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T+L's Top Travel Websites of 2008

© Geof Kern T+L’s Top Travel Websites of 2008

Photo: Geof Kern

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Overall directions

maps.google.com

Google Maps still soars above the competition with easy-to-read maps, street views of most U.S. cities, live feeds of traffic conditions, and detailed car, subway, and walking routes.

Driving directions

viamichelin.com

Get suggested routes for 61 countries around the world (24 in Europe) along with estimates about what you’ll spend on gas and tolls. New technology sends the route directly to your GPS, and distances are available in both kilometers and miles.

Navigate major U.S. transit systems

hopstop.com

A simple search yields point-to-point bus, subway, and taxi directions in six major U.S. cities. Helpful extras include trip cost, expected travel time, and amount of walking en route.

Vacation Rentals

flipkey.com

All 50,000-plus listings feature photos, Google-powered maps, and ratings and reviews from previous renters.

Destination ideas

tripbase.com

Plug in when you want to go and how much you want to spend on your next vacation, and Tripbase will identify a handful of destinations that match your needs. Each will include an overview of the city, average flight and hotel costs, and expected weather.

Ship luggage in advance

luggageconcierge.com

With fees for checking bags on the rise, this site’s service is comparatively reasonable: between New York and California, it’s $96 for a small duffel (40 pounds) to $140 for a large upright (70 pounds). T+L Tip: it takes two to six business days for the bags to arrive domestically, and seven to 10 days internationally.

Additional reporting by: Christine Ajudua, Lisa Cheng, Jennifer Flowers, Sarah Gold, Alison Goran, Adrien Glover, Catesby Holmes, Sarah Kantrowitz, Shira Nanus, Kathryn O'Shea-Evans, Joshua Pramis, Charlotte Savino, Ann Shields, and Katherine Wiley

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