not reflected in an iTunes rating,” says Quinn.

You can view appPicker’s top travel app picks here (Shameless self-promotion: ExpertFlyer Seat Alerts app tops the list!).

WATCH our video interview with Tiernan Quinn, founder and CEO,

Adding to appPicker’s list, we’ve come up with a few other appetizers to snack on that promise to make your travels more bearable – and who knows, maybe even fabulous!

Skip the Line!
Don’t wait in line at top attractions or museums like the Eiffel Tower, Vatican, or the Louvre. Many of the world’s most popular monuments now offer fast-track tickets that let you skip the line and head straight in, leaving you more time to enjoy the experience. You can compare multiple skip-the-line options easily at 

Fly Away – Fearlessly
SkyGuru app is designed for the vast international community of air travelers who experience anxiety while flying. It is the brainchild of Alex Gervash, a professional pilot and founder of the Fearless Flying research and treatment center. SkyGuru is the first app that merges mobile technology and professional aviation data to analyze and make predictions on flight processes, guiding passengers through the more anxiety-provoking moments in real time. SkyGuru users have already navigated more than 3,600 flights in over 60 countries around the world.

What’s Fare is Fare
There are more than 100,000 flights each day, and airfares change by the minute. will show round trip fares across 190+ departure dates and many trip lengths to global destinations with one fraction of a second search. Users are shown the soonest/cheapest flight options on a scrollable calendar. iOS app users can download the app here.

You’re Speaking My Language
When it comes to international travel, and booking great accommodation, in particular, it’s an advantage to speak the language of the country you are flying to. Have you tried Lingviny? Ok, the name doesn’t roll off the tongue, but this cool Chrome extension integrates with your Gmail and helps you write emails in any language with the help of professional translators.

Travel Procrastinators – There’s an App for that
The Last Minute Travel Deals app promises to deliver substantial savings even to last minute Louie’s. The app enables travelers to book and save up to 60% on everything from hotels and flights, to car rentals, vacation homes, activities, and transfers, regardless of where you are in the world – either well in advance or the day-of travel.

House, Hut or Hotel?
Travelers who are just looking at hotels are missing out. There are a ton of non-hotel options, such as Airbnb, Couchsurfing, vacation homes, and hostels, so if travelers don’t use a site like AllTheRooms they will miss out on a huge swath of potentially perfect options. And if you’re up to roughing it a bit, here are some sites that allow travelers to stay for free with locals  — often the best way to experience a foreign culture.

What’s in for US Travel in 2017? Small, sleepy and relaxed getaway spots

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway, a travel planning and local discovery app/site, has revealed their “rising star” destinations for US Travel in 2017 and relaxation paired with quieter beach destinations is a prevailing theme among their top 10 picks below:

  1. Portsmouth Harbor, NH

    Portsmouth Harbor, NH

    Portsmouth, New Hampshire– This historic coastal town on the Maine border offers a mix of traditional New England seafaring culture along with an artsy, coffee house blend with everything from breweries like Smuttynose and Redhook to accessible yoga studios.

  1. Gulf Shores– Like a surprisingly exotic Caribbean destination with a Southern accent. Visit for the National Shrimp Festival, ‘jubilees’ (crab and shrimp spontaneously arriving in huge quantities in Mobile Bay, ripe for gathering), white sand beaches, sea turtles from May to October, dolphin cruises and more.
  1. The Poconos– While for some, the Poconos are synonymous with ads featuring couples in heart shaped hot tubs, this area of Pennsylvania has definitely transformed from kitschy to cool.  There are timeless fun activities like skiing in winter and canoeing in summer, with fun stops like the Barley Creek Brewing where you can play whiffle ball and bocce on the Pint-Sized Park.  Travelers can also go hardcore with whitewater rafting, or visit an amazing spa like the Lodge at Woodloch for a super modern rejuvenation.
  1. Washington, DC– While administrations may be changing, Washington, DC is always a popular destination for those who want to see the history and be part of country’s seat of power.   Tripsters are excited about DC as a travel destination, too, however, and not just for the exotic new wildlife. DC has some great trails, fabulous restaurants like Founding Farmers, free museums (unlike most large US cities) and some quirky offerings like the International Spy Museum.
  1. Hollywood Beach, FL

    Hollywood Beach, FL

    Hollywood, Florida- An art deco downtown, kitschy beach boardwalk, and just a drive from Miami’s airport, Hollywood is another of the old-school U.S. vacation destinations cropping up on the list this year (perhaps due to a country-wide thirst for a more innocent time?). But Hollywood can also feel like a welcome change from decadent Miami or just so, so, so, family-friendly Disney. Plus, sea turtles and a great beachside boardwalk.

