If you've been saving up your time off for a summer vacation, now is the time to start planning your getaway. But do you know where you'll be heading yet? If you need inspiration, we've collected a handful of apps and websites to give you some ideas. Then all you have to do is book a ticket and go!
TRVL (free for iPad)
Whether you’re looking to belly dance in Cairo or have a cold blast in Iceland, you can vicariously do so through this app. TRVL magazine is created exclusively for the iPad and to date, the app allows you to download over 50 free issues, each of which addresses a different destination. High quality photography and video accompany the informative stories, all of which are produced by professional writers and photographers. The interface, which features interactive maps and slideshows, is easy to use and works both horizontally and vertically.
Concierge Insider Guides (free for iPad)
Have you ever travelled to a destination and wished that you had a personal concierge to guide you? Will a virtual concierge do? The InterContinental Hotels have created an app that allows you to access the knowledge of experienced concierges in more than 120 destinations, from the spice markets of Istanbul to the museums of Atlanta and everywhere in between. In addition to the standard tips on shopping, restaurants, nightlife, and general sightseeing, you’ll also find information on the local culture. Naturally, you can also book a stay at the nearest InterContinental hotel or resort directly through the app.
Goby (free for iPhone and Android)
Goby helps you find events in your area that match your interests, whether you're at home or on vacation. You can manually set up a profile in the app or sync up with Facebook. You’ll then be able to view your own customized "fun feed," which includes events in over 350 categories. Whether you’re looking for a yoga studio, a sports stadium, a jazz venue or some family fun, Goby will help you find it.
If you're not sure where you want to travel, but you know what you'd like to do once you're there (scuba diving, for example), Wanderfly is a good place to start. It's essentially a social network for travelers, so you start by creating a profile based on your interests. (You have to log in via Facebook or Google.) Once you name at least three interests, you'll start to get travel recommendations that you can share and comment on. Then you can make your own recommendations for your home city and for places you've visited around the world.
AFAR (free for iPhone and Android)
AFAR is a print travel magazine with a focus on connecting with the local community when on vacation. The companion app expands on the magazine with a community feature. You can browse the photos and "trip highlights" (geo-tagged by location) from other members to get ideas for future travel -- and you can also contribute your own.