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GeekWire’s Monica Nickelsburg stopped by New Day NW to share her favorite apps and services for the holidays with host Margaret Larson.

Watch the video above or continue reading to find out the tech tools we’re using this holiday season — from travel to cooking to keeping the magic of Santa alive.

Airbnb Trips

– Book experiences recommended by local experts using the Airbnb app.
– Free “insider guidebooks” written by locals about favorite hidden gems.
– Free audio walking tours of destinations.

Google Trips

– Automatically pulls flight, hotel, car rental, restaurant reservation info from your Gmail history and Google calendar.
– Create custom itineraries, find places to eat, transportation, and more.
– Entire trips (including itineraries and reservation data) can be downloaded and viewed offline if you’re traveling without cell service.


– Elfster is a free online Secret Santa organizer.
– Sign up for a gift exchange with and Elfster will anonymously assign you a Secret Santa. You can set price limits and other restrictions for the exchange.
– Public wish lists help people decide what to gift.
– Anonymous Q&A for messaging with Secret Santas.


– One-hour grocery delivery for holiday cooking emergencies.
– Instacart is closed on Christmas day but open until 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Amazon Alexa

– Alexa can help with your holiday cooking by setting timers, giving unit conversions, and offering guided step-by-step recipes from the Allrecipes’ Alexa Skill.

NORAD Santa Tracker 

– Use this app to keep the magic of Santa alive for kids.
– NORAD’s Santa Tracker has an app and website so the whole family can track Santa’s progress on Christmas Eve.

GeekWire will be dropping in at New Day NW periodically to share trending tech stories and insights.

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