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Escape winter’s deep freeze with these Android apps

by Kristen Nicole

Winter is just getting started and the months ahead promise little but snow storms and chilly nights. It’s the perfect time to have a weekend getaway, whether you enjoy the activities winter offers, or you’d like to escape the cold all together. There’s plenty of Android apps to help you prepare for your winter weekend getaway, from travel planning to winter sports news—anything to keep from hibernating this season.

Trip Advisor (Free)

No matter where your getaway will be, Trip Advisor can help you plan the entire trip. Start by searching for activities and landmarks you’d like to visit, browsing through ranked restaurants, venues and other attractions. You can get firsthand information from the TripAdvisor travel forums and street views from the Virtual Tour feature, and build an itinerary as you peruse. The free TripAdvisor app also lets you search for deals on hotels, flights, rentals and more, helping you manage just about every aspect of the trip-planning process. Once you reach your weekend getaway, you can write your own reviews for the places you’ve been.

Gilt (Free)

If you’re into the luxury life, then Gilt Group’s Android app is a great place to start as you begin planning your wintry weekend getaway. Their “Jetsetters” tab has a ready selection of picture-perfect locations that are updated daily, offering great deals on resorts in far away places. Whether it’s a cozy cabin in Vail or a posh villa in St. Lucias, Gilt has something for you. The best part? The discounts, of course. And while you have Gilt open, go ahead and snap up some gear for your trip, whether you’re skiing or swimming.

Ski and Snow Report (Free)

Skiing is one of winter’s greatest pastimes, and certainly brings a bit of fun to the season. Zumobi’s Ski & Snow Report will help you track your favorite snow spots, updated for the 2013-14 season. You can view the ski conditions for various locations so you don’t waste any time on one mountain over another. You can share conditions with your fellow winter sports enthusiasts, keeping the whole bunch in the loop. This free Android app also comes with resort trail maps, access to various resort cams and Twitter feeds from a number of popular ski locations. And if you’d rather enjoy winter sports from the sideline, the Ski & Snow Report comes with a news feed.

Simply Piste (Free)

Gilt may be the app for travel deals, but Simply Piste has the gear. This free Android app is rife with sportswear for skiing, and offers all the accessories you’ll ever need. From gloves to hats, goggles to hats, Simply Piste has items for skiing and snowboarding, all delivered straight to your door. Read reviews and ratings, and leave a few choice words of your own. The prices are competitive, too. If you’re headed south instead of north, check out one of Simply’s other sportwear apps, such as Simply Swim for a great bikini selection.

Cruise Finder - (Free)

The winter months present a great opportunity to take a cruise, when prices are often lower and off-season destinations offer further discounts throughout your trip. Cruise Finder is one of the most useful of such apps in the Android Market, helping you plan a cruise from start to finish. Sift through cruise details from 32 different cruise lines and over 310 ships, with information on staterooms, deck plans and destinations. There’s thousands of itineraries to search, complete with route maps, and if you sign up for Cruise Finder’s newsletter, you’ll get a voucher for another $50 off your next cruise.