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The Best New Accessories for Your Smart Phone

I’m addicted to my iPhone. There, I said it. I feel better. Now that that’s out of the way, I should also admit another addiction: I can’t get enough of cell phone accessories. It doesn’t matter if it’s something like a cool new case, or an addictive—and in many cases, mind-numbing—game that I’ve downloaded to waste time while busing back and forth between NYC, Boston, and Philadelphia, as I’m known to do. (Yes, I do consider an app a cell phone accessory, of sorts.) I just love anything that makes my already cool phone even cooler.

That being said, I want to share my latest favorite cell phone accessories:

201203-b-tripodjpgI just picked up the XSories Mini Deluxe Tripod ($29.99; xsories.com), and am in love. It works with just about any smart phone by gripping it via a spring-operated clasp and is perfect if you, like me, use your phone as your primary camera while out and about. It’s small enough that it can fit in your bag, or even a back pocket. It's super lightweight, and you can even bend the legs for even more flexibility with positioning it. Couple it with the Photo Timer app (free; iOS) and you can make sure the whole gang gets in the shot.

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Travel Tweet-Up: How To Get Great Treatment

sarah spagnoloExcellent service is one of the most important parts of travel; the type of treatment you receive can make or break a trip. With that in mind, we decided to host a special service-oriented chat on Twitter, bringing in a team of experts from all corners of the travel world, to find out just what goes into making your trip extra memorable.

So join us tomorrow (February 22), from 3p.m. until 4p.m. ET; the chat will be hosted by Travel + Leisure Digital Projects Editor, Sarah Spagnolo [twitter.com/sarahspagnolo], and special guest Anna Post [twitter.com/EmilyPostInst], the great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post, and the co-author of the 18th edition of Emily Post’s Etiquette.

Also joining in the conversation is a panel of travel experts, all eager to answer your burning travel questions. Our expert panelists include:

- JetBlue - @JetBlue
- Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, India - @OberoiGroup
- Seabourn - @SeabournCruise
- Stafford London By Kempinski - @StaffordLondon

How does it work?

1. Log in to Twitter any time from 3-4p.m. EST and be sure to follow the chat hosts: @TravlandLeisure, @SarahSpagnolo, & @EmilyPostInst.
2. Use the hashtag #TL_Chat to follow and participate in the Getting Great Service Tweet-Up.
3. To keep up with the chat in real time, head over to http://tweetchat.com/room/tl_chat
4. We'll pulse out some questions for our expert panel to answer, but feel free to post your own answers to our questions! Or ask your own questions! Take advantage of this special access to this fab panel and get some expert travel advice.

We hope to "see" you there!

2010-hs-josh-pramisjpgJoshua Pramis is the social media editor and resident tech aficionado. Follow him on Twitter: @joshuapramis

 

 

Winter Travel Tweet-up with Travel + Leisure!

laura-begley-bloomjpgWhether you're looking to escape the unseasonably-warm-but-still-pretty-frigid winter weather of the north for a beachy getaway, or you actually want to get in some quality time with good ol' Jack Frost and hit the slopes, we've got the perfect solution to help plan your trip!

Tomorrow (February 1), we're hosting a live Twitter chat from 3p.m. until 4p.m. ET, along with Travel + Leisure Deputy Editor Laura Begley Bloom.

Also joining in the conversation is a panel of travel experts, all eager to answer your burning seasonal travel questions. Our expert panelists include:

1. Jamie Shupak, @JamieShupak
2. Johnny Jet, @JohnnyJet
3. Liz Sutton, @AlabamaWorldTvl
3. Rebecca Minkoff, @RebeccaMinkoff
4. Ryan Jones, @Liftopia

How does it work?

1. Log in to Twitter any time from 3-4p.m. EST and be sure to follow the chat hosts: @TravlandLeisure and @LauraBegley
2. Use the hashtag #TL_Chat to follow and participate in the chat.
3. To keep up with the chat in real time, head over to http://tweetchat.com/room/tl_chat
4. We'll pulse out some questions for our expert panel to answer, but feel free to post your own answers to our questions! Or ask your own questions! Take advantage of this special access to this fab panel and get some expert travel advice.

We hope to "see" you there!

2010-hs-josh-pramisjpgJoshua Pramis is the social media editor and resident tech aficionado. Follow him on Twitter: @joshuapramis

Announcing the SMITTYs: T+L's Social Media in Travel & Tourism Awards!

