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Lonely Planet
It's been a long time now since the well-known guide book made this effortless transition to an online counterpart and it still remains one of smoothest, most accessible sites on the Web. The Worldguide covers just about every possible country, displaying for each one a small map and plenty of useful information divided into topics such as Facts To The Traveller, When To Go, Events, Money & Costs, History, Culture, etc., all available in a printable version. Other sections like the Theme Guides relate different destinations to themes such as Music or Beaches. The Thorn Tree provides a useful globe-trotters forum and other sections deal with recent news, health and traveller's tales. What's remarkable is that there is no banner advertising or any other distraction, only the guide books themselves are promoted but in their very own area aptly named Propaganda.


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Rough Guides
This is one of the most useful sites because it shares much information found in the printed edition, including lists of accommodations and places to eat in specific cities or countries. These tend to be at the low budget end of the scale, and in less-visited cities, the recommendations for eats may not be to specific places so much as areas where one may have a quick, filling meal or snack. Suggestions for places to visit may be in the form of an author's personal-best list, hardly a source of detailed information. Still, it makes a useful starting point.


 

Fodor's
Fodor's make an excellent companion to the previous offering, because their recommendations, while more extensive than those in the Rough Guides, cater for tastes at the middle to higher end of the scales, though they occasionally list budget choices as well. One interesting feature of their recommendations is their encouragement of readers who use them to make comments of their own. Most of those I've seen are left blank by readers, but the idea is a good one, and perhaps in time, readers will use the opportunity. Again, as with the Rough Guides, the narrow columns result in printing more pages than necessary. Another useful feature of Fodor's is a reader's forum containing threads on various travel topics to different destinations. Many are more intriguing for the notes of paranoia they contain, such as which country's natives smell worst, and in which city's subways are you most likely to lose your wallet, rather than for the tips on what to see which may have led you to the site in the first place.



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Frommer's
Of the major guides on the Internet, these are among the stingiest at sharing recommendations found in their printed version. Like Fodor's, however, they have a Reader's Forum, and while many of the entries here too deal with traveller fears and overgeneralizations based on individual experiences, many are more useful than the site itself at sharing recommendations, as well as providing cautionary tales.


 

Time Out
A relatively newer entrant to the guidebook business, Time Out may be the most useful and comprehensive of all in the sharing of its contents on line. That is, as long as you are looking for information on cities which are heavily visited by tourists. For these cities, Time Out provides the most detailed lists of places to stay in various price categories and restaurants and bars according to the cuisine or type of setting they offer. They also offer guides to what to see, again broken down by categories, such as museums, amusements, castles, churches, and places children will enjoy, and entertainment in various forms. They provide general information on different venues, and links that allow the user to find schedules and book tickets. Again, however, printing is made more cumbersome by the use of narrow columns, resulting in more printed pages. Still, when you are finished printing, you're still likely to be carrying less than if you had bought the book itself. Unless, of course, you get carried away. At a certain point, you may decide it's better to spend the money and save the time printing, by actually buying the book!


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Travelocity
One of those well-established sites the web was quite simply made for, Travelocity is an invaluable tool for taking care of all kinds of travel arrangements from your keyboard, with ease accuracy and best of all at an excellent price. This reviewer has personally been using the service to book flights for a while now and has found it totally reliable and trouble-free. Just about every flight and airline are covered. You can also select from masses of package holidays that meet your criteria and conclude car-rental and hotel reservations or even take advantage of late-breaking rock-bottom offers on unsold places. The US version also carries cruises and a few other deals as well as useful features such as destination and hotel guides. Travelocity UK, Travelocity Germany , Travelocity US.


 

A2B Travel
If like us, you're located in the UK, you'll find that this portal has all the information you need for making your own world-wide or more local journey and hotel arrangements. Its expertise does not quite stretch as far as package holidays, but there are links to a number of well-known partner sites. Similarly rail, ferry, car hire, airport-info, flights, currency, insurance and weather are provided by a few other specialists together with a whole host of A2B's own facilities. The portal's strength lies in the way it organises and seamlessly integrates these various sources.


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Wherever you are, Forzieri delivers the highest quality Italian fashion accessories to your door. Be sure to select the correct country version at the bottom of their opening page.

   
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