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Social media is increasingly becoming the method airlines, hotels, credit cards and consumers get in touch with one another about the latest news, deals and promotions. Here’s a look at the latest interesting trending topics and more on social media from the week.
I’ll be combing through Facebook posts, Tweets, Instagram pics and more to find the most interesting things going on during any given week, but if I miss something you’d like to discuss feel free to:
-Post on my Facebook wall
-Tweet me @thepointsguy
-Instagram me @thepointsguy
Here are some of the biggest news stories and promotions that everyone has been tweeting about this week.
Smartphones To Replace Room Keys At Some Starwood Hotels: Guests checking in at the Aloft Hotel in Manhattan or the Aloft in Silicon Valley will soon be able bypass the check-in desk and enter their rooms by using a smartphone as a room key, tweets @Skift. This Starwood hotel brand plans to to offer this feature at two hotels, in the Harlem neighborhood and in Cupertino, CA by spring. Guests at these properties will receive a message on a Starwood app containing a virtual key, which will unlock the door with a tap or twist of their phone through the use of Bluetooth technology. This will be compatible with the iPhone 4S and newer models, and the Android phones running 4.3 or newer.
Google Glass Is The Coolest Travel Tech Gadget: @NYTimesTravel reviews the newest travel tool for globetrotters, the Google Glass. The Google Glass looks like a techie pair of glasses, and is capable of translating words, snapping hands-free photographs, getting quick directions, or helping you find public transport. To activate Glass you simply tilt your head upward while wearing it or, alternatively, tap the side of the glasses and say, “O.K., Glass.” After that, you primarily control the device with your voice (always beginning with “O.K., Glass”). Currently available for purchase only by invitation from Google and will set you back $1,500. Later this year it should be available without invitation.
Take Precaution Against Mosquito-Borne Virus If Traveling to the Caribbean: 480 cases of a mosquito-borne virus outbreak have been reported since January 20, 2014 in several Caribbean islands.You shouldn’t cancel your travel plans, but take important precautions like wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, applying insect repellent (with essential ingredients DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535), and sleeping in screened or air-conditioned rooms, tweets @Fodors.
Airlines Are Moving Towards Cheaper In-Flight WiFi Options: Airlines are wising up and offering cheaper (and even free) internet options while flying, tweets @Frommers. Southwest recently began offering gate-to-gate WiFi access for messaging for $2. Last week, Delta announced they will now sell Wi-Fi for tablets and smartphones for $1.95 provided the flight is two hours or less in duration. Recently, JetBlue announced it would be offering free WiFi for all its passengers, although the rollout will take several months.
Italy’s 20 Regions And Their Most Famous Dishes: This dish-by-dish guide will help you explore all the different food in each region of Italy, tweets @CNNTravel. Each region is distinct and so is it’s food, so this guide is will prepare on what to chow down on depending on the region you are heading to. Buon appetito!
First Glance At the Harry Potter Diagon Alley: Maybe you’ve been waiting to take your kids (ahem or yourself) on a vacation to visit the new Diagon Alley addition to the Harry Potter theme park at Universal Studios, and soon you’ll be able to, tweets @TIME. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley will open in the Universal Studios park this summer. It will be connected to the already open Wizarding World of Harry Potter—Hogsmeade in the Islands of Adventure park within Universal Orlando via a recreated Hogwarts Express train.
Win A Flight To Bangkok on Cathay Pacific: @CreativeLive tweets about a contest where you could win a round trip plane ticket on Cathay Pacific to Bangkok from either SFO, LAX, ORD, JFK and EWR valued up to $1,500, and a library of travel books from Lonely Planet valued at $135. Follow these simple steps to enter: show your top destination in Southeast Asia by pinning it on Pinterest to a board of your choice then submit your pin by clicking the “Submit an Entry” button here. You will need to submit the URL to your pin to enter. After, follow creativeLIVE on Pinterest. Finally, watch afree class Stress Free Budget Travel on 1/29 & 1/30. You must enter before January 30th, 2014 at 12 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.
Win A $100 Flight Voucher: The Traveling Scholar has teamed up with Momodo (a flight searching website) to offer winners a $100 flight voucher to the airline of their choice (provided the airline has a gift card system in place), tweets @lavidashannon. You can enter here by entering your email address and you also have the option to enter via Facebook. You have until February 5, 2014 to submit your entry.
Win A Trip For 2 To Paris: Win a trip to Paris courtesy of Airfare Watchdog and Tasting Table. The prize trip includes roundtrip airfare for 2 people, 4 night stay in a luxury hotel and $1,000 to wine and dine your way through Paris. Simply enter your email address and zip code to win. You must be a U.S resident to enter and you must submit your entry by 11:59 p.m. EST on February 24, 2014.