5 Great Travel Planning Websites

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These fantastic travel-planning tools will make your next trip less stressful and more fun. Whether you’re flying home between semesters, taking time off to visit Thailand or working with an NGO in Ghana, you can toss out your travel guide and go with the flow.

With these free websites, you can create a foolproof itinerary that covers the hidden gems and must-see attractions.

1. Cheap Fares on Secret Flying

Traveling on a tight budget is possible when you dig through the deals on Secret Flying. You can find flash sales, low-cost flights and pricing errors. Most offers are from major cities, but they are worth it. If you keep an open mind and flexible travel dates, you can enjoy round-trip travel from New York City to Barbados for $282. If you want to travel to the Himalayas, take advantage of $555 round-trip flights from San Francisco to Nepal. Secret Flying also publishes discount hotel rates if you need a place to stay.

2. Travel Deals from Skyscanner

If you want to travel to a specific destination, Skyscanner will tell you the best time to go. If you want to fly from New York City to Los Angeles, you’ll get a good deal in February. If you’re going from Boston to Berlin, you’ll get a better rate in April. You can even use Skyscanner to see the lowest rates for flights in a particular month. It will also tell you how to get the best deal on return flights. For example, if you stay in Iceland for an extra day, your return flight will be $32 cheaper. Plus, you can coordinate airfare, hotels and car rentals.

3. Destination Guides and Tips on Wikitravel

This expansive wiki includes all sorts of information on some 104,000 travel destinations and countries. If you got an unbeatable deal on a flight to Peru, Wikitravel can tell you the best way to get to Cuzco and Machu Piccu. Locals and experienced travelers will advise you that you need to try corn beer and an alpaca steak. They’ll also warn you about airport taxi drivers who will charge you 30 soles for a ride instead of the usual 10.

4. TripHobo Travel Itineraries

If you’re planning domestic or international travel, TripHobo can do all of the work. Just enter your destination and the length of your visit. Wherever you’re traveling, the site will suggest popular attractions for each day of your visit. TripHobo will tell you the best time to go, how much time you should budget and which restaurants are nearby. You can let the site suggest an itinerary, or you can build one yourself by selecting items from the database of attractions.

5. Fun with Roadtrippers

Plan the ultimate college getaway with Roadtrippers. You can build your own cross-country trip by adding destinations to the route. You can also explore the map looking for state parks, hotels, campgrounds, museums and offbeat attractions. As you add stops, the site will show you many more marvelous places that are on the way. We’re pretty sure it’s the only site where you can add the Spam Museum, the world’s largest wind chime, a meteor crater and a Stonehenge replica built from cars to your road trip map.

With these tools, you can plan a safe and fun adventure and start dreaming about your next vacation. If you want to learn more about visa requirements, travel alerts and other recommendations, visit the U.S. State Department. You can use their site to research your travel destination and to sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, which offers current information and expedited assistance overseas. Happy traveling!

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