Tech Tuesday

Travel Tech :: Selfies Made Simple

travel selfies made simple[trip style = any]

If you're not into awkward vacation selfies marred by an arm dangling across your snap, or if you'd rather not ask a stranger to take your photo and later find out it's blurry, you need to know about the perfect app for that.

Over the past few weeks my love for my iPhone app, TimerCam {equivalent on Android = TimerCamera}, has been burning bright. Having been in WA on an end-of-summer vacay with Mr. Trip Styler and our pup, and now on Oahu with my sister, this app has been invaluable for marking memories. I recommend you download it in all its freeness. {It was Japan's number-one photography app in Feb 2012 and they're always ahead of the game!}

Unless we're talking about the new Nokia with a 41 megapixel camera, a smartphone is not the ideal tool for capturing memorable moments at landmarks like Australia's Whitehaven Beach or Croatia's Dalmatian coast, but as the saying goes, your best camera is the one that's WITH you.

Trip Styler Tip :: There's a time and a place for vacation selfies. Self-timer camera apps are best used in non-touristy areas where you're sure nobody will snatch your phone {unless of course you're aware of an iLeash, which I am not}.

Here's a recent photo I snapped using TimerCam:

travel selfie + smarphone self-timer camera app {Ignore my poor choice in bicycle-esque bottoms; I didn't know the moment would strike for a family photo.}

To set up the shot, press on the screen to ensure the light and focus are right, tap the timer [5 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 30 sec] and click the camera icon to start the timer.

Instagram :: The Ultimate Travel Tool

how to use instagram as a travel tool[trip style = any]

Not just a snap-py tool to follow friends, swoon over glamor shots of far-flung locales or ogle latte art, Instagram is one of my favorite travel tools. Lately I've been chatting with my travel friends about how we use it as one of our go-to galavanting guides, so I wanted to give you the quick and dirty deets. Use it the right way and suddenly, a picture turns into a plan.

Trip Styler Tip :: O-B-V-I-O-U-S-L-Y TripStyler's on Instagram

How To Use Instagram As Your Travel BFF 1. Hashtags 4insta Whether it's a tourism organization, hotel or restaurant, travel-related businesses are harnessing the power of hashtags to build up a user-generated database of 'real people' photos. For example, if you're interested in a place you want to visit, say Canada, search the #exploreCanada hashtag for inspiration. Maybe you decide a tour of BC is your best bet; in this case search #exploreBC. The list goes on. To find the hashtag associated with your destination, airline, restaurant or shop du moment, go to the username and see if they mention a hashtag in their profile, or search possible hashtags to find the right one. The example above is a shot I took in Osooyoos, BC in the early fall, which I hastagged #exploreCanada and #exploreBC.

2. Geotags 1insta A few weeks ago, I was getting a coffee at Koffi in Palm Springs when I spotted a hotel I've always wanted to check into: The Horizon Hotel. A midcentury gem in all its clean-lined glory, I decided to walk in and self-tour the property. Naturally, I took a photo while there {above}, instagrammed and geotagged it. Interested what the rooms look like on the inside, I clicked the hotel's geotag and started scrolling though scores of snaps. This five-minute photo safari only confirmed my desire to stay, revealing details like private showers and complimentary breakfast in bed. **Looking through geotagged photos is easiest when you post a photo, geotag it, then go back to your feed and click on the geotag to look at everybody's snaps for that location. If you're not at the place associated with the geotag and want to search its geotag, find the associated hashtag or username, then search through the photos to find the geotag.

3. Personal Recommendations 2insta You can search your Insta-muse's photos two ways: 1/ follow their Instagram day-to-day; 2/ click on their photo map to see where they've gone and what they like.

For example, I follow Sunset Magazine on Instagram. The mag's Insta is updated by the editor who lives in Seattle, so many of the photos are of cool spots in the PNW. As a result, I get a lot of recommendations about where to eat around the Emerald City from Sunset, like in the photo above {a relaxed coffee/bike shop beside some of Ballard's hottest restaurants}. Thanks Sunset. I'm a little more plump Insta-knowing you.

[photos via @tripstyler]

Tech Tuesday :: What Kind Of Beachgoer Are You?

[trip style = beach]

The idea of trip stylin' is taking flight, and we're excited to be the figurative first officer! Expedia recently launched their Discover Your Summer Escape Sale---one of their biggest sales of the year---partially designed around trip styles.

