A social travel guide that will change the way you decide where your next vacation will be.
What it does: The Minube app sets your sights on the world, literally, with pictures, videos and destination recommendations from its community of more than 500,000 real international travelers. It had a solid start in Europe and Latin America before launching in the U.S.
What's hot: It's the best travel inspiration finder I've seen in a smartphone app. I love the versatility. You can search for things to do by destination (when you already know where you're going), or use the "Inspiration" light-bulb page to get ideas based on how far you want to travel, how long you want to be gone, the type of trip you'd like to take: something exotic, a bit of history and culture, fall in love again or — my personal favorite — disappear. You can even tap your friends on Facebook, Twitter, through your contacts, by text or email to join you in discussing or planning a trip.
What's not: As much as I loved the Inspiration finder, I found myself wanting to set multiple filters, such as "three days," "to relax" and "within 200 miles," at the same time. Not happening. When I tested it on my iPhone 4S, the app would bring up destination choices as soon as I touched a single filter. Also, watch out for in-app purchases for thematic lists. The price tags are apparent, but you're only two clicks away from charging your account. Advise your kids about it before you let them take over planning the family's next big trip.
Worth it: Yes. Even if you don't have any big trips on the horizon, consider it your personal weekender consultant.