Links to other Travel Related Websites

 
 

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Accommodation

All-hotels.com
  Nice interface, 60,000 hotels worldwide.  Lots of hotel location maps.
Bed and Bed Directory (UK)
  Large listing of many different B&Bs spread throughout Britain.
Findmyroom.com
  Good selection of hotels worldwide.  But, annoying, a search for available hotels presents a list of hotels allegedly with room availability, but when you go to then book a hotel, after a long wait you're told there are no rooms available!
Hotelnet.co.uk
  Nice interface, good selection of hotels worldwide.
Lastminute.com
  Great rates on hotels and packages, especially for Britain, if you're booking in the last three weeks or so before arrival.
Laterooms.com
  Another good site for booking accommodation in the last three weeks before arrival.
Leading Hotels of the World
  A group of very high quality hotels - if you want to be assured of a deluxe experience, choose one of these hotels.
Professional Travel Guide
  Billing itself as 'the world's most comprehensive online travel planning resource', this is a helpful service with lots of information (and reviews) about hotels, destinations, and other travel related topics.
QuikBook
  A well regarded (eg won Yahoo's 'Best Hotel Discounter' Gold Star award two years in a row) site with good prices on carefully selected hotels, but offers hotels only in the US.
Utell
  A well known leading hotel booking service, but they don't provide location maps for where the hotels are!  Poor interface with lots of clicks needed to get limited hotel information.
Wotif.com
  A primarily Australian site, but now expanding to the rest of the world as well, with excellent rates for stays at hotels in the next two weeks.

 

Airlines and Aviation

Air Ambulance International
  If something goes wrong and you need to be flown back home, or to anywhere with quality medical care, these are the people to talk to.
Air Times
  Great amount of historical information on airlines
Airline Links
  Over 150 different links to airline websites
AirDisaster.com
  Everything you always wanted to know about airplane crashes (assuming that this is a topic you really want to know much about, especially immediately prior to your next flight!).
Airline Pilot's Pay Rates
  An interesting site that sets out rates of pay for pilots at most US airlines and air freight companies.
AirSafe.Com
  This has both information about air crashes and also interesting information about fear of flying and air security.
Aviation History
  A useful site with a lot of information about early planes.  Covers planes that were first built prior to the 1960s.
Aviation Safety Network
  A database of airline accident information going back to 1943.  Easy to find the information you want, and very helpful.
Customers First
  Want a laugh?  Visit this site, created in 1999 (I think) by the airlines' lobbying group, the ATA, to head off the threat of Congressional legislation creating a Passenger Bill of Rights (whatever that would have been).

Although the site triumphantly trumpets its apparent 'success' the reality is that the drop in air travel de-stressed the system, and now that air travel is back up to its highest levels ever, the system is stressed once more - you'll see they don't show any 2003 or 2004 statistics in their charts that 'prove' they have solved their problems.

FareAware Bargain Fare Tools
  A compendium of tools to help you research and find the lowest airfares.
FlightStats
  Perhaps the best source of data about flights - are they on time, etc.  Can be better than the airline sites directly because it also uses FAA and other data.
FlightView
  Type in an airline and flight number and it will tell you when it is expected to take off and land, and, if in the air, will show you where the plane is, how high, and how fast it is traveling.
History of Commercial Aviation
  Contains information on 650 different airlines and countless planes to the present day, plus features on London's airports, flying boats and supersonic flight.
ICAO Airplane Type Designators
  Gives standard designators/abbreviations for most common current airplane types
Kayak.com
  Great website for comparing airfares from many different carriers.  Works for both domestic and international travel, and roundtrip, multiple city, and open jaw itineraries.
LowCostAirlines.org
  A fairly complete listing of low cost airlines that may not appear when you're using a normal website to research airfares.
Plane Crash Info
  Another site with rather gruesome but fascinating information.  Find out how safe the airline you'll next fly is.
SeatGuru.com
  A very nice site with extensive information and very well laid out seat maps with recommendations about where better and worse than normal seats can be found on planes operated by AA, CO, DL, UA and US.  Caution, not all information is necessarily exactly correct, but it gives you a good feel for these seating type issues.  (Also view our own page on airline types and seating layouts).
SkyTrax Airline & Airport Quality Rankings
  An interesting site with lots of information and opinions about things related to airplanes and airports.
SleepingInAirports.com
  Helpful information if you ever have the bad luck to get stuck, overnight, in an airport.
SpaceA.net
  Very helpful information for people who can qualify to fly space available on military transport flights.

