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2008 Articles

August 2008 - Music 1

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February 2008 - Travel

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Published in The Gudgeon - February 2008

 

In this post Christmas period of dark nights, our thoughts inevitably turn to booking our holidays for the year. So this month, I thought it would be helpful to recommend travel websites.

I have always booked our holidays independently. In the old days, I would go and buy the relevant Rough Guide and book a hotel or b&b based on a few lines of recommendation. This sometimes ended in disappointment. Now, with the help of the internet, I can see pictures of the hotels and read independent reviews. Consequently our success rate at finding good hotels is much improved.

I start my holiday research by looking at The Lonely Planet, Rough Guide and WikiTravel websites. These provide basic information on various countries that we are considering visiting and helps me to narrow down the possibilities. The Rough Guide also has some podcasts, e-books and digital maps that you can download to your computer so that you do not have to carry a guide book when traveling.

Once I have decided on the country, I buy a guide book (normally The Rough Guide, but I am about to try Bath based Footprint for our next holiday), and in tandem with the internet I do my research into where to go.

Trip Advisor has lots of online reviews written by travelers who have visited the areas and hotels. These are independent and highly useful in obtaining neutral and trusted opinions. You can sign up for free and contribute your own thoughts too.

For booking holidays, Trailfinders are very helpful. You cannot book online but you can by phone, or visit their shop in Bristol. They saved me 300 on a recent holiday and their advisers are both knowledgeable and friendly. Expedia or Ebookers are good value online travel agents. For hiring cars abroad, I find Holiday Autos consistently the cheapest.

For those who like more expensive, boutique hotels, Mr and Mrs Smith is an excellent website for finding the most luxuriously trendy hotels.

For those who ski or surf and would like to know if the snow or surf is good today you can look at resort webcams at Snow Eye and A1 Surf.

All website links can be found at http://del.icio.us/gudgeon. If you have any suggestions for websites, then please send me an email and I will add it to Delicious with your comments.

Good luck in booking your perfect holiday!

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