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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.
A 2014 Travel Check List: @NYTimesTravel tweeted a New Year’s travel checklist with handy reminders like making sure your passport hasn’t expired, a list of handy apps for finding out everything from what’s allowed in your carry on to programs that help you solve travel emergencies on the fly, and most important, tips on the right credit cards for earning points and miles as well as getting into lounges.
A Kid-Friendly TSA: Going through airport security is one of the most stressful parts of the travel process these days, especially if you have tykes along with you. But the LA Times reports that the TSA has created a new kid-friendly site with a video explaining security screening and what they need to do to get through. It’s cute but a bit boring if you ask me. TSA PreCheck has also now expanded to 113 airports and the agency has 11 screening centers open where you can apply directly for PreCheck.
Five New Travel Startups: @Skift reports on five recently launched travel startups that will have an outsize impact on travel. Included are FundYourTravel, a Kickstarter-ish site where travelers can input their itineraries and crowdsource the funding, and HiverApp, an app for the skiers out there that reports on real-time conditions at ski spots all over the world.
Favorite Fit Travel Destinations: @fodorstravel shares a list of fitness and wellness resorts where folks can use travel to keep their new year’s resolutions going. Among the top picks are Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Rancho La Puerta in Mexicali, and Travaasa Hana on Maui.
T+L’s 500 Best New Hotels: @TravlAndLeisure tweeted out the magazine’s 500 best hotels for 2014 and some of my top picks are on there too, like the St. Regis Bal Harbour, Andaz 5th Avenue, the Park Hyatt Buenos Aires, Four Seasons Gresham Palace Budapest, and more.
Budget Travel’s Disaster Scenarios: Bad things can happen when you travel, but that doesn’t mean they have to ruin your trip. This week, @BudgetTravel tweeted out a list of the all-time worst-case travel scenarios and how you can solve them. Included are what to do if you crash your rental car, getting locked up abroad, natural disasters and other potential catastrophes.
CNN’s Secret Caribbean: While the polar vortex bears down on North America, we wrote up our own guide to warm-weather destinations where you can use your miles, and it looks like CNN Travel had the same idea when they released their list of 7 secret Caribbean islands to warm up on this winter. Included are gems like Petit St. Vincent, Dominica, Kamalame Cay and Isla Holbox.
10 Things Airlines Should All Do: USA Today Travel has come up with a list of 10 things airlines should do or make available to flyers including selling a la carte tickets that don’t multiple times what a roundtrip does, offer free WiFi and checked bag fee refunds when baggage is delayed, participate in TSA PreCheck and other hints both helpful and snarky.
Hilton Ultimate Weekender Sweepstakes: Hilton launched a sweepstakes where every week for a year it will be giving away a free weekend in New York City. You can enter here, and score a bonus entry by liking Hilton on Facebook and finding out this week’s secret word. You can enter one time per day per week (so 7 entries weekly) and can get bonus entries for doing things like uploading photos and sharing tips. There are 52 First Prizes that include two free night certificates at any Hilton hotel, two 50,000 American AAdvantage mileage certificates, a $100 Hilton HHonors gift card and a check for $800 (ARV $3,488). There will also be one Grand Prize of 24 free night certificates for use at any Hilton hotel, 24 certificates for 50,000 AA miles each, 12 $100 Hilton gift cards and a check for $10,000 (ARV $42,232).
Win A Trip To Napa Valley From Dean & Deluca: Win a food/wine lover’s dream trip to Napa Valley. Prize includes a two-night stay at the North Block Hotel, airfare and transportation, a private wine tasting with Dean & DeLuca’s Wine Director Kerrin Laz, a private cocktail tasting at Distillery No. 209, lunch at the historic Oakville Grocery Co., dinner for two at PRESS Restaurant – and a $500 DEAN & DELUCA gift card. All you have to do is “Like” Dean & Deluca on Facebook and enter your information. You have until January 31, 2014 to enter.