Need trip advice? Keep it in the family with Cool Cousin app

Don’t have a cool cousin to tell you where to go on your next vacation? Don’t worry — now you have dozens.

Name: Cool Cousin — Travel Through People app

What it does: Get travel recommendations and trip advice from “cousins” whose interests are similar to yours. Choose a metro city (12, with seven more coming soon), look for guy or girl “cousins” (or both) and filter for recommendations in which you’re interested: Food, Coffee, Night, Shop, Arts & Culture, Outdoors, Activities and Culture. View the “cousins,” read more about them, and click on “Get His/Her Map” to view his or her suggestions.

Available: In the App Store, requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Android version coming soon.


Cost: Free

What’s hot: Its mantra — “a recommendation is only as good as the person behind it” — is followed through on every page. Once you choose a “cousin” you can read a Q&A about him or her to get to know them better. You also can see their social media handles on Instagram and Twitter with links to their profiles. All map pins have their own category icon so they are easy to distinguish. If you are already in a location while using the app, click on the name of the attraction and get help by clicking “Book Table” for restaurants, “Request Pickup” to get a ride from Uber, “Directions” and more. Got a question? You can use the app to message your “cousin”; you have your own inbox to field your correspondence. I found a barge on the Seine River in Paris that hosts concerts and parties, a cafe that serves “the real strong Acai” in Rio de Janeiro and a rooftop terrace bar with city views atop the Trafalgar Hotel in London.

What’s not: This app is so good I’m surprised it’s free. I think the “cousins” and the developers should be paid for their quality and helpfulness. There may be behind-the-scene arrangements, but I didn’t see any compensation offers when I clicked on “Become a Cousin.”

— Jen Leo