  1. Oakland- The artistic heart of the Bay Area, where all San Francisco’s creative people flock to amazing art houses and cool bars and galleries. Travelers may want to check out an Oakland A’s baseball game and then check out one of the city’s acclaimed soul food restaurants.
  1. Fort Collins- This Colorado college town is also loaded with great beer (and no, we’re not talking about the Anheuser Busch brewery – think Odell or Equinox). Make sure the buzz wears off before hitting up cool stores like the Cupboard for kitchens and Killer Rabbit for cool menswear.
  2. Virginia Beach– Like a few other USA Rising Stars, Virginia Beach is known for being a somewhat old school, sleepy beach town. But its time has come again. Tripsters appreciate a bit of kitsch (salt water taffy and custard on the boardwalk never grow old) and love it as a family destination.
  3. Twilight in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park | Photo: (c) A. Duarte via Flickr

    Twilight in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park | Photo: (c) A. Duarte via Flickr

    Great Smoky Mountains- Yes, you can really find both mountains and moonshine here. Devastating fires recently ripped through Gatlinburg, one of this region’s main cities. But we kept it on the Rising Star list because Tripsters did turn their attention to it this year – and there is plenty of mountain territory to enjoy that has not been destroyed. Road trip on Highway 441 (Newfound Gap Road), visit the Cherokee Reservation, hike the national park or visit Dollywood for a unique amusement park experience, see moonshine made, and…visit the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum, a private collection open to the public for just $3.

  1. Myrtle Beach- Completing a hat trick of kitschy beach destinations reborn, Myrtle Beach completes the list. An old school boardwalk and a range of good seafood spots for dinner- and if traveling with kids or just a fan of revisiting childhood, there are plenty of opportunities to play mini golf and options like Alligator Adventure. Or check out the old school boardwalk and range of good seafood restaurants for dinner.

Flight to Fitness — 5 Tips for the New Year

It’s not even mid-January, yet according to a study by the University of Scranton, more than 25% of us have already abandoned our New Year’s Resolutions. Wait, it gets better (actually worse)! U.S. News reports that by mid-February, 80% of us will slide back to bad old habits, including smoking, eating and general “couch potatoing”.

Travelers, show off your best self this year! We’ve posted some tips from fitness pro, Boomer Anderson, founder of Nomad Rx, a travel fitness assistant for keeping your fitness goals in check while you’re on the road.  Good luck!

  1. Pack the Snack

Flying around the world is exhausting. Jet lag and work put stresses on willpower. This tempts you to reach for the snickers. The next time you fly pack a snack. Airlines are notorious for serving horrible food. Stay focused by packing raw, calorie-dense nuts, like almonds, macadamias, walnuts and pecans. These nuts are healthy, adhere to almost every diet, and will keep you from feasting on refined sugar.

  1. Prioritize Hotels with a Gym
fitness on vacation

Photo: (c)iha

While going to a gym is motivating and a good way to meet people, you may not have the time. Select a hotel with a fitness facility. Most hotels list this feature on their website. If you have 10 to 20 minutes, you have time to workout in the hotel.

  1. Give Yourself an Hour Each Day 

The cliche, “the only person who will take care of you is you,” is correct. If you want to be healthy over the long run, give yourself an hour each day for wellness. Remember, you can break up the hour into two 30-minute or three 20-minute segments if you don’t have an hour all at once. Use the time to workout, do yoga or meditate. This will keep you healthy and focused. Need more time? Wake up earlier.  Start slow and wake up 15 minutes earlier each day for four days in a row. Now, you have an extra hour just for you!

  1. Pack for Fitness 

Don’t be left unprepared. When you find that magical free hour to exercise, but don’t have the right gear, that’s a bummer. Pack gym shoes, a t-shirt and shorts in your carry-on bag. This has the added effect of motivating you to go to the gym every morning when you look in your luggage.

  1. Use your body

 It will happen. You will stay in a hotel without a gym or a hotel where the gym is too crowded. Using just your body, you can create a pretty lethal workout in your hotel room. Pushups, air squats and burpees are among the many available bodyweight exercises. For some ideas on workouts, click here.

Closing: A Bonus Tip!

The next time you reach the airport or new city, think about prioritizing your health. The above five tips will help keep you focused when the times get tough (as they always do). Do you need further motivation? Look no further than AJ Jacobs, editor-at-large at Esquire Magazine. When trying to stay healthy, AJ instructed his wife to make a donation to an anti-charity (a cause or group that you would not want to support) if he strayed from his goals. Put this in place through Make a wager, state your anti-charity and go to work! If you fail, your money goes to enemies. No one wants that!

Boomer is a former investment banker who flew over 200,000 miles per year (at least 2 times a week). He is the founder of Nomad Rx, a travel fitness assistant. 



“Did you know…Sisters booted from flight miss dying dad’s final moments?”

allegiant air

In the case of the Allegiant Air crew’s decision to boot sisters off an Asheville, NC-bound flight, the phrase, “There’s no such thing as bad PR,” may not apply. According to Travel Pulse, two sisters have called out Allegiant Air and are seeking punishment for one of the budget carrier’s flight crews after they were removed from a flight hours before their ill father passed away.

The sisters, Debbie Hartman and Trisha Baker, were traveling from  Sanford, FL to Asheville, North Carolina, to visit their father in hospice care on January 1st.

Travel Pulse reports that before the plane left the tarmac, Baker said she received a text message informing her that her fathter had just hours to live. “After getting up from her seat to tell her sister, Baker was told to sit back down by one of the flight attendants.

The situation began to intensify when Hartman began having a panic attack, prompting Baker to confront the crew member.

“(My sister) said (to the flight attendant), ‘You’re being very rude. My father is dying, and I’m comforting her,’ and they said she needed to keep her personal problems off the plane,” Hartman told WKMG.

The sisters said that in a matter of minutes the crew alerted the flight’s captain, who turned back to the gate to allow airport security to remove them from the plane.”

Read the full story here.