STUDIO CITY (CBS) — If you’re planning a spring trip, finding a deal online may save you a bundle! Jennifer Jolly stopped by KCAL9 Thursday to talk about the new twists on tech travel tools.
By now, most people know you can score great deals through online travel sites like Expedia or Priceline. But a little insider secret: If you start at Ebates.com and use it to get to those other sites, you not only get bigger savings — coupons and discounts of up to 50% off — you also get back a certain amount of money that you spend. With this bundling of deals and layering of coupons, you basically get paid to shop for everything from plane tickets and hotel and car reservations to luggage or a great digital camera. It’s pretty great to get back from a trip and get a big, fat check.
For peace of mind while you’re away from home, check out a site called Nextdoor. It’s a free, private social network for your neighborhood. I’ve used it to find a pet sitter, get my plants watered, borrow a bike rack, and even to find a really trustworthy house sitter. This is a site you should know about, anyway — it’s one of the coolest social network trends around, providing real value in the real world. All it takes is one person to sign up, then each neighborhood creates a private social network that’s only open to the people who actually live there. The site becomes a hub for local events, school activities, plumber and babysitter recommendations, recent crime activity, upcoming garage sales, and even travel resources.
Top Gear: Take it with you
Price: $150 + $12.95 monthly subscription fee
I can’t imagine life on the road without this new personal GPS. It’s a tiny, pocket-sized location device that can track people, pets, or even lost luggage any time — from just about anywhere in the world. You charge it up, turn it on, and then put the cookie-sized GPS in your child’s backpack, your teenager’s car, your own luggage, an elderly parent’s pocket, or even on your dog’s collar. Then you use a free app on your computer, smartphone, or tablet to see where they are.
What’s really cool about PocketFinder is that you can set allowable zones — say, for your kids to walk to and from the beach on vacation. If they leave that zone, you’ll get an alert. Have a teen who’s just gotten a driver’s license? Put the PocketFinder in the car and set an alert to see if they’re speeding or driving dangerously. I just used PocketFinder to track down my luggage a good two hours before the airlines did, when it was misrouted to Orange County instead of Orlando.
4. Asus Zenbook Ultrabook
I’ve been traveling with this this Asus Zenbook Ultrabook since January, and holy smokes, has it ever lightened my load while keeping me totally up to speed! The Asus Zenbook Ultrabook with Intel Core i7 processor technology is small enough to slip into my purse. It boasts battery life that can make it from SFO to JFK on a single charge, yet it weighs less than the bottle of water I’m carting around right now and is tough enough to withstand a few drops and spills.
5. Sony eReader Wifi
You hear a lot about the Kindle and Nook, but a lesser-known e-reader, the Sony eReader Wifi, has become another constant travel companion since I first reviewed it in January. It’s the lightest 6″ e-reader on the market today, weighing less than a paperback, and holds up to 1,200 books. It’s also the first e-reader to offer wifi public library access and downloads right from the device. I also love the glare-free touchscreen. But the best part? You can read for more than a month on a single battery charge.
6. Sony Playstation $250
Entertainment: Everybody always asks me how to keep the kids – or ever worse – the tweens – or teens entertained – have you seen the Sony PlayStation Vita?
• It’s a portable gaming device with has fancy cameras, motion sensors, and a broadband connection. You can play games, watch movies, stream music… it’s even a great digital and video camera – truly an all in one full entertainment center right in your hands.
• Plus, the graphics are spectacular and sure to engage even the most disinterested pre-teen.
7. Jak and Daxter $40
• If you’ve got a gamer in the family – for a whole lot less money – you can surprise the kids with the Jak and Daxter Collection – the ultimate PlayStation 3 compilation of the critically-acclaimed series
• features the first three installments of Jak and Daxter series, all fully remastered in 720p to deliver stunning HD visuals on one PlayStation 3 Blu-ray Disc.
• Lets you experience the action-packed adventures by introducing stereoscopic 3D support – enjoy hours of diverse gameplay in one complete PS3 package.
For more information, visit Tecca.