March 13, 2007 - Internet travel sites have become the standard for savvy travelers. But what sites are best? In a series of articles, we examine the travel site phenomenon and the best sites for reservations, ideas, and in-depth information.
With the widespread expansion of travel websites, users have more choices than ever when planning their trip.
But the online travel landscape is not limited to merely planning itineraries and making reservations. New sites take full advantage of expanded web capabilities to offer travelers something they were hard pressed to get in the world before the web: inside information.
Whether you are looking for information from local residents, other travelers, or even airline spies, visit these sites for the full story on your destination.
Reviews and Personal Tales
MyTripJournal.com. Experience someone else's vacation vicariously, and learn what to do and not to do in various cities and countries. Additionally, at this site you can post your own personal travel blog to stay in touch with family and friends while away.
TripAdvisor.com. Featuring “real stories from real travelers,” users can discuss all aspects of a destination with fellow travelers or those considering a trip. “Inside” essays offer even more personal content in a Wikipedia-type method – content can be corrected, revised or added to by others with more up-to-date knowledge.
HotelChatter.com. Hotel reviews that feature uncensored reports of the good, the bad and truly awful. "Hotel Hell" has horror stories, and "Hotel Heaven" has traveler nirvana. Search by city, but not yet by specific hotel.
Seatguru.com. Wondering which arilines give additional storage space, down to the seat? This site has seat maps for more than 30 airlines, showing special tidbits like which seats have limited leg room and more. Use this site when booking a ticket to determine where you want to spend your eight hour flight, and with what amenities.
Insideragency.com. Find locals to advise you in your destination city! Forgo the baffling learning curve with this free service full of local experts.
Concierge.com. The online counterpart to Conde Nast Traveler, this site has all the magazine's content plus unique travel tips and articles. Get the inside scoop on your destination city, with information on hotels, activities, and the best of the best.
FlyerTalk.com. Frequent flyer? Get fellow flyer tips on how to get the most from your miles, credit card points and hotel points. The site also features discussion forums for each major commercial airline, and a live chat for last-minute questions.
For more travel website information, read our other installments in this series, where we examine the online travel industry, techniques to get your ideal trip, and the best sites for online reservations and accommodations.