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Web Buzz: Desti wants to be your personal travel agent

Siri's 'cousin' Desti offers tips to iPad users on hotel and restaurant recommendations, ideas for day trips, family vacations and more.

March 17, 2013|By Jen Leo

Is it an app or a live travel agent? Desti is from the makers of Siri, and hot from South by Southwest Interactive in Austin, Texas.

Name: Desti

Available for: iPad

What it does: Provides answers to questions you'd ask a travel agent, such as suggestions for kid-friendly restaurants near your hotel or girlfriend getaway ideas at five-star hotels with spas in San Francisco.

Cost: Free

What's hot: Desti's tips go well beyond hotels and restaurants. Discover educational day trips, ideas for adventurous family vacations or weekend trips for seniors. The idea wheel is terrific: You can mix and match cities, things to do, places to stay or where to dine with the specific attributes of the person who is going and how they like to travel. You can also push your voice mike and ask the question instead of typing it in. It's as close to having a conversation with a nonhuman as I've ever experienced. After you get your first round of results, you can fine-tune, check Foursquare reviews and collect ideas to share with your family and friends.

What's not: When it works, it's unbelievable. But I needed to summon some patience when my first two attempts didn't yield results (Mexican restaurants in San Diego that are Zagat rated, and romantic restaurants under $150 in San Diego). The app can offer suggestions for Northern and Southern California and Las Vegas. Oregon and Washington are up next.

Worth it: Your new travel BFF, so yes.

travel@latimes.com

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