Gene Kilgore’s Ranch Vacations

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Nifty travel websites

HOT DEALS

We know, there are a million of ‘em: travel-oriented websites. You already know about Kayak, Yahoo, Orbitz, Trip Advisor, Expedia, Priceline, Travelocity and the rest. Because anyone who has flown recently has had to search for cheap tickets online and those sites do that job well.

But before search engines like Google and Bing existed (aka the Dark Ages), if you wanted to find other interesting travel sites, you had to get the web address from a friend just to find them. Frankly, we still like the personal touch, so we’ll tell you about some of our favorite travel sites. They can be a good way to find out about deals, last-minute travel bargains, and tips from those in the know.

The Lonely PlanetLonely Planet home

We love this site just because it has stuff you’ll never find on those other sites. For example: Italy’s Regional Pizzas; the Glutton’s Guide to New Orleans; and the Worst Travel Pick-up Lines. It reminds us that travel should, after all, be fun.

The Virtual TouristTravel Guides, Hotel Reviews, Photos, Forums, Deals

Quirky, unusual, and independent. That describes what you’ll find here because a lot of the content is posted by members. The Travel Guides give you the inside scoop from fellow travelers and locals. The Hotel Reviews section rates more than 262,000 hotels. And the Travel Forum tells you what’s on the minds of travelers right now. One recent question: “Well its only 2 weeks to go until my first ever cruise, does anyone have any usefull do’s or don’ts on the art of cruising ?” got a lot of helpful replies.

The Travel Channel

Sometimes a video says it best. When you want an actual look at the destinations you’re considering, the Travel Channel has a vast store of videos of top travel sites to check. Right now, they have Sexy Weekend Getaways, the world’s most decadent chocolate tours, and more all geared to Valentine’s Day (which has now become Valentine’s Week, it seems).

Travel.state.gov

Going overseas? Then this is your number one site, listing consular services for US citizens abroad, Visa services for foreigners, links to foreign consulates, visa fee tables and downloadable passport forms. And for faster info, check their Facebook page.

And of course, no matter where you are headed, you have to know what to expect weather-wise. So try www.weather.com/outlook/travel/ to get the latest flight delays and airport weather conditions. At The Weather Channel you’ll get more than the basics: maps, videos, news, trip planner and so much more.

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