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With the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014, social media was positively atwitter (pardon the wordplay) with roundups, trend recaps and forecasts and a few fun contests, so we wanted to round up some of the more interesting news lately from some of our favorite outlets from the past week.
I comb 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.
10 Cities With The Most Travel Taxes: According to travel research by the Global Business Travel Association, Chicago, New York and Minneapolis, were named some of the worst American cities for travel tax burdens (sales tax, hotel, car rental and restaurant taxes). The cities with the least were mainly in Florida and California, tweets @HuffPostTravel.
Qatar Airlines Launches Online Visa Service For Tourists: You can now apply online for a tourist visa to visit Doha, reports @skift. The new service is available on the Qatar website for those with a confirmed ticket in and out of Doha on a Qatar Airways flight and have a hotel booking through Discover Qatar.
6 Apps For Last-Minute Trip Planning: @BudgetTravel offers 6 apps that will save you time and money when trip planning. For example, CheapOAir lets you view and book last-minute flights, or Scout which shows you gas stations, restaurants, and events near cities you may not be familiar with while traveling (both of these are free!).
10 Ways Air Travel Will Change In 2014: Air travel is changing quite a bit in 2014, for the good and the bad, tweets @CNTraveler. Some of the good news is that security should improve as TSA’s Pre-check advances on, and thanks to more fuel efficient planes, transatlantic budget airlines are making a comeback, like Norwegian Air. But beware, travel taxes are rising and the seat squeeze is worsening.
20 Most Beautiful Travel Photos: In early 2013, @NYTimesTravel created a list of destinations and asked readers to snap photos during their travels to these places. Here are some of the best photos submitted.
Conde Nast Traveller Offers Travel Journalism Course: British Conde Nast Traveller offers a travel journalism workshop for first-time writers in London, tweets @CNTraveller. The two-day writing and photography workshop takes place January 25-26 2014, at Vogue House in London and is open to anyone over the age of 18 and costs £550. Please email Conde Nast Travller if you are interested in attending.
5 Tips For Avoiding Lodging Disasters: @LATimesTravel quotes tips from Anthony Melchiorri of ‘Hotel Impossible’. He suggests options for avoid lodging disasters, such as reading up on hotel reviews before you travel, avoiding hotels that charge extra for WiFi and water, and calling hotels directly with questions if you have them.
18 Ways Travel Will Change in 2014: Many changes are coming to air travel, hotels, websites, and gadgets in 2014, tweets @TravlandLeisure. For example, airports will become more enjoyable due to better lounges, tech gadgets will continue to shrink and get ‘smarter’, and hotels and airlines will provide new technologies, such as using your smartphone as your key card to unlock your room door.
Win A Trip To Your Dream Destination: @Hostalworld tweets about a contest they are offering where you can win a dream vacation. The prize trip includes 5 nights free accommodation for 3 in a hostal, 3000 euros towards trip expenses, and 2000 euros in flight vouchers. All you have to do is explain where you’d like to go and why you deserve the trip. You have until January 5, 2014 to enter.
Win 10,000 Miles With Rocketmiles: Rocketmiles, a hotel booking site that gives you mileage bonuses with its airline partners on hotel bookings, is holding a Facebook contest where three lucky winners can win up 10,000 bonus miles each. Here is the contest page. All you have to do to enter is add a comment telling them why you’re saving miles for a chance to win 10,000 bonus miles. They are going to pick “3 creative and inspiring responses” on January 17. You must be a member of Rocketmiles to win.