 

Cars

Car Rental Express
  A site which accesses smaller rental car companies that often have better rates than the major national companies.

 

Cruise

CDC Vessel Sanitation Program
  All cruise ships that carry more than 12 passengers and visit US ports with foreign itineraries are given unannounced inspections twice a year by the CDC and given a rating for their hygiene/sanitation standards.  Read reviews of which ships pass and which fail.
Cruisemates
  An extensive website with ship reviews and an excellent newsletter.
The Shipboard Cruiser
  Well established and comprehensive site with links to just about everything you're likely to want to know about cruising.

 

Electronics

Cell Phone Radiation Levels
  A helpful list of current cell phones and how much radiation they beam into your brain.

 

Government Departments and Services

CDC Travelers' Health
  An encyclopedic reference to travel related health matters.  Perhaps a bit overly conservative in some areas, but still a great source for information for things like if you should get vaccinations prior to visiting somewhere.
National Transportation Safety Board
  These are the people that, amongst other things, get to investigate airplane crashes.  Sadly, their safety recommendations are just that - recommendations rather than legally binding regulations, and by the time the FAA ever gets to implement them in a legally binding form (if it ever does) years and years have passed.
Passport Information and Applications
  All you ever wanted to know about how to get a US Passport.

Includes printable application forms.

State Department Foreign Per Diem Rates
  A huge list of countries and cities around the world, along with official daily allowances for hotels and meals costs.  Rates range from enormously higher than reality (which would allow you to live in five star luxury and indulge in gourmet dining) to fairly realistic, with usually the meal rates being further above reality than the accommodation rates.

I understand that the IRS will allow these levels of claims as being fair (if you don't have receipts) but don't know this for sure.

State Department Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheets
  A useful service with excellent summary fact sheets for all countries in the world, plus warnings on those countries which warrant them.
Transportation Research Board
  Part of the National Academies; has some useful research and reports on all types of transportation issues
Transportation Security Administration
  Yes, the new TSA might not have achieved much in the airports, but they already have a website up and running!
United States Code
  The federal laws of the US.  Note that this does not include the Code of Federal Regulations or the Federal Register.  It also does not include state or local law,

 

Phone and Fax Services

GetHuman.com
  This website tells you how to get through automated phone systems and directly to a real live human being.

A sad commentary on modern business practices that it is necessary to visit a website to find out how to actually contact a real person, isn't it!

K7.net Free Fax and Voicemail
  Don't ask me how these people make money, because their service is totally free!  I've used it for over a year and it is flawless.

They give you a phone number which people can use to send you faxes and voicemails, and you can then have the faxes and voicemails forwarded to your email account.  Once you've started getting electronic faxes, you'll never want a paper one again!

Kall8
  A low cost (800) service that will give you an (800) number for as little as $2/month.  You can forward the (800) number to anywhere in the country or anywhere in the world, making it into a true and convenient 'follow me' number so that people can always reach you.  Offered by the same company that provides the K7.net service.
Packet 8 VoIP Service
  A low cost alternative to regular phone service, offering unlimited long distance service too.  Reviewed here.
Teleflip
  A free service.  Send SMS messages to any cell phone in the US or Canada by sending an email to their phone number in this format  206-555-1212@teleflip.com
Telestial
  An excellent range of cell phone products for international travelers.  Global roaming prepaid accounts, international multi-band cellphones, satellite phones (great for cruise ships) and more.  Discussed in this series of three columns

 

Rail

Erik's Rail News
  A useful compendium of rail news from all around the world.
UK Mainline Steam Train Tours
  A complete list of all steam train day tours in Britain  Discussed in this column.

 

Singles Travel Resources

All Singles Travel
  Well established operator that operates a variety of tours for singles each year.  Reportedly slightly more women than men participate, general age range from 30-55 but with some older and some younger.  Free newsletter.
Connecting Solo Travel Network
  A public website with lots of information about single travel plus additional services for members.
Cruise Mates
  A cruising website that has an excellent and extensive section for singles.  Has a great newsletter, too.
Journeywoman
  An excellent and slightly quirky site for women travelers.  Includes a newsletter and lots of content and resources.

Has an associated site, HERmail.net, that enables women to match up with other women as travel partners.  Both sites are excellent examples of the tremendous benefits and empowerment of the internet.

