Here are six useful travel websites you might not have heard about, which will help you to plan a great holiday.
When you’re planning your holiday, sometimes you need a little inspiration. If you are looking for new ideas and well-written travelogues, The Discoverer is a great website to look at. It launches a new edition every month, dedicated to a destination, and includes general tips, must-see places, and inspiring pictures that capture the essence of each place. So start your planning by going to The Discoverer to get yourself into the travel mood!
The Discoverer features places within Europe and also destinations much further afield. If you’re travelling worldwide, try our Go2 Travel Insurance to keep you insured.
If you’re relying on local transport, from public buses to ferries, taxis, trains or trams, Rome2Rio provides extensive information on how to reach your destinations, worldwide. Set your departure and arrival points, and the website will suggest the cheapest and fastest modes of transport, show you where you need to change, and give you an estimated price. It will even suggest accommodation options for you.
Spotted by Locals
When you’re planning a holiday, sometimes you’ll ask friends who have been to that destination for their tips and advice. Or if you know someone from that country, you’ll ask them for suggestions. Spotted by Locals does this for those places where you don’t know who to ask. For over 70 cities, mostly in Europe, you’ll find tips for the best restaurants, hidden gems, and great shopping opportunities. The tips are easily readable and come with a personal touch by each local expert, which the website calls a Spotter. It also offers downloadable city guides via a paid app, for $3.99.
Many people like to take a guided tour of their destination, to show them the most interesting things quickly. But finding the right guide and the best tour can be a time-consuming lottery. Viator takes care of that for you. Simply search for your destination and the website will show you plenty of options for tours, according to your interests and budget. From a behind-the-scenes tour of a French bakery in Paris to a fun boat ride in Faro, you can find most activities here, complete with real reviews.
The Man in Seat Sixty-One
Launched by a former British Rail manager from Buckinghamshire, this website is a perfect example of how the internet can change the life of a dedicated hobbyist. What started as a small niche page is today one of the biggest sources of information on train travel. You’ll find schedules, prices, and even photos from inside the carriages, covering some of the most interesting train rides in the world. From well-known UK and Irish trains up to the famous Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia or the classic Indian trains, the Man in Seat Sixty-One knows the way.
Getting a bad seat on your flight can get your holiday off to a poor start. Being seated close to the toilets, or getting the only seat on the plane without a window, are problems that you can easily avoid by looking up your flight on SeatGuru. Just enter your airline and flight number, and the website will automatically find the type of aircraft you will be on. It uses a traffic lights colour scheme of red-yellow-green to show you the best seats with additional leg room, and which seats you would be better avoiding.
Note that airlines can swap your aircraft for another type, and this tends to start happening at around two weeks before your flight departs, as the airline finalises their schedule. So SeatGuru is only a guide, but we reviewed it for easyJet aircraft and it’s fairly accurate. However, it doesn’t include the newer Airbus A321 aircraft.
SeatGuru also doesn’t show which seats are suitable for passengers with reduced mobility, so you might still need to phone your airline and check which seat would be best for you.