Tuesday, August 9, 2011

14 Travel Links Worth a Look Before You Start Off


In order not to lose your way in the thicket of travel websites, we share with you our favorite travel sites that will help you to find all the practical information, bargains and tips before you start off. There are also several pages we recommend that will help you to ease the pain of being back and stay connected with the travelers from around the globe.
If you are planning to travel by plane skyscanner.com and kayak.com will help you to choose the cheapest and optimal airfare. On these pages you can find the lowest prices from and to South and North America, Europe and Asia, or Australia. On Kayak you can also sign up for the fare alerts. You will receive last minute deals straight into your email box, so you don't have to check the site every day.
How many times have you got stuck in the airport? Many? Check www.sleepinginairports.net, a funny online guide that will tell you how to sleep safely and comfortably in the airports around the globe. The page also provides lists of the best and the worst airports in terms of sleeping conditions, of course. The site might be useful for backpackers and travelers on a tight budget who want to save a few bucks on airport hotels.
The best route planner for those travelling by car in Europe or the USA can be found onviamichelin.com. The website, available in eight languages, offers all travel information you need when you are on the road. You enter your departure place and destination and within a couple of seconds the page shows you the recommended, shortest, quickest, economical or sightseeing routes as well as costs, traveling time, distance, and the route step by step. The service can also provide you with satellite photography, traffic information, hotel booking, and 5-day weather forecasts.

While planning your dream trip, let's not forget about the good old  Lonely Planet. Especially, if you have already chosen your destination but you are not sure when to go, check the "when to go and weather" section on www.lonelyplanet.com. In this section you can find information about seasons in the country, average temperatures and when the aura is not very welcoming. In general, the website is a good page to start with as it provides overview information about the countries, places to see, practical information about languages, currency, culture and costs.
Lonely Planet also has an excellent forum where you can search for opinions, information and advice of other travelers.
If you are a bit more advanced traveler, you probably know tripadvisor.com. It is definitely a site worth a look at before starting off. It boasts 30 million traveler's opinions and reviews, provides professional and amateur recommendations for hotels, resorts, inns, vacations, travel and vacation packages.
Great online community connecting people passionate about traveling, having fun and meeting new people, can be found on couchsurfing.com. The page will help you to make worldwide connections and meet some new people. Many couchsurfers offer a free place to stay at their homes, they can be your guide while in the town or just a nice chat over a cup of coffee. It is an excellent way to meet locals, especially if you're travelling alone. You can also be a host in your hometown, offering a place to stay or company.

If you want to find some information about the country's current situation, recent news, travel alerts, a bit of history, economy and political background, head for bbc.co.uk. It's also a very good page to find out current international weather conditions.
To check how your dollars translate into the local currency, use xe.com, a full universal currency converter that contains the top 85 currencies from around the globe. The page also has a useful tool named Travel Expenses Calculator that takes account of the historical exchange rate and hidden charges for foreign exchange. 

If you are a backpacker, checking travelindependent.info is a must. On the site you will find tips on what you really need to pack, some ideas where to go, country summaries, and hundreds of useful links from every corner of the world. The page will encourage you to travel independently and give advice how to do it.
Whatsonwhen.com is a good events guide that covers major cities and towns from around the world. It has various categories from Arts, through Gays and Lesbian, to Weird & Wonderful. It picks up only the biggest events, however. Still, if you don't want to miss some great festivals, concerts, performances and sports events while on the go, keep checking the site.
If you want to go green while traveling, check treehugger.com. The site, though not entirely devoted to traveling, has a wealth of information on green travels. The page will tell you how to organize eco holiday, cut carbon footprint while on the road and choose eco destinations. Additionally, it has loads of great articles on nature, eco projects and green solutions.
Back from your trip and willing to show the world where you've been and what you've seen? One of the best websites to share your travel photos and videos is flickr.com. The page is filled with millions of amazing shots updated every day by avid travelers and photographers. You can find interesting discussions about images and plenty of advice how to photograph and edit.  You can also edit your pictures online, join a group or start your own.

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