Our “Travel” expert Susan shares some offbeat and really useful websites you’ll definitely want to know about…
Here are some totally practical travel websites that offer info and tools and other sites that are offbeat but really useful. Together they provide lots of things you want to know when you travel: Tools for currency exchange, language, time, weather and airline related amenities that cover everything from seating to airline quality, safety, frequent flyer mile management and fare pricing …
CURRENCY/TIME CONVERSION/LANGUAGE TRANSLATOR
accuweather.com: Provides forecasts 15 days out, for cities worldwide; and weather.com provides forecasts 10 days out (if they don’t agree I usually side with the better forecast for my planning as I am an optimist).xxx
seatguru.com and seatexpert.com: Each provides seating plans for aircraft of the major carriers with comments on which are the best and worst seats. Also, don’t dismiss the websites of the carriers — they often have seating plans and other useful information about the services provided on a given flight.
flightarrivals.com: Real time flight arrivals/flight tracking.
airlinemeals.net: Devoted entirely to airplane food.
airsafe.com: Airline safety and security information.
airlinequality.com: Online reviews for airlines and airports.
boardingarea.com: Blogs and latest airline news, all consolidated.
worldwidetravel.ws/airlinemileage.htm: For a fee they manage your mileage accounts and also request upgrades. Disclosure: I have not tried this, but would welcome your input.Enjoy and hope they’re as helpful for you as they’ve been for me.
expertflyer.com: For a monthly or annual fee, you can get almost any information about flights, including fares, upgrade availability, meal services, seat maps, and much more. Excellent resource for the frequent traveler Â¡t might even help you en-route if your flight plans change suddenly (providing you have your laptop or PDA accessible). I have not used this site, but it looks very handy.
www.kayak.com: A great and easy to use search engine for flights around the world – enter the city you want to fly to/from with your dates and up comes all of the options with pricing, which you can filter by carrier, etc.
There are many sites around these days for finding the lowest airfares, the following seem to be ones that are most talked about:
farecompare.com: Helps you locate the best airfares based on your input of destination, date and how much you want to spend.
farecast.com: Helps you decide whether to book a flight now or later depending on the website’s prediction of whether the fare will go higher or lower, using historic pricing information (only for cities in U.S.). Note: also allows you to check hotel rates and to see if you are getting a good deal or not.
yapta.com: Tracks fare changes before and after you fly, allowing you to get refunds or other credits towards future flights, providing you have booked your flight with the airline directly.
Enjoy and hope they’re helpful for you – as always we would love to hear your experiences with them.