The sale comes in two parts: a} Discovering your perfect summer escape by selecting a destination through a package or a la carte. b} Discovering your ultimate summer beach-going escape through a quick quiz on Facebook.

Use the quiz to find your summer 2012 beach personality---be it zen, active, luxury, family, exotic, foodie, etc.... After completing the questions, you're matched with a travel blog like Trip Styler that best fits your answers. Each travel blog shares their bucket list and top pick destinations for summer travel inspiration, some of which you can book! We were lucky enough to be featured as one of these 15 travel blogs; check out our locales for Zen and Luxury trip styles.

PS - I have no obligation to mention Expedia's summer sale, but who doesn't want to talk about summer trip styles? If you're reading Trip Styler, I'm guessing you do!

More Tech Tuesday Stitchtagram - Travel Pillow Talk Hotel Tonight Adds Canada Eh Pic Frames {aka – photo collages} Tingo “Money Back” Hotel Search ‘n Book Instagram For Android Google Traveler Tricks

[photos via]

Tech Tuesday :: Stitchagram

[trip style = any]

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Some people accent their home's design with travel finds from around the world. Done wrong {or with too many finds}, it can be suuuuuuper tacky; done right, it can be tasteful. Before I'd really figured out my design aesthetic, I went through a major Paris decor season. At one point---my lowest point on the design scale---I think my friends counted 17 Eiffel Tower pillows, statues and other chotchkies in my 700sf condo {in my self-defense it was the first city I conquered solo}. Those days are gone, but my love for m-i-n-i-m-a-l-l-y working travel photos and other worldwide finds into home decor is here to stay.

Enter the kill-100-birds-with-one-stone method: Stitchtagram, a DC-based company that transposes your Instagram snaps onto snazzy pillows. Now you and I can sleep on the Eiffel Tower, the Serengeti or that summer camping trip---or just display them on the couch. Think of the conversation-starting potential.

Pillows start at $64usd and are shipped globally.

PS - For more Instagram ideas check out these canvas wall prints we featured in December.

More Tech Tuesday Hotel Tonight Adds Canada Eh Pic Frames {aka – photo collages} Tingo “Money Back” Hotel Search ‘n Book Instagram For Android How To Make Animated Travel Photos Phoneography Google Traveler Tricks

[photos via stitchtagram]

Tech Tuesday :: Hotel Tonight {+ Canada!}

[trip style = any]

—————————————————– New here or faithful TS reader? Get daily trip style tips delivered right to your inbox or RSS reader, AND interact with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! ——————————————————

In September 2011, we told you about Hotel Tonight, an app for iThings and Androids that allows people to book hotels at the last minute---so last minute that booking only becomes available at noon the day-of. To say we love this app in all its spontaneous glory, is an understatement, so when we learned about the latest development, we had to share it with you! Previously, only hotels in major US cities were bookable, now they've added Vancouver and Toronto into the mix.

Taking a look at the hotels available in Vancouver on May 3rd, I see the Pan Pacific for $203 and the Granville Island Hotel $182. To compare, on for the same night, the Pan is $247 and the Granville Island Hotel is $265. Hotel Tonight offers a respectable savings for both. Being a total travel geek, I peruse Hotel Tonight for fun {even when I'm not traveling} to see if the prices are "all that." Most of the time, they are a decent savings. {I just realized this must sound really sales-y, but TS isn't like that AND I'm just really passionate about this subject.}

I know we're not all comfortable with the last minute-, throw-caution-to-the-wind-approach, but if it's a Friday night and you decide you want to do an overnight trip starting Saturday morning, remember your friend Hotel Tonight. If you don't find what you want, you can always book via a hotel's website, Kayak or Expedia! Get more juicy details on the Hotel Tonight app by reading our previous post about it.

{Trip Styler Tip :: Discounts may grow as the sun sets. At the time of writing on May 3rd, I saw some good deals at noon. Checking back around 6pm some updated, amazing deals, were offered. In this scenario, it pays to be late for a very important date!}

PS - Just last week I booked the Thompson Beverly Hills---a hotel I've been eyeing and will write about tomorrow---on Hotel Tonight. I got it for $153 and the whole 'transaction' took less than one minute via my iPhone.

More Tech Tuesday Pic Frames {aka - photo collages} Tingo “Money Back” Hotel Search ‘n Book Instagram For Android How To Make Animated Travel Photos Phoneography Google Traveler Tricks

[photos = screenshots of Hotel Tonight offers on May 3rd]