Just a few years ago, you probably would have called up your travel agent if you were thinking about taking a trip or vacation somewhere. These days, though, there are thousands of websites online that can help you with every step of the planning process — as well as offer some help beyond what a travel agent could do for you. With these online tools, you can make sure that your travels, whether for business or pleasure, are enjoyable.
Tripbase — Get ideas on where to travel and what to do, based on what you enjoy.
Yahoo! Travel — Access an integrated set of travel tools that recommend specific trips, help you find cheap airfare and hotels, and more.
Iloho — Read up on locations you’re considering visiting, as well as plan your itinerary.
Triporama — Manage the travel plans of whole groups of family or friends and make sure you all get where you’re going.
RealTravel — Look at reviews for trips, locations, and even hotels in order to plan your travel.
TripConnect — Get travel advice from your network of friends.
Travel.State.Gov — Check government advisories on travel as well as get tips for specific countries.
TripAdvisor — Plan each step of your trip while consulting reviews from other travelers.
Tripology — Get help from travel agents with planning your vacation.
OneBag — Learn how to pack your bags and travel light.
Trekaroo — Put together a family friendly travel plan.
PlanetEye — Read reviews of destinations around the world.
TripWolf — Get access to professional travel articles as well as information from other travelers.
AmateurTraveler — Discover new places to visit.
TripEssentials — Bookmark and manage accommodations and other travel information while you’re planning your trip across multiple sites.
TravelIndex — Ask questions about traveling and find resources.
Openplaces — Research your destinations and find reliable information.
FareCompare — Find cheap flights and get Twitter updates about cheap deals from your home airport.
SideStep — Search major travel sites like Orbitz and JetBlue with just one search.
Mobissimo — Compare results from a variety of travel search engines, as well as get news and connect with the Mobissimo community.
Bing Travel — Find airfare and get tips on when to buy your tickets so that you get the lowest possible price.
Frekfly — Get the details on the airports you’ll be flying through, like where you should eat.
atLarge — Find Internet access at any airport in the world.
AirTroductions — Connect with other passengers who will be traveling through particular airports at particular times.
FlightAware — Track your flights and check out the activity at the airports you’re headed to.
FlightStats — Get information on the status of your flights.
SeatGuru — Learn which seats are the best on the plane.
FlyerTalk — Improve the number of airline miles you get from frequent flyer programs.
Vayama — Search for international flights.
Momondo — Discover the dates that will offer you the cheapest airfare.
Airline Quality — Check the quality of the airline you’ll be traveling with before you book.
FlyMyCase — Have your baggage shipped to your destination before you leave and skip baggage claim.
Yapta — Track ticket prices to make sure you get the best deal.
Google Transit — Plan trips on public transportation.
RailEurope — Purchase rail passes to travel around Europe.
Ridester — Share rides in the U.S. by either finding a ride or offering one for a share of the gas money.
TripWiser — Plan road trips and get advice from a social network on where to go.
TravMatix — Create a driving plan, complete with suggestions on where to stop for gas.
PlanYourTrip — Find information on motels, campgrounds, and attractions around the route of your roadtrip.
Moblu — Calculate your gas costs for your trip.
Hotels Finder — Find hotels in various cities and see their rankings and details on a Google Map.
Rent Me A Vacation — Search for vacation rentals based on location and price.
EpicTrip — Watch videos and read reviews of the hotels you’re considering staying in before you book.
TravelPost — Search for hotel reviews across thousands of websites.
HomeAway — Find vacation rentals all over the world, as well as rent out your own vacation rental.
LicketyTrip — Get last minute deals on vacation rentals.
HostelWorld — Check out hostel options in more than 170 countries.
LateRooms — Book hotel rooms at the last minute for deals.
Skoosh — Search for boutique hotel rooms.
ConcertHotels — Going to a concert? Find a hotel near the venue.
CouchSurfing — Couchsurf your way around the world by finding locals to stay with.
Hostelling International — Book hostels around the world in order to travel on the cheap.
Hospitality Club — Travel for free and connect with locals through this site’s volunteers.
HostelTrail — Read up on hostels located in Latin America.
Domegos — Locate vacation rentals in more than 70 countries.
AirBNB — Connect with hosts who will let you sty in their homes.
gloveler.com — Rent private accommodations inexpensively.
Boo — See guides and travel advice written by other travelers.
EveryTrail — Share trip routes and photos online and through mobile devices, as well as find trips where you’ll be traveling.
WhereTo.org — Look at information shared by other travelers describing places they’ve been, along with their recommendations.
Vcarious — Read travel guides written by recent visitors, as well keep your own travel journal.
WikiTravel — Find and edit this shared travel guide organized along the lines of Wikipedia.
Cosmotourist — Get travel tips that go beyond guidebooks and ask any questions you want answered before you travel.
World66 — Check out more than 20,000 different destinations with almost 80,000 articles written about them.
TripCart — Find what to do once you’ve got an idea of where you want to travel.
Geobeats — Watch video travel guides to learn more about where you’re headed.
Travelistic — See thousands of travel videos from all over the world.
Simpatigo — Create custom tours of the area you’re visiting.
World Hotel Link — Read up on information about different areas with a socially conscious angle.
LonelyPlanet — Browse professional travel guides online.
OffbeatGuides — Print your own customized travel guides.
WorldSaurus — Access travel guides written entirely by locals.
KeenGuides — Watch guided tours for the areas you plan to visit.
Boomtrek — Get acquainted with individual cities, from finding the neighborhood you want to stay in, as well as find other information about the city.
Wayn — Find locals and other travelers to hang out with.
CityTherapy — Hear about the newest and coolest places to go in European cities.
BringSome — Bring or get items usually only available in other countries.
Where’s the Beach, Dude! — Get listings on where nearby beaches are.
Yelp — Read reviews of restaurants and other businesses in there area you’re visiting.
DailyCandy — Learn about local events and the bests of different cities.
HiEverywhere — Connect with a local who has volunteered to be a tour guide.
Dopplr — Share information about where and when you’ll be traveling with your network so that you can tell when you’ll be in the same places as your friends.
myTripBook — Write about your adventures and share them with your Facebook friends.
TripIt — Network with your traveling friends and update your plans just by forwarding your confirmation emails to the site.
Matador — Read about the exciting adventures of other travelers, network with them and find trips you’d like to take as well.
Jauntlet — Create a travel plan that you can add to your blog, social networking profiles, and other places where you can share your adventures with your friends.
GeoJoey — Vote on the experiences you’ve had while traveling and see what trips are the most highly ranked.
Diddit — Share lists of your adventures and compare them with your friends.
Here or There — Read and write travel blogs to share your experiences.
Extravigator — Discuss luxury travel options and get the inside scoop.
Sosauce — Recreate your travel memories with photo tools.
TripHub — Pull together all your information about your travel plans in one place so you can easily share it.
Where I’ve Been — Map out the places you’ve visited on your Facebook page.
TwisitorCenter — Find visitor information for different cities through Twitter.
TravelBlog — Post a travel blog for free and discuss your adventures with other travelers.
Trips — Use this Facebook application to plan trips with friends as well as share your travel information with your friends.
Driftr — Plan and record your trips so that you can easily share them with friends and family.
TripSay — Tell your friends where to go.
Twaller — Get and give travel tips on Twitter in real time.
EverLater — Keep a record of your travels for later.
Image credit: Vlingva / iStockphoto