Useful travel web sites

I travel a lot. You might notice that I use sites like TripIt and Dopplr to help me plan my trips, keep track of where I’m going, and share important information with my friends and family and you. I also mostly fly United because I’m a long time frequent flier there (if I was starting fresh I’d focus on Virgin Atlantic and JetBlue because their planes are a lot nicer) and I use its site a lot. I also keep Flightstats.com on my iPhone so I can check if the gate agents are lying when they say the plane is on time.

But I wondered what I was missing, so I asked my Twitter followers what they use. The sites they came up with are very good. Here’s some. Do you agree with these? What sites do you use when you go traveling? Anything different than these?

@bcaudill said “used TripIt for my recent vacation and LOVED it. I’m also a huge fan of TripAdvisor, Kayak and for Europe, Worldby.com.”

@guhmshoo said: “hotwire.com

@devahaz said: “kayak expedia jetblue virgin.”

@storming said: “Tripit and Kayak.”

@Jimconnolly said “Hi Robert – I use TripIt.”

@cja said “TripIt is pretty cool. use it all the time.”

@TravelMuse said: “also if you want to be inspired check out http://www.travelmuse.com/inspire/ and also plan your trips.”

@BettaSmetta said “http://tripadvisor.com is fabulous. had to find a cheap hotel in Midtown Manhattan, used Trip Advisor, and found an true gem!”

girlgamy said: “I really just use TripAdvisor. I never go to any hotel/resort before checking it out on TripAdvisor first. Invaluable!”

jeffq73 said “tripadvisor, dopplr, book directly with hotels for rooms.”

@dimensionmedia said “Travelocity and Expedia.”

@charnellpugsley said “I used to use Travelocity. Have trained myself to go directly to airline websites since they’re moving away from 3rd parties.”

@JamesOReilly said: “I like kayak.”

@abbashaiderali said: “I use Orbitz primarily or a travel agent (!) on a complex trip that might need 911 help. Tripit does rock pretty hard!”

@petefields said: “am an Orbitz man myself.”

@beatricetarka said “On my most recent trip to Italy I used exclusively search engine www.mobissimo.com. Results 40% of savings over competitors.”

@Jennifly said “I use tripwolf the one-stop travel guide to the world.”

@candees said “I like Priceline … I can almost always negotiate a good price on a great room.”

@rlepold said “I usually check a travel service for available fares, then go to the airlines’ site to purchase. Seems to be cheaper that way.”

UPDATE: there’s a thread over on FriendFeed where they are discussing even more good flight/travel sites.

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83 thoughts on “Useful travel web sites

  1. Yes sir. It’s a really cool travel company that places all the pieces into the hands of the people that work in it. Each site is built with the person’s name and then the company. http://johnlunsford.worldventures.com/
    It’s obviously an MLM company but I would use the site anyway. I personally use it for all my flights and have found several things that I wouldn’t have known about unless I used their search. Since they don’t have an allegiance to certain airlines, hotel chains, or car companies, they can place everyone in their search criteria. I never knew that AIitalia flew out of Phoenix.

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  2. Yes sir. It’s a really cool travel company that places all the pieces into the hands of the people that work in it. Each site is built with the person’s name and then the company. http://johnlunsford.worldventures.com/
    It’s obviously an MLM company but I would use the site anyway. I personally use it for all my flights and have found several things that I wouldn’t have known about unless I used their search. Since they don’t have an allegiance to certain airlines, hotel chains, or car companies, they can place everyone in their search criteria. I never knew that AIitalia flew out of Phoenix.

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  3. “I also mostly fly United because I’m a long time frequent flier there” I was 1K on United multiple years. Then one day I couldn’t get a reasonable last-minute ticket to JFK and flew JetBlue. That was the last time I flew United on any route that JetBlue or Virgin fly. Their tickets are usually cheaper, their rate structures are simple and straightforward, their exchange policies are better, their websites are better, their planes are newer, and they have a personal tv w/ a bunch of channels (jetblue has better channel lineup by far, virgin has overall better entertainment offering), and the overall flight experience start-to-finish is just nicer and better. For domestic flights, I prefer flying JetBlue or Virgin in coach than United in business. Give them a try.

