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Planning a holiday?

July 6, 2009

It is now summer in the Northern hemisphere and the holiday season is well underway.  Most of you will have planned your trips by now but it did get me to thinking, when putting a trip together what are the online resources that I like to use?

Dave’s most used online travel resources

  • How do I get there? Kayak (formerly Sidestep) – for my money, this is best site for looking up flights. The search capability handles most criteria you’d be interested in and you can setup mail alerts for updates on fares.
  • How do I make the trip more comfortable? SeatGuru – I’m pretty specific about where I like to sit in the plane (aisle seat, as far forward as possible), this site maps all configs of the major carriers so I can request an allocation that’ll make me happiest.
  • Where should I sleep? TripAdvisor probably needs no introduction. My favourite port of call for accommodation reviews and occasional questions in the forum. The site also has nice connectivity into Facebook and embeddable travel maps.
  • What should I do? WikiTravel – It’s certainly not exhaustive, but often it gives me enough of an overview of a place to begin more detailed searching elsewhere.
  • How do I pull all the info together? – I typically create a new “My maps” map on Google Maps and pin in the sites that I’m interested in, that helps me choose the best place to look for accommodation as well as get a sense of how to get about. Note to Google: It would be nice if I could access My Maps via Google Maps mobile on my Blackberry when travelling! Note to Wikitravel, TripAdvisor, etc.:  It would be nice to have a link for each attraction that pops a pin into Google Maps so I don’t have to search for it myself.

I want to be able to say “I have such and such weekend available, where can I go?” Essentially it would be a site where I specify departure location, dates, travel times and possibly some other dimensions and the site searches flights / hotels to provide options from what’s available. It seems so obvious, surely such a site exists?

As always, this is by no means a definitive list. It’s just the sites I’ve tended to fall into using. I’d like to hear your suggestions though.

Here’s my travel map (from TripAdvisor)

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