‘Your Next Vacation’ App Review – It’s Like Being Best Friends With Rick Steves.

By Posted in - Travel Resources on October 9th, 2012 Screenshot from iPhone Travel App Your Next Vacation

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Screenshot from the iPhone Travel App Your Next Vacation.

Imagine you are standing in front of a huge world map. You’ve decided for your next trip to let fate and a steady hand decide your trip, so you cock your wrist back and let three darts fly. The first one strikes Boca Raton, Florida, the second lands in the Pacific Ocean and the final dart lands in Siberia, Russia.

Sticking to your commitment to fate, you, unenthusiastically, choose Boca Raton.

After traveling for a few years now, I’m convinced that this idea of throwing caution to the wind when it comes to travel only really works for the wealthy and the blissfully ignorant, and, sadly, I’m neither. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy a little adventure, surprise or discovery in my travels. It’s just that I like to minimize my costs as much as possible, so I try to hedge my bets when picking a new destination.

One of my newest ways of finding new locations for our travels is through Your Next Vacation, an iPhone/iPad/iPod app by Bananarama. Using the app is kind of like standing in front of that world map I mentioned earlier; however, this time the darts are programmed to understand your vacation destination likes and dislikes, so when you throw them there is some rhyme and reason to where they land, just not dumb luck.

After the initial set up with Your Next Vacation, which takes about 5-10 minutes and delves into your favorite destinations, a location you didn’t like and your travel diversity– your favorite beach city, a place of natural beauty that took your breath away, and the most impressive historical city/region you’ve been, the app will start giving you recommendations for your travels. First, it introduces you to 20 places it believes you will love. Next, the app reveals the top five places in the world you must visit. Then, it goes even further recommending five hidden-gem surprise destinations. And finally, the app closes strong with revealing the one place you must visit on every continent.

Screenshot from iPhone Travel App Your Next Vacation

During this introduction, you’ll be asked to rate places you’ve been that the app has recommended, which helps Your Next Vacation to gain even more information about your likes and dislikes.

Once you complete the introduction, you’ll be on your own to discover new destinations, hidden gems and even places that you may want to avoid. For example, when I search “Places to Avoid” in the United States, I get these 10 destinations: Detroit, Houston, Dallas, Bakersfield, Amarillo, Baltimore, Atlanta, Phoenix, Omaha and Fresno. Honestly, that’s pretty spot on. Except, for Baltimore and Omaha, I’m pretty much all set with these other destinations.

Your Next Vacation is a fun and easy to use travel resource app that has an extensive database of locations and some pretty stunning photos for a lot of the destinations. I really love the concept behind it, especially for finding unique destinations that I may have never thought of on my own. The app reminds me a lot of what I like about Pandora music, which is where I discover most of my new music. In the future, I’d love to see Your Next Vacation implement a way to find out more information about a destination as well as give you information about why the algorithm thinks a certain location may or may not be good for you. For example, Pandora does both of these things really well, and I think that’s what helps separate the music app from the pack of others.

Screenshot from the iPhone travel App Your Next Vacaton.

Overall, Your Next Vacation is a great recommendation app for discovering new places to travel. Unless you’ve got some of those special hi-tech darts (if you do, please email me privately) or you’re best friends with Rick Steves, then this is one of the best, easiest and cheapest ($1.99) ways to get personalized travel recommendations from a worldwide database.

For more information about the app, check out Your Next Vacation on iTunes.

*While we received a promotional copy of Your Next Vacation to review, our thoughts and opinions are entirely our own.

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*Please remember all photos on this website, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and property of Beers and Beans Travel Website, Nariko’ s Nest Weddings & Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you do want to use one of them please contact me first because I do love to share and I would be flattered. Thanks!

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(18) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Jess @UsedYorkCity -

    October 9, 2012 at 4:06 am

    Never heard of this before, but as I’m always looking for the next great adventure, will definitely be giving it a download! Much thanks!

    • Randy -

      October 10, 2012 at 3:25 am

      @Jess @UsedYorkCity, I know, I hadn’t heard about either. But now, I’m really enjoying finding new destinations, some of which I had never heard of before.

  • Juliann -

    October 9, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    This sounds really cool. I can’t imagine anyplace I wouldn’t want to go, but I’d be interested to see what this app picks for me. I’m going to try it.

    • Randy -

      October 10, 2012 at 3:26 am

      @Juliann, It’s a lot of fun to see what if comes up with for your suggestions. Better yet, some of the places are destinations that never even crossed my mind, which is very cool.

  • John -

    October 10, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Thanks for the great review and feedback, Randy. I created this app in my spare time during the past few months and I’m really pleased to hear you’re going to use it for future vacation planning.
    I built it to help answer my curiosity about what places in the world I’d love to visit next, so when I travel to South America soon, I’m going to test it out…
    Btw, it has learned the travel likes and dislikes of several thousand travelers – it will then match your travel tastes with that group to discover places you’ll love (and even where to avoid).

    • Randy -

      October 12, 2012 at 3:34 am

      @John, Wow! I can’t believe you created the app in your spare time. You did a great job with it and I look forward to seeing how it evolves in the future.

      I also really find it amazing that the app has learned the likes and dislikes of other travelers, and that it can then match your style and taste with that group.

      Have fun in South America John. Keep us posted about all the new places you discover on Your Next Vacation. 🙂

  • Helen Prottey -

    October 11, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Hey Randy!
    Thanks for the suggestion! I’m going to Australia soon. Do you know if it covers there?

  • Neil B -

    October 11, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Just tried this out. Recommendations were good – Krakow, Chiang Mai, Jerusalem, Cusco, Santiago, Brugge and Granada. All places I’ve had my eye on.
    Loved the Hidden Gems – Latvia, Oslo and Malmo. Might be tempted with Oslo soon.
    Avoid were mostly places I will never travel to so it was good to get confirmation on that – Bucharest, Tianjin, Jakarta and Atlanta

  • Patrick -

    October 11, 2012 at 11:40 am

    What a great idea. I’m going to take it on my upcoming East Asia trip!

  • Lauren -

    October 11, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Looks like a pretty useful app to have for traveling.

    • Randy -

      October 12, 2012 at 3:38 am

      @Lauren, It really is Lauren. I think it’s good resource for finding new places for your travels at home or abroad.

  • Lilian -

    October 11, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I’ve always wanted to be best friends with Rick Steves! Guess this is a good start…

    • Randy -

      October 12, 2012 at 3:39 am

      @Lilian, Me too Lilian! 🙂

  • Jason -

    October 11, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Pretty impressive. 3 of the top recommends are in my wishlist: Salzburg, Taxco and Hangzhou.

  • Catherine Jones -

    October 12, 2012 at 1:31 am

    Sounds very cool, i might take a look 🙂

    • Randy -

      October 12, 2012 at 3:40 am

      @Catherine Jones, Great to hear Catherine.:) If you do, I’d love to hear your thoughts about it.

  • hector -

    October 12, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Going to Europe next week. Will use it for some tips. Does it cover all the countries in Europe?

  • Curious Nomad -

    October 18, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Thanks for sharing your review and recommendations. I’d be curious to test out if this works offline as well. Travel apps are great to discover new places especially if you’re on the on and have time to kill. If it taps in to your GPS location and recommends places based on where you are at in the world, that would be cool!