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  4. “I also mostly fly United because I’m a long time frequent flier there” I was 1K on United multiple years. Then one day I couldn’t get a reasonable last-minute ticket to JFK and flew JetBlue. That was the last time I flew United on any route that JetBlue or Virgin fly. Their tickets are usually cheaper, their rate structures are simple and straightforward, their exchange policies are better, their websites are better, their planes are newer, and they have a personal tv w/ a bunch of channels (jetblue has better channel lineup by far, virgin has overall better entertainment offering), and the overall flight experience start-to-finish is just nicer and better. For domestic flights, I prefer flying JetBlue or Virgin in coach than United in business. Give them a try.

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  5. Robert – Did five years in in-house SEO in the travel space until last year. Could tell you some neat ‘behind the scenes’ stories about travel on the web 🙂 One of these days I’ll get my you-know-what to the West Coast again…

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  6. Robert – Did five years in in-house SEO in the travel space until last year. Could tell you some neat ‘behind the scenes’ stories about travel on the web 🙂 One of these days I’ll get my you-know-what to the West Coast again…

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  7. I’m still trying to get my head around the concept of a person needing a web service to let them know where they are going. I gotta believe someone with at least an IQ of 100 can retain in their head where they are going

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  8. I’m still trying to get my head around the concept of a person needing a web service to let them know where they are going. I gotta believe someone with at least an IQ of 100 can retain in their head where they are going

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  9. Judging by all the self-promos here, one is allowed to suggest their own site? 🙂 In that case, http://www.travellerspoint.com : wiki travel guide, personal travel help, travel blogs, mapping, photo uploads, active & friendly & spam free forums, accommodation etc.

    I think it really depends on what stage in the ‘travel process’ one is in, which site one would use the most.

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  10. Judging by all the self-promos here, one is allowed to suggest their own site? 🙂 In that case, http://www.travellerspoint.com : wiki travel guide, personal travel help, travel blogs, mapping, photo uploads, active & friendly & spam free forums, accommodation etc.

    I think it really depends on what stage in the ‘travel process’ one is in, which site one would use the most.

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  11. Robert, could you add http://hotels.uptake.com to your list? We’re getting some great traction with our service these days. BTW, I find it interesting that people like @Jennifly and @beatricetarka don’t bother to mention that its their own site that they are promoting. Disclosure can be done even in 140 char. 🙂

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  12. Robert, could you add http://hotels.uptake.com to your list? We’re getting some great traction with our service these days. BTW, I find it interesting that people like @Jennifly and @beatricetarka don’t bother to mention that its their own site that they are promoting. Disclosure can be done even in 140 char. 🙂

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  13. Personally I would recommend http://www.trivago.co.uk as its search technology collects dynamic information from numerous sources (including many of the aforementioned) and selection criteria allows the user to reduce the search results, for example by hotel category, the number of stars, or by room facilities. Best prices for hotels and package holidays are compared and include rate descriptions which display whether breakfast is included, the
    booking can be cancelled short-term and whether a credit card is required.

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  14. Personally I would recommend http://www.trivago.co.uk as its search technology collects dynamic information from numerous sources (including many of the aforementioned) and selection criteria allows the user to reduce the search results, for example by hotel category, the number of stars, or by room facilities. Best prices for hotels and package holidays are compared and include rate descriptions which display whether breakfast is included, the
    booking can be cancelled short-term and whether a credit card is required.

    Like

  15. Wow look how many people are commenting on their own sites. What fun! I should throw ours in.. na won’t bother.

    Trip Advisor? why wade through all the ads to get to the information. All my friends can’t stand the site. I prefer smaller niche sites that actually care about producing real content and have photos to look at.

    -Please limit the ad to content ratio
    -Don’t mash a bunch of useless data for search engine rank
    -Have a decent idea. ie; be a traveler most of these sites are spawned by tech geeks that just don’t get what a traveler needs.

    I’m outta here.

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  16. Wow look how many people are commenting on their own sites. What fun! I should throw ours in.. na won’t bother.

    Trip Advisor? why wade through all the ads to get to the information. All my friends can’t stand the site. I prefer smaller niche sites that actually care about producing real content and have photos to look at.

    -Please limit the ad to content ratio
    -Don’t mash a bunch of useless data for search engine rank
    -Have a decent idea. ie; be a traveler most of these sites are spawned by tech geeks that just don’t get what a traveler needs.

    I’m outta here.

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  17. Robert,

    What did you think about GoPlanit.com? We launched at TC50 yesterday during the afternoon session.

    We offer a planning tool that can create a personalized trip for you at the click of a button. And, you won’t have any issues forgetting what happens on your trip with our travel microblogging which automatically tags your notes and pictures with what you’re doing, the time you sent it, and what you rated it.

