New Expedia App Lets You Create and Share Vacation Video

A new Facebook App developed by Expedia is letting travelers share more than just images of their vacation. Thanks to HTML5 technology, fans can now share moving video with dubbed narrative in the “Find Your Story” application.

Much like a mini movie, travelers can integrate their vacation photos with voice over and Google Maps technology to share a much more personalized experience. The app is just a portion of a larger brand campaign called “Find Yours,” which the brand claims will showcase the “personal nature of travel.” Cool, but what we’re really into is the video.

To use the technology, users can go directly to and the app will prompt travelers with a few questions about their trip: where the journey began, where it ended, and up to five locations visited along the way. Google’s technology will insert destination specific graphics into the video. The app will then ask users to name their story, upload up to 10 images from your Facebook and Instagram albums and then choose a filter and music. Once the story is complete, users can share via Facebook, Twitter and provide a unique URL to friends and family.

Sound cool? We think it is. Then again, we’re not sure that our Facebook “friends” actually care that much about our vacations. It might go over about as well as those people who send really long holiday letters to friends and family. What do you think?

Gratis Hotel Rooms To Celebrate The End Of The Mayan Calendar

It’s the end of the world as we know it … or at least the end of the Mayan Calendar. On December 21, 2012, the day the Mayan Calendar resets the date to “zero,” Expedia has partnered with 11 Mayan area hotels to offer special $0 rates.

From the Grand Melia to the Intercontinental Presidente and Hyatt Regency in Cancun, some of these names are on the luxe side. The deals even extend to a few all-inclusives. We’re sure the rates will go fast, so we’d suggest booking asap.

“The Mayan region has always been a fascinating destination, but interest is up this year for reasons that might be obvious. In fact, travel to this part of the world is up over 10% this year over last,” said Joe Megibow, Vice President and General Manager, in a release.

Can’t make it then? More than 100 hotels throughout Cancun, Cozumel, Riviera Maya, Merida, Guatemala, Belize and El Salvador are going to be around 40% off from today through March 2013 in celebration.

[Flickr via Mike_Fleming]

Infographic: How Your Travel Habits Influence Your Social Media Persona

We love this new infographic from Expedia Media Solutions that shows what types of social media you’re most likely to use based on your travel personality. Are you a “Sunset Explorer” who barely uses social media or an “Elitist” who updates frequently with every device under the sun? After taking the quiz ourselves, we’re inclined to say that the graphic is fairly accurate, but would love to know your thoughts.

Expedia Releases 2012’s Best Reviewed Hotels List

This week, Expedia released their findings for their 2012 Insiders’ Select rankings, an annual list put out based on more than 500,000 customer hotel reviews. Only 650 of the 150,000 Expedia properties are designated as Insiders’ Select hotels. Likewise, selected hotels are the ones that consistently offer competitive pricing, immaculate amenities and distinguished customer service.

Of the hotels found across 74 countries, there are 28% in North America, 25% in Europe, 3% in South America, 19% in Asia and 25% elsewhere. Moreover, there is an array of star ratings and accommodation styles. For example, 35% are luxury, 17% are sustainable, 11 are ski-friendly, 87 are for families and 116 provide beach settings.

The top 10 properties chosen for this year’s list include:

1. Marrol’s Boutique Hotel (5 Stars, Bratislava, Slovakia)
2. Hotel Al Codega (4 Stars, Venice, Italy)
3. Hotel Royal Corin (4 Stars, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica)
4. Hilton Garden Inn Aberdeen (4 Stars, Aberdeen, Scotland)
5. Four Seasons Miami (5 Stars, Miami, Florida)
6. Madison Hotel Hamburg (4.5 Stars, Hamburg/Hanover, Germany)
7. Element Omaha Midtown Crossing (3 Stars, Omaha, Nebraska)
8. Sonnenalp Resort Of Vail (4.5 Stars, Vail-Beaven Creek, Colorado)
9. Taj Lands’ End (5 Stars, Mumbai, India)
10. Mr. C Beverly Hills (5 Stars, Los Angeles, California)

Click here to see the full list.

New Expedia study finds that travelers are still venturing out, despite economy

Expedia‘s American Traveler Survey reveals that the economic downturn has not affected leisure travel as much as one might expect. Data collected in late February suggests that leisure travel has remained “business as usual,” particularly for those between 35 and 44 years of age (46%). A percentage of young men (13%) and women (14%) aged 18 -34 are taking more trips these days, perhaps because a down economy prompts travel destinations to sweeten deals.

“We believe that Americans are proving to be resilient in a down economy, by driving instead of flying and taking more frequent, shorter trips,” said Joe Megibow, vice president and general manager,

An old fashioned road trip
It’s interesting to note that a full 41% of Americans – and nearly one in two men (49%) – have driven across the United States at some point. Just under one in four Americans (23%) and one in three students (31%) are “at least somewhat likely” to travel internationally in the next year.

Eighty-one percent of Americans have visited at least one of twelve major U.S. landmarks in their travels. Approximately one third of people have visited the National Mall in Washington D.C., the Statue of Liberty, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Grand Canyon, while approximately one in four have visited the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Route 66, the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the Alamo.

Social media keeps travelers connected
Travelers are also social in nature – 75% use social media, while more than half stay connected while on a trip, although not surprisingly, this usage is higher amongst 18-44 year olds than those 45 and older.

Social media may, but is not likely to, decrease travel to visit family members, however, with only 12% saying that they are less likely to visit their family in person thanks to social media. In fact, 25% say they are more likely to visit family in person.

What about you? Planning a road trip anytime soon?

[Flickr via -snugg-]