Thursday, April 12, 2012

Vacation or Staycation?

Posted by Catherine Liang, Google TV Product Marketing Manager
The cold weather is behind us, the signs of spring are in full gear, and here in Mountain View, it’s time for a sun-filled spring break. Whether you are taking that much-needed vacation or planning a relaxing staycation, Google TV has you covered. Check out these apps to help you stay or go:

1. Research the destinations at the top of your list with Panoramio
Panoramio is a photo-sharing community that brings you scenic photos from around the globe mapped to their destinations with Google Earth and Google Maps. If you’re interested in Cozumel, check out Paradise Beach. If it’s the Bahamas that strike your fancy, take a look at the beaches, sunsets, and resorts before locking down those travel plans. Search for a destination you have in mind, or use “Cool Places” and be surprised!

For the perfect staycation, you can use Panoramio to go island hopping in the Caribbean, and check out the amazing beaches on the Island of Martinique. You can transport yourself to Hawaii, and watch the sunset in South Maui and the dolphins jumping out of the water off the coast of the Big Island. All without having to leave the comfort of your couch.

2. Plan your next vacation with Photo Voyages of Trey Ratcliff
If you’re trying to decide on a vacation spot, use the Photo Voyages of Trey Ratcliff for some breathtaking inspiration. Trey Ratcliff is an amazing photographer with an innate ability for capturing the beauty of exotic destinations. He uses the HDRI (high dynamic range imaging) technique, combining multiple images and adjusting contrast ratios, to bring out the intensity in his photos. Browse through his collection on your big screen and watch as the colors pop. Palm Beach comes to life with stunning shots of its beaches, pools, and sunsets.

For staycationers, transform your humble abode into an exotic destination. The vivid photos on your high definition TV will make you feel like you can jump right into the water in St. Kitts, or reach out and touch the sand on the Isla de Vieques.

3. Prepare for your trip using FlightTrack
Destination: Puerto Vallarta. Boeing 737, Delay Forecast: On time 70%. Use FlightTrack on your Google TV to stay up-to-date on your flight information. Watch the planes travel across the screen with the flight maps, predict potential travel disruptions with the flight delay forecast, and check out where you’ll be lounging on the flight with SeatGuru’s airplane seating maps.

4. Transform your living room into the airport of your choice with FlightBoard
FlightBoard lets you check the real-time status of your flight before you leave the house. Imagine you are in Paris with the look and feel of the board based on the one in Charles de Gaulle airport. Spark your curiosity and glance at what planes are arriving and departing in Lima, Amsterdam, Bangkok, or another travel destinations.

Tell us what you think on our Google+ Page. Vacation or staycation? What destination is at the top of your list? And if you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends.

Posted by Catherine Liang, Google TV Product Marketing Manager