    Jimmy Ku
    COO, GoPlanit.com

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  18. Robert,

    What did you think about GoPlanit.com? We launched at TC50 yesterday during the afternoon session.

    We offer a planning tool that can create a personalized trip for you at the click of a button. And, you won’t have any issues forgetting what happens on your trip with our travel microblogging which automatically tags your notes and pictures with what you’re doing, the time you sent it, and what you rated it.

    Jimmy Ku
    COO, GoPlanit.com

    Like

  19. Im not sure if this fits in well with the topic and is more Uk based but im getting a lot of visitors from over your side of the pond looking into Crete a bit more.

    Tried to cover a lot of the history of Crete, and you can pick up some bargains as long as you buy the flights seperate.

    Anyway here it is http://www.holidays2crete.com

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  20. Im not sure if this fits in well with the topic and is more Uk based but im getting a lot of visitors from over your side of the pond looking into Crete a bit more.

    Tried to cover a lot of the history of Crete, and you can pick up some bargains as long as you buy the flights seperate.

    Anyway here it is http://www.holidays2crete.com

    Like

  21. +1 for Yapta – I am surprised they are not mentioned more. The only consumer site that has actually put money in my pocket, for free. (not that others are not useful). I like it so much that it actually motivated me to comment on a blog.

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  22. +1 for Yapta – I am surprised they are not mentioned more. The only consumer site that has actually put money in my pocket, for free. (not that others are not useful). I like it so much that it actually motivated me to comment on a blog.

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  23. I have been traveling for nine months now and I use Wikitravel extensively. While the quality of information varies from country/city it is generally very good and updated. Gives good information and suggestions on places and also very accurate and good recommendations for accommodation and restaurants. Much better than guidebooks, especially the lonely planet which in most countries I have been to give very poor recommendations for accommodation and restaurants. This applies particularly to ‘places where the locals go’ which as soon it is mentioned in the LP becomes a backpacker hangout with over-priced tasteless meals.

    For finding great small little hotels (i hate the word boutique) I find the NY Times Travel website a great resource. Also worth checking out is wallpaper* guides and the conde nast traveler.

    For hotel reviews TripAdvisor is usually quite accurate and Kayak.com has an excellent interface though does not include low-cost airlines options.

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  24. I have been traveling for nine months now and I use Wikitravel extensively. While the quality of information varies from country/city it is generally very good and updated. Gives good information and suggestions on places and also very accurate and good recommendations for accommodation and restaurants. Much better than guidebooks, especially the lonely planet which in most countries I have been to give very poor recommendations for accommodation and restaurants. This applies particularly to ‘places where the locals go’ which as soon it is mentioned in the LP becomes a backpacker hangout with over-priced tasteless meals.

    For finding great small little hotels (i hate the word boutique) I find the NY Times Travel website a great resource. Also worth checking out is wallpaper* guides and the conde nast traveler.

    For hotel reviews TripAdvisor is usually quite accurate and Kayak.com has an excellent interface though does not include low-cost airlines options.

    Like

  25. If you like the tools and UI of Offbeat Guides and Kayak, check out NileGuide (http://www.nileguide.com/) and let us know what you think. Our goal is to be a one-stop-chop for custom trip planning, combining personalized travel recommendations, integrated planning and booking tools, and a free downloadable custom guidebook. Check us out and let us know what you think…

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  26. If you like the tools and UI of Offbeat Guides and Kayak, check out NileGuide (http://www.nileguide.com/) and let us know what you think. Our goal is to be a one-stop-chop for custom trip planning, combining personalized travel recommendations, integrated planning and booking tools, and a free downloadable custom guidebook. Check us out and let us know what you think…

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  27. This last Sunday was Easter and I visited Nikki Beach Resort Turks and was amazed. They have an incredible Sunday Brunch with everything you can imagine, and it was all great! After we gorged for a few hours with unlimited mimosas we headed to the pool party. DJ on the pool deck with a margarita in the infinity pool was like heaven. We ended the evening with Beach bonfire and BBQ. Once again the food was terrific sitting around the bonfire laughing with some of our newfound friends. I know where I will be staying next time I come to Turks and Caicos.For more information in Nikki Beach Turks and Caicos Resort Islands visit http://nikkibeachhotels.com/turks/.

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  28. Great blog. I usually use TripAdvisor but have looked at a few of the suggestions and will definitely be trying a few of these out. In general though I find searching for specific small niche destination sites can often turn up a few travel advice gems. For instance I've just visited Tasmania and found Tasmania Trip a great help to finding some decent travel advice.

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