Travel

FlipKey

In your quest to ensnare BFFs through their own opportunism, a sweet vacation rental is crucial -- but how can you be certain "rooftop jacuzzi" doesn't just mean gaseous standing water, on roof? Book in peace with FlipKey

Started by two Boston-based Compete.com founders and a practitioner of "general internet advocacy", FK is an online service/community that objectively evaluates the reputations of vacation rental properties across our fine United States.Simply enter your destination and FK'll list available properties by "Reputation Score", a rating independently analyzed by their team according to the rep of the property manager, onsite services provided, response time to email inquiries, and a patent-pending strict-review admissions policy that vigilantly guards against sneakily gushing/scarily hostile faux-reviews from property owners/their ex-wives. Additionally, homes offering uber-sweet services and local professional property management get the FlipKey Verified Badge which, at the very least, lets you know someone close by'll be able to come unclog your "office"

In time to book a winter abode, FK has just added hundreds of new spots in CO, VT, and ME, and are planning on expanding to Canada, the Caribbean, and Mexico later this year -- if that's out of reach for your budget, hopefully your new "friend" can swing it.