Websites for Travellers

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This is not meant to cover accommodation/flight/transport web searches since these are well known but rather tools to organise and plan your travel.

Communication

Skype

From the web: We all love something for nothing. With Skype’s free software – by the way, it works seamlessly with your internet connection – you can chat away with free Skype-to-Skype calls and never worry about cost, time or distance. Share the love and get your friends to download Skype so you can talk, chat or make video calls for nothing. You can also make local, long distance and international calls to phones and cell phones at great rates too.

Review: Most people use Skype to connect to someone while in front of their PC. However Skype is able to do a lot more than that. Utilizing a Wi-Fi or 3G networks one can call users from overseas as well as send SMS and text messages avoiding expensive roaming costs. Given that free Wi-Fi is much easier to find and it is often offered in many hotels as an add-on service Skype can be quite invaluable in keeping in touch with families/friends. I haven't used Skype extensively enough while overseas but I am intending to use it during my February trip. Skype

Phone Plans

This isn't a website but is an alternative.

You can get packages where you pay $5 per month extra and can call selected countries for about 3cents a minute. The thing is they are not usually part of a standard plan so you need to ask.

You can also use prepaid calling cards where $10 will get you 2000 minutes of talking to some countries

Organisation

Tripit

From the website: TripIt is a personal travel assistant that automatically organizes all your travel plans. TripIt is free and makes it easy to...

  • Quickly organize all your travel plans -- flights, lodging, cars, trains, cruises and more
  • Automatically get itineraries with all your plans, weather, maps, restaurants and more
  • Easily access your itineraries via paper, email, personal calendar or mobile device
  • Share your trips and see where you overlap with friends and colleagues

Review: I have been using it on and off for over a month now to plan my trip to Whistler in February. I have to say that this website is great as information is easy to add and edit and it is easily presented through a web interface. The itinerary can then be exported to Microsoft Outlook which can be accessed through a PocketPC or it can be directly accessed by iPhone. You can print out your itinerary in easy to see format to keep a backup paper copy or to give to family/friends as a security measure. The itinerary can include multiple entries covering Flight/Lodging/Car Hire/Rail/Cruise/Directions/Activities/Meeting/Dining and is integrated with Google maps which will automatically come up with maps to cover directions from and to and also locations based on entered address. One also has an option to print map/directions out as part of hard copy to help navigation. Tripit

Mobimate

Some great software for your phone is WorldMate it's great for travelling, especially getting live updates to flight schedules and entering your entire itinery into. mobimate

Trasnsport

i-Metro

From the web:iMetro helps you find your way in the public transportation systems in over 400 cities, with maps in New York, London, Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Amsterdam and more.

Review: I have used iMetro for PDA during my trip to Japan last year but it has been on my PocketPC for a few years now. It allows one to carry around a database of public transport system of hundreds of cities worlwide to make planning and executing your travels much faster and easier. Simply pick a city enter start and end destination and iMetro will find a most suitable way to get there. It will tell you where to change and you can also search by landmark in PDA versions. There is now an iPhone version support as well. i-metro

OBB - Austrian Railways

Probably one of the easiest train sites in Europe. Can research timetables for pretty much anywhere in Europe. OBB