O Solo Mio Singles Tours
  A singles specialist offering tours either for the 30+ age group or for the 18-35 age group.
Singles Cruises
  This company seems to be focused more on the social aspects of helping people meet other people on the cruises that it blocks group space on.
Singles Travel International
  A company with a good range of tours and related resources for single travelers.
Travel Alone and Love It
  A website extension of a book of the same name, all about empowering people to travel alone.  Has a free monthly newsletter.
Travel Chums
  A site with over 15,000 people listed, all looking for travel partners.  You can specify the type of person you're looking for, then read personal profiles and contact the people if you're interested.
Travel Companion Exchange
  A website that, at the current time, is heavily under construction, but their 'traditional' non-web based travel companion finding service has been operating successfully for 20 + years.

 

Tour Operators and Travel Agents

A-Prague.com
  A nice website with good prices and comprehensive information about visiting Prague.
Tripology.com
  This site provides a free service, helping you, the traveler, to find a good travel agent who specializes in travel to the destination you've visiting.  A great idea and a nice site, with, ahem, some of the content on the site written by me (but I have no interest in the company beyond having given them some articles).

 

Miscellaneous

Airline Meals
  What will they think of next!  Here's a website dedicated to pictures of airline meals - a mix of airline promotional pictures (that never look anything like the food on my plate, no matter if I'm in First class or Coach) and real pictures taken by travelers of the food in front of them.

No real practical value, but if you're wanting to do a bit of semi-random surfing, it is a nicely presented site.

The Bathroom Diaries
 

This site answers my largely rhetorical question 'what will the think of next'.  A fun site that claims to list and evaluate 6000+ bathrooms in 100+ countries.

Also has 'The Golden Plunger' awards (for good bathrooms) and an amusing section of bathroom horror stories.

Concealed Weapons Permits - State by State Reciprocity
  If you're an ardent supporter of the 2nd Amendment, and wish to travel with a personal concealed firearm, this site gives you what seems to be accurate and up to date information on the laws, state by state.

Remember that your home state carry permit only entitles you to carry in-state.  Check on this site to see which other states will recognise your home-state carry permit.

Dine.com
  Information on over 150,000 restaurants in the US, including user reviews.  Put in a city or zip code and then choose from different restaurant types.  Even offers maps so you can find the restaurant.

Information is sometimes more than five years out of date, and even with 150,000 restaurants listed, there is vastly more data missing than included.  So, use with caution - at the very least, phone restaurants before visiting to confirm they still exist!  But, shortcomings aside, it is a useful tool.

FlightHumor.Org
  A collection of humorous articles and jokes to do with flying.
Mayer Nudell - Specialized Consulting Services
  Mayer Nudell is a former US diplomat, published author, and expert in the field of aviation, international and travel security.  He provides a range of services probably aimed primarily at larger corporations.
OzEmergency.com
  An interesting site with an interesting concept, applicable to people in all countries, not just Australia.  Provides laminated emergency details cards - helpful when you're traveling and even when you're not!
Privacy International
  An organization that is trying to combat the merciless increase of invasive anti-privacy measures that are offered in the name of increasing our security but which in truth do nothing of the sort.
Terra Fly
  This is an amazing site.  Type in an address and you get a satellite picture of the location.  It includes amazing data for the area if you click on a data point, including even homes for sale.

Satellite photos may be some years out of date (I estimate the satellite picture of my house is 5+ years out of date).  Image resolution is 1 meter on the free site, but 6" resolution photos can be ordered.

Wayback Machine
  Wow.  Who said that web pages don't last for ever!  This site has an archive of many pages of many websites dating back to 1996, so here is your chance to look at the websites of now defunct airlines, or just about anything else!

Other Travel Informative/Consumer themed Web Sites

Bidding For Travel
  This excellent site helps you understand the type of rates that you can successfully bid at on Priceline.com.

If you plan on buying travel through Priceline, you should visit this site first to check what the best going rates are.

Bob's Internet Travel Tips
  An interesting pot pourri of topics and tips from a 'million miler' traveler.

Well worth a browse through.  He publishes a free monthly newsletter too.

Europe for Visitors
  A massively comprehensive website with almost 3500 pages of information about Europe.
Gemutlichkeit Travel Letter
  A monthly newsletter focused on travel to Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Reviewed in my article here.

Johnny Jet
  This site bills itself as 'the ultimate travel portal' and its claim seems reasonably accurate.  Whatever you're likely to want in terms of travel websites, you're likely to be able to find it here.

Amazingly, this site is the work of a single individual ('Johnny Jet') and done on a part time basis.

JoeSentMe.com
  My own site would not have been possible if it were not for Joe Brancatelli's support and encouragement.

You definitely should go visit his site, and sign up for his excellent weekly newsletter.

Manatee Press
  Travel guides to Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, and Barbados. Travel tips, information, mailing list, and photos.

