Travel — 25 August 2012
Travel planning and websites

Valerie Schimel
is a regular contributor to City & Shore Magazine, and the editor of, a calendar of activities for kids in South Florida. She travels frequently with her three daughters and very brave husband. Here are five things that make the trip smoother.

Room 77

A great hotel room can make a vacation – and a bad one can ruin it. (Ask anyone who’s slept above a noisy restaurant). Take the risk out of the equation with Room 77, our new favorite hotel guide. Enter your destination, check-in and check-out dates and the site combs the web for best available rates and guest reviews of relevant properties. All good info, but our favorite part is the tips on the best rooms at each hotel.



Airline travel can be a bit of a nightmare. After our fifth trip circling MIA while picking up a friend last month, we finally got savvy and downloaded Enter a flight number or route info and get real-time data on delays, gate changes and arrival times. We can’t make the flights run on time, but we can cut down on time in the cell-phone lot.


SitinMySeats VIP Tickets, Travel & Concierge Services 

Kick your vacation up a notch with a quick consult with SitinMySeats. The luxury concierge dishes out VIP seats and tickets to the best games in town – think NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL. Got a music lover in the family? Invest in concert tickets. A foodie? Hello, chef’s table. A car nut? Motor around town in a Rolls-Royce for the week. You dream it, they deliver.



Let’s face it, sitting next to the lavatory stinks. Avoid booking the wrong seat on your next flight with SeatGuru. Such a simple concept, yet so useful (and addictive). Before booking your next plane ticket, enter your airline name and flight number on the site and scan through a color-coded seating chart outlining the best and worst of what’s available. Goodbye non-reclining seats, hello power ports.


We rarely miss the travel agent days – it’s just so much simpler (and cheaper) to book our own flights and hotel rooms. But sorting through all the emails, confirmations and notes is a different story. That’s where TripIt comes in. Forward the app all your confirmation emails (flights, rental cars, hotels,) and it builds you a custom travel itinerary – simple as that.


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