Sleeping in a Strange Place
Thanks to sites such as VRBO and Airbnb, travel hopefuls are pooh-poohing the idea of staying in hotels as their only vacation option. Why's that? You no longer need to house swap if you want to gain access to a private residence on your big trip domestically (or abroad). It's like being a house guest for a family you don't know -- but one that won't be there to make sure you keep your feet off the coffee table. From apartments to treehouses and igloos, Airbnb has expanded their property reach to 192 countries and U.S. cities such as Austin, Boston, Miami and L.A. So there's never been a better time to get off your couch... and end up on somebody else's.
Sending a Fellow Passenger a Drink
As touch panels and Wi-Fi become a more common part of the travel experience, new and inventive ways to use such technology -- in-flight -- are starting to pop up. For example, Virgin America lets you "break the ice" by sending a fellow passenger a drink, meal or snack using their Red touch-screen entertainment system located on the seat-backs. Best part of the service? Flight attendants will deliver the drink to your potential new beau in whatever row.
Seeing a Dive-In Movie
It's quite possible you don't want to leave the water as temperatures climb into triple digits this summer. That's why hotels such as the Miramonte Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, Calif., have started guest-friendly screenings at their pool to keep heads cool. You can also catch members-only screenings at places such as The Standard Miami Beach, where cult-fave 'Barbarella' is rumored to be next on the bill.
Napping Inside an Airport Sleep Capsule
Your stuck in Dallas ... or even Abu Dabi. Your flight is delayed more than a few hours. You've had so much fun on your vacation that your body is now spewing proverbial obscenities at you in protest. You look around and see a sleep capsule -- that's right, a capsule -- with your name written all over it. If three hours of much-needed shut-eye are what you seek, these private oases can deliver energy-recharging catnaps in short bursts of time -- sending you onto your plane refreshed, recharged, and ready to tolerate $10 turkey "sandwiches".
Pampering Your Pooch While You're GoneWhile you're off circling the globe, it's quite possible your best friend's at home wreaking havoc on your world (or at least your couch). Now you don't have to screw the pooch. Simply set Fido up at any one of the posh pet hotels springing up across the country. Properties such as D Pet Hotels (in Hollywood, CA, Chelsea, NYC and Scottsdale, AZ) are pampering pooches with five-star luxury, precious amenities and glorious accomodations. They even offer epic services such a D-Chaffeur to come pick-up your dog in a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley, Porsche or Rolls Royce. God forbid your pup travel coach.