Reference

Airline Dispatcher's Federation Weather Resources
  Dispatchers are people that work with a flight's pilot to determine the necessary fuel loads, routing, flight permissions, weather and other safety issues.

This page on their website gives you access to more weather type resources than you're probably ever going to want!

Airport, Airline and City Codes
  There are over 9000 airport codes around the world, and while some are known to everyone (LAX) and some are obvious (LHR for London Heathrow) others are less obvious (MSY for New Orleans)!

This is a helpful site with lots of information on airport codes, airline codes, a wonderful 'time and distance calculator' between airports

Area Code Lookup (North America only)
  I used to have all the area codes pretty much committed to memory, so as to recognize the state and sometimes the city that an area code related to.  But with the explosion of area codes over the last ten years, that has become impossible, and this site is a convenient way to find out what state an area code belongs to.

The interesting thing about this listing is to see how few remaining area codes there are.  What will happen when they are all used up?  (The answer to this pressing problem is complicated and, of course, very expensive!)

Distance Calculator between Cities
  Enter two cities - any two cities in the world, and this calculates the distance between them and tells you each city's latitude and longitude.
EmbassyWorld.com
  Wow - a massive list of foreign embassies and consulates plus some other international themed services and resources (eg some maps, power/voltage info by country, etc).
Great Circle Mapper
  Allows you to measure great circle distances between airports, to check range radii, and a bunch of other neat things.
Holidays for All Countries
  This site gives details of national holidays for most countries in the world.  It seems both complete and accurate.
The Lonely Planet
  Companion website for the excellent travel books.  Lots of good information.
Maps - Mapquest
  Excellent maps and driving directions for the US, also has good maps for many international countries too.
MSN Maps
  Has a very useful world atlas that enables you to find where just about any town or city is in the world.
Phone and Power Plugs
  This is an encyclopedic site with all you couple possibly want to know about different voltages, power plugs and phone plugs.
Professional Travel Guide
  Billing itself as 'the world's most comprehensive online travel planning resource', this is a helpful service with lots of information (and reviews) about hotels, destinations, and other travel related topics.
Sunrise and sunset times
  A very helpful site that will tell you, for any date, and for any place, anywhere in the world, when the sun will (or did!) rise and when it will (or did) set.
Sunrise and sunset times - another site
  A possibly simpler site that gives similar information to the site above.
Time Zones for World Cities
  This is invaluable.  Not only tells you the current time, the time zone the city is in, but also has information like when daylight savings starts and finishes, sunrise/sunset times for both the present day and future dates, and lots more.
Visa Information (Timatic)
  This is the ultimate source of answers to the question 'do I need a visa if I am traveling to ---'.  It is used by the airlines and is as close to 100% reliable as it gets.

Also has health related information.

Tourism Offices Worldwide Directory
  A listing of 1288 different country and regional tourist offices.

A great place to start planning your next trip.

Weather
  This excellent site offers information on today's weather, the forecast for the next several days, and, best of all for people planning a trip, also gives historical average daily and monthly high and low temperatures.

Has data for most US locations and also a huge number of international cities, too.

White Pages
  This site, calling itself 'The Ultimate White Pages' gives you immediate access into six leading white pages sites.
WorldClimate.com
  This very helpful site enables you to specify any location in the world and then get month by month average temperature data.  Very helpful for planning a trip.
World Fact Book
  This CIA publication gives you excellent general information and country maps for just about everywhere in the world.  Great for general reference.
World Telephone Directories
  A website that links you to phone directories for 184 different countries around the world.

 

Services to Help your Travel Booking and Management

Airline Frequent Flier Fee Chart
  These days a 'free' ticket can be anything but free, and there are huge divergences in what the airlines charge for a free ticket.  This is a helpful chart to enable you to quickly understand which frequent flier program you should be using the most.
Farecast.com
  This is an amazing website that predicts if airfares are likely to go up or down for a particular itinerary and travel date.  It answers the key question - 'should I buy now or wait'.
Guide to Airline Fees
  Airline fees can cost as much as the ticket price, and there is no standardization on what you get for free and what you pay for, and/or how much the 'extras' now cost.  This is a great table listing the various fees and policies of the major US airlines.
Kayak.com
  My favorite service for shopping automatically across dozens of different websites to find the lowest airfares.  Not perfect, but a good start to understanding the best fare to where you want to go.
YAPTA
  This is a wonderful service.  Put in an itinerary and it will monitor the fare for your flights.  If the fare drops, it tells you and helps you to claim a refund from the airline.