Sunday, January 6, 2008

20 Top Must-Bookmark Websites for Savvy World Travelers

Sawse has this incredible and higly resourceful travel tip post definitely worth checking out. I know I have already used a few of these sites myself for my travel needs.

Most savvy travelers know of great resources like WikiTravel, but there are many other great sites for efficient packing, last minute booking and traveler networking that are well worth bookmarking whether you plan to travel locally or to exotic locations like Machu Picchu. Divided into 7 convenient categories, here are 20 of the best travel sites on the web.

Where to Travel and What to Do:
Concierge helps readers make the first, most important decision relating to any trip: Where should I go? The site provides combination of constantly updated insider guides to the world’s top destinations and interactive tools allowing users to find the perfect place to match their tastes. Gridskipper is the decadent guide to the best in worldwide urban travel. Hotels, restaurants, clubs, flights, and sights all get their due, but we also pay lascivious attention to sex, entertainment, events, and insider advice on where to find the hottest local debauchery. On or off the grid, Gridskipper is another great urban blog that spotlights the upscale and the underbelly of global city culture.

Interactive Itineraries and Dynamic Maps:
Exploring a Schmap Guide is a uniquely interactive experience: maps and guide content are dynamically integrated, allowing intuitive, real-time access to reviews and photo slideshows for places of interest. TripIt helps you quickly organize your vacation and business travel - no matter where you book. Automatically get itineraries with all your plans, weather, maps, restaurants and more. Easily access your itineraries via paper, email, personal calendar or mobile device. Share your trips and travel calendars with friends, family and fellow travelers.

Travel Guides and Tips:
Lonely Planet has an unmatched reputation for producing well-researched, up-to-date information that travellers can depend on no matter where they’re going. Trip Advisor reports are subjective but overall an incredibly popular and respected resource with reviews, photos, links and map locations to help people determine where they want to stay.

Travel Blogs and Meetup Resources:
Real Travel is a little bit of everything all in one place, though it is particularly useful for its travel blogs written by real travelers who sign up from around the world. Real travel boasts its multiple uses as a place to discover where to go, a trip planner and a deal finder. VirtualTourist: A great site for travelers by travelers with photos, tales of adventure, ideas for areas you might be interested in visiting, or just a stroll for an armchair traveler. TravBuddy is a great place for travelers to share their experiences with other travels. The atmosphere is friendly and it is used by many as a place not only to share knowledge but also, as the site title suggests, to find travel buddies.

Efficient Packing and Traveling:
OneBag: There’s no question: overpacking tops the list of biggest travel mistakes. Thus this site, offering exhaustive (some might say exhausting!) detail on the art and science of traveling light, going pretty much anywhere, for an indefinite length of time, with nothing more than a single (carry-on sized) bag.

Mainstream Booking and Seating:
Kayak: This site is essentially a travel search engine. Which means we search hundreds of travel sites from all over the world, provide the information to you in an easy-to-use display and send you directly to the source to make your purchase. SeatGuru: Detailed seat map graphics. In-depth seat specific comments denoting seats with limited recline, reduced legroom, mis-aligned windows. Color-coding to help identify superior and substandard seats. In-seat power port locations. Galley, lavatory, Exit Row and closet locations. For region-specific travel, though, to places like Peru and others, sometimes finding a niche site can lead to a better experience.

Other Lists of Top Travel Sites:
Forbes has also compiled a top 13 travel sites list, though it features and rates mostly well-known sites much like Kiplinger’s to 25 list. At the other end of the spectrum, Luggage Online has compiled a list of 50 obscure travel sites you probably haven’t heard of. Not strange enough for you? You could always travel to supposedly haunted locations instead.

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