We have a little bit of a theme going this week which all about travel and the internet. Today I’ve outlined a few of my favorite travel resources online.
To me, Kayak is simply the best airline search engine out there. Plug in where you want to go and they’ll automatically show you a list of recently found fares for many specific dates. You can easily browse the calender and get an idea of what dates have the lowest fares. In addition, they do a great job of piecing together flights on multiple carriers if your destination requires several legs (although expedia.com might do a slightly better job at that). Best of all, Kayak will direct you to the carrier’s booking page so you can book it with them, rather than through Kayak with an additional fee.
Most travelers know and love Lonely Planet guidebooks. Sure, you can criticize some of their books, but no matter how you look at it, their website is a great resource for initial travel planning. They offer great overviews of nearly every country in the world, weather statistics, basic transportation information, and recommendations on the top areas to visit.
U.S. State Department
Going somewhere with questionable political stability and possible danger? The U.S. State Department does a good job of providing information on these topics with recommendations on whether or not it’s safe to travel. They err on the side of caution though and just because they say it might not be a good idea, doesn’t mean it’s a bad place to go. Check it out, but don’t use them as a final say.
OneBag.com is a great resource to teach you to lighten your load whether you are heading out for adventure travel or simply business. They have great packing lists, tips on how to pack, and even luggage recommendations. The amount you can learn about packing from OneBag is truly unbelievable.
Over the past few years I’ve had small hotels and tour companies ask me to give them a review on TripAdvisor which, unfortunately, has actually made me use the site less. But when I am interested in a hotel or hostel but can’t find much information on it elsewhere, I’ll check it out on TripAdvisor and see what kind of reviews they are receiving. One of the nice things is that they allow users to upload photos so you can get an idea of what the hotel looks like. I’m not too picky usually but it doesn’t hurt to check out.
Hostel World is a huge directory of hostels all over the world. You can even book right on the website. There are reviews and photos which, like Trip Advisor, I like very much when trying to decide on a hostel if there are many to choose from.
If you’re using CouchSurfing you’re a different kind of traveler and I’ve written about that in the past. There are people all over the world who are willing to share their living space with you. Sure, it’s a way to get free accommodation, but that’s not the point. Meet people, make friends, and experience the area’s culture from a different perspective.
I hope these links help you in your travel planning. If you have any to add please feel free to list them in the comments below.