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Let’s face it: social media is taking over. If you’re not at least on Facebook and Twitter, you’re, well, behind on the times. To honor and acknowledge those in the Travel industry who are doing an exceptional job on these new platforms, we’re introducing the first-ever Travel + Leisure Social Media in Travel & Tourism Awards or, as we’ve come to call ‘em, "The SMITTYs." (Clever, right?)

Want to nominate a travel company that's doing something cool? Or has your company launched an innovative/exciting/super-successful social media campaign? If yes, submit one or more nominations for a chance to win one (or more!) of these monumental new awards. Who exactly can enter? We’re looking for submissions from the following:

- Hotels & Resorts
- Cruise Lines
- Airlines
- Airports
- Tour Operators
- Tourism Boards/CVBs
- Travel Agencies/Online Travel Agencies
- Car Rental Agencies
- Attraction

There are three categories you can submit a nomination for:

- Best use of a social media platform.
- Best single social media promotion.
- Best social media promotion of travel deals.

Nominations will be accepted until March 2, 2012, and then the winners will be selected by a panel of social media experts and announced in our July 2012 issue.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s see what you've got!

[Please be sure to read the rules before submitting.]

2010-hs-josh-pramisjpg
Joshua Pramis is the social media editor at Travel + Leisure and resident tech aficionado. Follow him on Twitter: @joshuapramis

Tech Tips for the Thanksgiving Road Tripper

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If you, like me, are one of the crazy people hitting the road the day before Thanksgiving, and at least have the good fortune of not having to be behind the wheel—let’s hear it for bus travel!—there are a few ways my good friend ‘technology’ can help you pass the time while you’re (inevitably) sitting in traffic, without completely losing your mind.

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Reminder: Thanksgiving-Themed Twitter Chat Today!

Don't forget! Today we're hosting our first-ever Twitter chat, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST. The chat, which will be hosted by T+L's Mark Orwoll, will help try to calm the nerves of those of you gearing up for travel around Thanksgiving, when all methods of transportation can prove to be rather congested.

Also joining us will be this fab panel of travel experts:

1. Stacy Small, @EliteTravelGal
2. George Hobica, @Airfarewatchdog
3. Tiffany Dowd, @LuxeTiffany
4. Heather Hunter, @AAA_Travel
5. Heather Poole, @Heather_Poole

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Thanksgiving Travel Tweet-up with Travel + Leisure

Dreading the seemingly inevitable headache that tends to go hand-in-hand with traveling around the holidays, particularly Thanksgiving? While crowded airports, congested highways, and cranky little ones may not be completely avoidable, there are some tricks that can make the whole order a little less painful.

To help you plan your travels this Thanksgiving, we're hosting a live Twitter chat on Thursday, 11/17, from 3p.m. until 4p.m. EST, along with Travel + Leisure International Editor Mark Orwoll.

Also joining us is a panel of travel experts, all eager to answer your burning holiday travel questions. Our expert panelists include:

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3 Great "Techcessories" for the Music Lover

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If you're like me, you can't be without your beloved iPod-or other MP3 player when traveling. Whether it's passing time on a long bus commute (my primary mode of transportation) or soaking up the rays at the beach, the perfect tunes enhance the travel experience. And so, in turn, do the perfect tech accessories.

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Apple Co-Founder Steve Jobs Dies

Yesterday, the world lost a true visionary. At the age of just 56, Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple and innovator of some of the most groundbreaking technologies of our time, died after a long bout with pancreatic cancer. His amazing creations changed the way we all live our day-to-day lives.

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Amazon Introduces Three New Cutting-Edge Kindles

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Amazon today announced some big news in the world of portable devices, with the release of three new, crazy affordable products that are expected to really shake things up in the marketplace.

Amazon Kindle Fire
Finally, Amazon enters into the über competitive world of tablets. And from what I can tell, they did it well and will be a force to be reckoned with. While the Fire doesn’t have all the assets you’ll get with an iPad and other tablets—there’s no camera, mic, and it’s not 3G/4G-compatible—it is the perfect (and affordable) happy medium for folks who want a mobile, web-ready device, but really have no use for all the fancy bells and whistles that come with other tablets. Initial public testing shows that it’s lightning-fast, visually crisp (the pixels-per-inch ratio actually exceeds the iPad, meaning the display is noticeably better), and at just 14.6 ounces, it’s super lightweight. Oh, and did I mention? It might only have 8GB storage, but it utilizes Amazon’s amazingly efficient cloud technology, which means there’s no need for files to be downloaded onto the tablet in order for you to access them. And the best part? The Fire will be introduced to the market at the astoundingly low cost of just $199.

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