Which are the best websites for planning a trip? Which do you think have the most accurate and complete information?
In other words, which websites you use, and how do you plan your trips?
SkyScanner is a great flight resource!!
I also like TrekEarth because you can select almost anywhere in the world and look at pictures, pictures are great inspiration for where you want to go and what you want to see. I tend to obsess over a place I am going and I want to get as much of a "pre-visual" as I can when I get there so I can navigate and know what I'm looking for.
Hotels.com is great for accommodation, I find they have the best pictures of hotels and they have reviews only from people who have booked on their site so you know they've actually been there.
I also love Trippy now... :)
Real bloggers who have actually been where you're going are the best online resource. And I'm not talking about tripadvisor and their ilk. Look for bloggers who don't cram each post full of affiliate links of have text that sound like a travel brochure. They're not easy to find because Google doesn't seem to rank blogs as highly as commercial sites; I think that's where Trippy has potential ... to help travelers find bloggers with real experience at certain destinations; I'm signed up for a dozen travel communities, but this is the only one I use because I think it's more useful.
Flights? I won't ever book through a third-party website ... ever. They will leave you hanging the second there's a problem or a missed connection. I do a Google Flight search, and then book at the airline's website (or whichever airline alliance partner I have an account with). That's the best way to make sure that everything goes smoothly ... and it's worth possibly a few more pennies that you might pay as opposed to "flight deal" websites. Nothing is worse than having a trip go off the rails because the website you booked through won't step up to help you in a tough situation.
I know a lot of people use Trip Case but I haven't got my head around it yet. My faves are Skyscanner and Kayak for flights (haven't tried for hotels) and there are also a number of accommodation aggregators to check out various hotel deals. I often check out HotelsCombined.com and the hotels interface on TripAdvisor also now has a selection of rates and deals. You can also set up alerts on TripAdvisor for cheap airfares to particular destinations.
My musts are Tripadvisor, Booking, Google streetview, also Foursquare, Trippy and Lonelyplant.
But, as somebody said, the travel blogs are the best to get real and accurate information.
This isn't the only thing I do to plan a trip, but it has definitely helped me weed out things I do and don't want to do. I actually use Google Maps' Street View (you know, where you drag and drop the little yellow dude onto whatever street you're looking for?) to get a good sense of what a place will actually be like. Granted, some of the street views are outdated, but there have been several times where I looked at something using the street view and realized, "Oh, that place is only that big? I probably don't need to plan to spend a whole day there!" or "This place does not look anything like what [source] says. Not really sure I'm that interested..."
There's some danger of judging a book by its cover by doing this, I realize, but I tend to do it with more tourist-y sites. Added benefit: If I can see billions of tourists just from the Street View, then I can either plan to skip that spot or go earlier in the day.
have you tried Tripomatic? Best itinerary resource I've found with some terrific map and planning resources thrown in.
This is the best website to find the most current flights and prices.
The airline industry posts daily to this site.
You must realize that flights and prices always change frequently and sometimes change hour to hour and day to day based on many factors.
No website can guarantee you the lowest prices since the prices change so often.
But this site does keep you updated each time you visit for the best prices at time of booking.
If you see a low price book immediately, the price might even change when you go to the other website to book the flight.
Here is the site:
For a cruise, hands down it is cruise critic. It has all the info you need given by others that have been on a cruise, on any cruise ship, and any excursion off of a ship. Great site!
I use Tripcipe, a new travel startup (still in private beta) that helps people easily save recommended sights or eats from any website--it's like a Pinterest for travel. So no matter what website you're on (a travel blog, TripAdvisor, etc.), you can use Tripcipe's plug-in to save anything you like. All of your saved places is already plotted on a map on Tripcipe for easy organization.
There's also a mobile app (with offline features coming soon) so that you can take all your research with you on your travels.
To see an example, check out this itinerary of New York:
(For full disclosure, I'm one of the co-founders of Tripcipe. ;) We designed our site to make trip planning as easy as possible from start to finish.)
I also completely agree with other posters who recommend bloggers. One blog I particular love offers city guides: Design Sponge City Guides. It's one of my trusted sources for any city. They offer highly curated recommendations that range from food, sights, to shopping... all with a design spin. I love that their city guides will generally cover the "big sights" but also call out more eclectic and unique finds.
For appartments in Europe, I use homelyday.com available in french or english. I like this site because you deal directly with the owner, no agency or broker.
For flights, I may brouse with different sites to compare rates but in the end I will book directly with the provider. Less troubles if something goes bad.
If I'm traveling around Southeast Asia, I use http://www.travelfish.org quite a bit. I'll look up places to stay on sites such as http://www.agoda.com or http://www.hotels.com and of course http://www.tripadvisor.com.
I like to use www.wikitravl.org as well I also like to check out blogs of people that travel the area (https://www.travelblog.org) which allows me to ask specific questions. And if it's a dive trip, I look up information on the area I want to dive at and can post questions as well on http://www.scubaboard.com.