Global-travel-2

New Travel Booking App Is Bringing Sexy Back

There’s a hot, new player in the travel industry in town who’s aiming to sex up your booking experience. The mobile-only app HotelTonight just officially launched in Australia after huge success as one of the most downloaded travel apps in the US with 13 million users worldwide.

RELATED: Gwyneth To Launch Skincare And Beauty Ranges Via Goop

The Silicon Valley-born app is striving to outdo its competitors by offering the best, last-minute deals on handpicked hotels, unique stays and boutique properties. In fact, it’s chiefly designed to bring spontaneity back to travel.

travel, mobile booking app, travel booking

Said to be the first of its kind in Australia, the app utilises geo-tagging to identify the user’s location before presenting a curated list of 15,000 hotels in more than 500 destinations across the globe. You can book that night or seven days in advance. In addition, HotelTonight is also one of the first apps to be built into the Apple Watch.

So, how much can you save on a last-minute hotel deal while using it? Up to 50 per cent, says HotelTonight Asia Pacific regional director Stefan Cordiner. In fact, Stefan (pictured) says young, savvy travellers are so enamoured with his app, they can’t live without its “plan less, live more” mantra and range of Hip, Luxe, Solid and Basic classified hotels.

travel, mobile booking app, travel booking

“We are really excited to be leading the mobile revolution in the global and Australian hotel booking industry, a revolution that is not simply a part of our business, it is our business,” he says. “We like to shake things up for people and make travelling a little more spontaneous and fun and we think Australia is more than ready for our brand of spontaneity.

“The app curates Australian properties, with a spotlight on unique stays, and has a rate track feature that alerts you to when hotel prices in your area have dropped. I think this is what people become hooked on once they start using it.”

A free app, available for download from the iPhone App Store, it is suitable for iOS and Android devices. So, how well do young Aussie travellers rate the app? Charlotte Bridgeman, 27 (pictured), a personal style, fashion and lifestyle blogger and marketer based in both Melbourne and Sydney, loves it.

travel, mobile booking app, travel booking

The gorgeous, young blogger, who has some 32,000 followers on her @winstonandwillow Instagram account, regularly recommends the app to friends looking for a weekend getaway or who are planning a “staycation” close by.

“The HT app is easy-to-use, very eye-catching and shows the best, last-minute deals at beautiful handpicked hotels,” Charlotte says.

“Most rooms booked on the same day are around $150 per night which is an amazing deal, especially for how expensive Sydney usually is! I’m travelling to New York in September and am planning on getting some great, last-minute deals using the app for when I’m there. Who would have thought you would ever be able to get an amazing 4-5 star hotel in New York City for under $200!”

“My first experience using the app was when I stayed at Blue Sydney in Woolloomooloo, Sydney. I downloaded the app, made an account, booked the hotel in less than 10 minutes and as I booked the same day as I was staying there, I managed to get a really great rate on the room that is normally four times the price.

Meanwhile, avid Sydney-based traveller Annette Widitz (pictured), an industrial officer with 33,000 plus followers on her @dawa_lhamo Instagram account, also really rates the HotelTonight app.

travel, mobile booking app, travel booking

“It’s so simple,” she says, “I used it to book a luxe hotel to celebrate my husband’s birthday. It took less than a minute to book!

“I don’t like to plan too much when I travel, so to be able to book a beautiful hotel with a huge discount at the last minute is fantastic! The HotelTonight mobile app runs very smoothly and has lots of gorgeous pictures so you can get a clear idea of what your room will look like.  It’s also very quick to use, no waiting for a picture or page to load. I was just looking through the app yesterday, dreaming of where I will stay on my next trip.”

travel, mobile booking app, travel booking

June 22, 2015

Top 5 Luxury Travel Destinations For Less

Love the idea of a luxury holiday, but can’t seem to convince your significant other to spend your life savings on a two-week trip? SHESAID has got you covered here, with top luxury travel tips from the team at Escape Travel.

RELATED: Gwyneth To Launch Skincare And Beauty Ranges Via Goop

Here, Escape Travel customer experience executive Tijana Jaksic (pictured) gives us the inside scoop on how to have a luxury vacay without the hefty price tag.

luxury travel, luxury travel for less, travel

“Holidays are an escape from the everyday grind so it makes sense people want to do them in style!” Tijana says. “The best way to get luxe for less is to go for a package deal with lots of bonus inclusions. This means you’ll get access to special activities you wouldn’t normally without breaking the bank.”

And Brisbane travel enthusiast, journalist Luke Royes concurs. Luke, who’s a seasoned, big-tripper who’s undertaken recent adventures everywhere from Southern Africa to Europe, Central America, SE Asia and more, says luxury travel isn’t always synonymous with big expenses. For him, it’s all about special, money-can’t buy moments and memories.

“In my experience, things that make a place desirable – like atmosphere, natural beauty, architecture, history and security – are not things that come with a price tag,” Luke says.

“While the tyranny of distance means flights from Australia tend to be long-haul and costly once you get to places like Europe – the UK, Portugal and Spain spring to mind – there are often times when museums and other attractions have free entry. The great thing about these places is that they are built to accommodate tourists and easy to get around.

“For those wanting to travel closer to home, places in Asia are easier to navigate than it may sound and luxury comes at a cheaper price.

“While I love being able to explore new places and see cool stuff, what I love most about travel is seeing how other people live their lives and sometimes just going for a wander and people-watching can produce an unexpected holiday highlight.”

