Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Joys of Planning- 3 Sites to Check Now + Twitter

One of the joys of traveling is planning.

I am obsessed with planning for my travels.  Sometimes, this means finding the perfect flight: what time will it get there? Is there a cheaper flight that will get me there earlier? A better flight that will mean I arrive ready to go? Sometimes, it means finding the perfect place to stay: hostel or hotel? Close to museums and the city center or close to the beach and parks?

Sometimes, planning a trip just means finding the cheapest fare and first night's stay and figuring out where to go from there. Unless you're truly, really adventorous, if you do plan to just wing it and are arriving at an unknown city, the best thing to do is book the first night at a decent hotel. This will give you the chance to get your bearings, shop around and be assured on a restful first night to start your trip.

If you're the type of traveler who favors Jetsetter- style trips (and who isn't every once in a while?) odds are you won't appreciate the first-night lodging approach. In this case, you'll definitely want to book ahead and when you buy your ticket. The downside to this approach is that it limits your mobility. How likely are you to get out and explore if you've reserved a 4-star hotel for 5 days?

This brings out to another point, planning every minute (or just day) of your vacation maximizes what you can do and see in a short space of time. If you're planning to travel for more than 4 days, it works best if you're flexible.

Whether you're looking for a great destination or the best time to go, the sites below (in no particular order) are a great place to start your planning!


Whether you're new to travel or an experiencen voyager, Expedia is a good starting point. You need a more precise set of dates than with other sites, but if you want to compare fares and/or know which airlines are traveling to your destination, Expedia is your best bet.
(The "My dates are flexible" option works only for U.S. destinations.)


Easy to use and information about places to eat, things to do and times to visit. It's a site designed to sell you trips but also designed to inform.
Favorite feature: Check the "My dates are flexible" box and you're most likely to find the cheapest dates.


One of the most popular fare-compare sites, Kayak is one of the best at finding cheap flights. Lack of ratings on how good the airlines with the best prices are means more follow-up work for you.
Favorite feature: "My dates are flexible"  lets you compare your search history!


Not on Twitter? Every airline and fare compare site is on Twitter waiting to tell you what fares are on sale NOW and where to  go next: Sign up, Follow and get ready to travel.

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