App: Hotel Tonight (iPhone and Android)
Lowdown: Truly last-minute booking deals at hotels in selected major world cities. Go on the site after 12:30 p.m. for deals that day -- for instance, the Hilton St. Charles in New Orleans for $135 or the Hyatt Place Ft. Lauderdale for $75. Deals sell out fast, and selection is limited -- but hit it right and you can save.
Lowdown: This is a very helpful hotel search site. It has the usual rates and maps, but it also offers staff advice, tips about certain rooms, and a tab called "rooms and views" that shows you what the view is out the window of certain rooms. No more brick wall views.
Lowdown: Search quickly for trips on multiple cruise ship lines. The purposely stripped-down site makes for a very quick search and shows deals that are comparable to others online.
App: TCM Hollywood Tour (available for iPhone and iPod Touch through iTunes); 99 cents.
Lowdown: Extensive tour of 100 Hollywood locations connected to famous Tinseltown moments, stars, homes and films. Each site has photos, video clips, maps and a history.
Lowdown: Candid reviews of cheap lodgings in Europe. Remember, you get what you pay for. For example, it gives a big thumbs-up to the "quaint charm" of the $118-a-night Hotel Astor in Munich, despite admitting its seedy location, with "nowhere to run from the sex shops and strip bars in this part of town." The site has good advice about cheapo train tickets, too.
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