So, with Luke’s top travel tips in mind, without further ado, here are Tijana’s pick of top 5 luxury travel destinations for less. Happy travels!

Maldives
The seriously swoon-worthy island nation of the Maldives is a hot tourist destination for loved-up honeymooners and luxe vacation-makers the globe over thanks to its sun-baked, white sands and sparkling, blue water. To get the destination experience without the high resort fee, opt for one of the lesser travelled of the 200 local islands rather than the more popular tourist spots.

There are also local ferries to get you around for less, as opposed to the more expensive speed boats or sea planes. And you can also opt for more complete holiday packages which throw in extra activities to save your pennies while you’re kicking back in your bungalow.

luxury travel, luxury travel for less, travel

French Riviera
Charming and historic, the sleepy villages along the French Riviera are a must-see destination for travel lovers. While popular destinations like Cannes, St Tropez and Monte Carlo draw huge crowds yearly, step a little off the beaten track at the lesser known spots like Saint Paul de Vence to save some dosh. Don’t worry, there are plenty of affordable transport options to get you into the happening zones when you’re feeling like hitting the town!

Travelling off peak, just before or after the official summer season will also do wonders for your hip pocket, as will filling your days with the myriad of free museums and galleries in the area.

luxury travel, luxury travel for less, travel

Maui, Hawaii
The second largest Hawaiian Island has much to offer the holiday-maker. With stunning natural scenery, pristine and world-class beaches and always friendly locals, it’s no wonder this is a popular tourist destination for people from all walks of life.

To get the luxe without the price tag, try to book a holiday apartment or condo with a small kitchenette to prepare your own meals. By only eating out about half your time, you’ll save lots on food! Also try renting a car to get you around or just stick to the one island to save on transport and fill your days with free natural scenery and stunning beach visits.

luxury travel, luxury travel for less, travel

Lake Como, Italy
Just north of Milan lies the world-famous and celebrity hotspot Lake Como – a haven of natural beauty and luxurious villas which has been a popular tourist destination since the Roman Empire. George Clooney, eat your heart out! Top travel tip: staying and eating in the town of Como over the flashy resorts will prove much more cost effective, and still close enough to the lake to fully enjoy the location.

To really save serious dosh, do a day trip from Milan or aim to travel just off peak seasons of May and June (or try for August to still get the most of the sunny weather!). Soak up the beautiful views through walks or bike rides, exploring the lake with an unlimited day ticket (about €28) and perusing the gorgeous historical architecture which won’t break the bank!

luxury travel, luxury travel for less, travel

Dubai
A fusion of culture, cuisine, shopping and architecture, Dubai is a happening hub! With over 200 different nationalities and dining from around the globe on offer, this desert destination is a bona fide tourist hotspot.

To enjoy the experience without the huge price tag, try foods from the local markets and only splurge a couple of times at a fine restaurant. Or, try getting around on the affordable metro system and haggle with the local markets to pick up a bargain. There are also plenty of free tourist attractions, like mosques, museums and parks to give you a dose of culture.

luxury travel, luxury travel for less, travel

What do you think? How do you stretch your luxury travel dollar?

Images via Superbwallpapers.com, Cotedazurcollection.co.uk, Hotel Room Search, Made-In-Italy, Gulf Holidays

June 19, 2015

Dream Holiday Destinations

In a recent SheSaid competition we asked you to tell us about your dream holiday destination. For some of you it’s a place, for other’s more a state of mind. And while for most of us an exotic international holiday any time soon is plain wishful thinking, there’s no harm in dreaming!Here’s a selection of the best responses…

Sun, cocktails, water, beautiful boys. That’s it. That’s all I want. Oh and shops (of course)! Laura.

Toasting on a beach in Jamaica with some beautiful Jamaican guys drooling over me and me drooling over them. Just me my bikini and my men! Kellie.

Somewhere in the pacific, not too hot, but a moderate 25 degrees, palms everywhere, beach pure white, water glistening, and hot babes to serve my meals. Did I mention a small mall not too far away? Katrina

Has to be the Maldives. Think of endless hot days with white sand beaches and dark muscly local men with tight derrieres. Heaven in paradise. Helen.

Somewhere with sun, fun fabulous friends and fabulous food! I need to escape winter and get some colour to stop everyone calling me Casper! Pega.

Australia – there’s so much to see in our own backyard. I’d love to do a big trip around the country and soak it all up – from the rainforests to the deserts. The people, the weather, the food! Jenny.

Bora Bora, tropical blue water, French/Polynesian hospitality, glass bottom huts over the reef, now all I need is the hunky boyfriend and I’m off! Michele.

My dream holiday spot would be my Mum’s house. I miss her like crazy and can’t wait to go on holidays to see her! Carla.

Rome, Italy. Pizza Pasta Wine and the music. Relaxing in a vineyard in the sun with my partner. Kerry.

My dream holiday destination would have to be Paris. It’s a romantic beautiful city filled with art, history, great food and fabulous shopping what more could you want! Flavia.

Edinburgh … in a warm Scottish pub drinking decent beer with the cold wind howling outside. Erin.

Cuba is my ideal holiday destination, sipping daiquiris all night long dancing away to salsa beats in a hot bar packed with good looking young Latinos. Fay.

I know it doesn’t exist, but I’d love to go to Tolkien’s “Middle-Earth” and holiday with the hobbits. They seem carefree, simple and very, very happy living in the shire. Anh.

Probably the Cadbury Factory in Tasmania. I would have an absolute field day in there. I would not want to leave! Deanne.

December 10, 2002