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Useful travel sites

With so many travel sites populating the web, it can be challenging to quickly find what you are looking for, fast. Whether you're headed overseas or simply a few states over, our short list of useful sites will help you track your flight, call home, be safe, find Wi-Fi, and more.

One stop shopping: Flightstats.com is an awesome resource. We first read about it in the WSJ and immediately added it to our favorites list. It provides departure and arrival data for airports around the world as well as the latest travel advisories, warnings, country information (including entry/exit requirements), airport delays, security wait times and even travel deals. Forget going to an individual airline's web site, you can track any flight here! Additionally, the site is super easy to navigate. For example, travelers can quickly sort data by airport to view all flight statuses. It's pretty cool. Under the airport tab travelers can view which airports across the country are experiencing delays. If you want to drill down on the info and get details, you need to register. It's free.

Other flight stat sites worthy of mention: The FAA maintains a site similar to flightstats that shows data for the largest 40 airports on a US map. Just scroll over your airport and you'll get some info quick. If your airport is not on this map, you can still get info by using the search function at the top. Other sites you may find useful include flightarrivals.com (which had annoying pop-ups), flightview.com and flytecomm.com.

Find FREE Wi-Fi: Before you hit the road and after you locate all your athletic-minded pursuits, check out this site: WiFiFreeSpot.com ; an online directory of locations offering FREE Wi-Fi. The site is part of the JiWire network which also lists Wi-Fi hot spots. Airports are covered here too.

Get through airport security efficiently: Ensure that you get through airport security as quickly as possible by staying up to speed on the TSA's prohibited items list.

Health & Safety Abroad: The Center for Disease Control's site allows users to check health safety according to destination. Select a country to read about recommended vaccines, potential diseases and health risks in the area as well as other helpful info.

Travel Warnings/Risks: The U.S. Department of State maintains a "Travel Advisories" page on its site. Travel warnings are issued when the State Department recommends that Americans avoid a certain country....like Iran, for example. In fact, one of our team member's dad was planning to go to Iran this month, but the group could not get the required visas. Anyway, reading between the governmental speak of the October 10, 2006 update (Flightstats has this info too, and it looked more current?) basically says that one should seriously think twice about going and if the decision is made to go, register through the State Department's travel registration website.

Alternatively, if you are concerned about a particular destination, check out the travel warnings issued by a country other than the U.S. For example, Australia's site is more user friendly than the above site and covers a higher number of destinations. In the case of Iran, Australia's February 24th, 2007 update is much more direct---"exercise high degree of caution because of the threat of terrorist attack against Western interests." The country page also provides information on health issues, local laws, and entry and exit requirements. By the way, Flightstats also shows other country's warnings.

Know how to dial: The country calling code site will help you, or friends trying to reach you, figure out which digits to dial. It's ridiculously easy. Enter the country you are calling from and the country you are trying to reach. Once you submit this info, it'll then ask you for city info. I really needed this when my dad recently broke his leg in New Zealand and I was trying to reach/find him!

In Conclusion: Had Flightstats been around, or had I even known about some of these other resources years ago, I would have realized that to enter Bali, Indonesia I REQUIRED a passport that would be valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry! Ooops. When we arrived for our honeymoon, my passport expired in 2 months...long story. We did make it through! Want more helpful tips & resources for travel, working out and other athletic-minded endeavors?

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Comments

Comments

As a travel agent, some

As a travel agent, some useful travel websites I use for trip planning are: tripadvisor, tripolin.com

Nice article, added it to my favorite list.

David

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