Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Times Online: 50 Best Travel Websites of 2007

First things first. This is not a definitive list so sorry if your favourite site is not included. It is not comprehensive, very subjective and not an all-encompassing-list-of-every-travel-website-that-ever-was.

But it isn't a half-bad list for all that, a recognition of sites that have shown real innovation during 2007 and which have launched or improved their offerings to become truly worthy of being added to a favourites list.

Most have cropped in our regular Website of the Week features, and we link through to those reviews which have appeared on the site during 2007. The 50 are not necessarily ranked in any order.

But we still invite your comments and recommendations because there will inevitably be some that even we are not aware of. Shame on us.

And if you want a guide to more websites that can be more prosaic but none the less incredibly helpful, then read the Times Online top 100 travel websites.

Between these, we hope we've got it covered....

NETWORKING

1. Trustedplaces.com - A site that learns your tastes and recommends hotels and restaurants - read the review

2. TripAdvisor Traveller Network - The hotel review site dabbles with social networking. Ginny McGrath is impressed - read the review

3. Iloho.com - A travel community website that's launching airline reviews - read the review

4. Mylifeoftravel.com - Another networking site in travel but one that shows big promise. And it's UK-based too

5. Bringsome.com - Exotic tastes and homesick cravings are catered for with this community 'shop and swap' site - read the review

6. Realtravel.com - If you like to meticulously plan and record your journeys, this is an attractive and free place to do it

7. Wayn.com - The world’s biggest travel community, with more than 8m members, this was its big year to date

MORE MULTIMEDIA

8. Talkshoe.com - If you've got the time to sift through the garbage, there's some gems among these travel podcasts - read the review

9. Travelistic.com - A site dedicated to hosting travel videos is a good place to start your trip planning - read the review

10. Foulerton.com - A minnow in the travel blogosphere, but a good example of how it should be done - read the review

11. Cruisebruise.com - Misadventures on the high seas with this alternative cruising website - read the review

12. Travolution.blogspot.com - the most useful list of travel-related blogs around?

PLANNING TRAVEL

13. Tripit.com - Pedantic travel planners will love this site, which customises a travel itinerary and has some useful tools - read the review

14. Yapta.com - A great tool for travel bargain hunters, although a bit too much of a US bias - read the review

15. Kayak.co.uk - A general travel but natty US site that has launched here - with a new hotel review facility - read the review

16. Door2tour.com - An unglamorous subject, but this is a flashy website selling coach trips - read the review

17. Foundem.com - The latest contender to be the Holy Grail of flight websites is put through its paces - read the review

18. Welove2ski.com - A new kid on the wintersports scene this winter, but we know the Ed and he knows his snow

19. Whydontyou.com - An elite travel agency has launched a holidays website for the non-members - read the review

20. Blacktomato.co.uk - From nowhere to everyone's favourite top-breaks-with-ideas-and-style site

21. Ze-bus.com - A shocking pink website with a good dose of Gallic humour, which will appeal to backpackers and surfers in France - read the review

22. Travelsupermarket.co.uk - The goliath of travel added a new function, a B&B search - read the review

23. STATravelTools - A clock that counts down to your holiday is among the free widgets to add to your blog or desktop with this site - read the review

EXTRAS

24. Multimap.co.uk - Mark Frary praises the new look site, with new functions that are 'a leap forward' - read the review

25. Excess4carhire.com - A site that makes car hire charges more transparent can only be good news - read the review

26. Simplyparking.com - Another comparison site, and this one does what it says on the tin, comparing airport parking prices with reviews

27. Vroomvroomvroom.co.uk - good new site comparing car rental prices

28. TravelTurtle - A new travel health website that covers jabs, bugs and drugs - read the review

29. Tailoredtours.com - If you want to walk New York, this is the site - read the review

SLEEP AND SHOP

30. Itravelishop - An excellent shopping guide and hotel review site we use regularly

31. I-escape.com - One of the original style hotel sites goes from strength to strength, adding an Argentina section this winter

32. First-floor.it - A minnow of a site about Italian B&Bs, but we're won over by its cute design and fun, informative chat - read the review

33. Gridskipper.com - an excellent urban travel site. Probably the best city style guide on the web

34. Gayfriendlyrooms.com - There's a few teething troubles with this young site, but the idea is sound - read the review

35. Haystack.lonelyplanet.com - Ginny McGrath finds some help with that eternal search for the right hotel - read the review

36. Hostelz.com - Views of your fellow travellers of hostels on this handy, simple and effective site. Very useful

37. YHA.org.uk - A new site in 2007 for this hugely growing sector of travel, youth hostels

38. BabyFriendlyBoltholes - There are other family travel advice sites but this was the freshest and most useful to emerge in 2007

39. Walesinstyle.com - A slick and intuitive site which has everything to plan a chic weekend break in Wales - read the review

FUN

40. About.com/travel - Ginny McGrath recommends an encyclopedic site that's highly addictive - read the review

41. Coolhunter.com - Eye candy, great fun, stunning images - recent features have been on a Swiss ski chalet and best outdoor hotel pools

42. Google Maps - A new feature offers street level views of US cities and is causing a stir among bloggers - read the review

43. Planyourinvasion.co.uk - An attractive design, and a site that backs up style with substance - read the review

44. Heritagepubs.org.uk - A passionate listing of the country's finest historic pubs - read the review

45. Passportstamp.com - A bit of fun, but be warned, this site can get very competitive - read the review

AND 5 SITES TO WATCH IN 2008

46. WorldReviewer.com - Another social networking site in travel which claims it will have 100 experts. Promising start

47. CruiseCritic.co.uk - The US-site site has spun off a British version and is looking for an editor. Bright prospects

48. Travelmag.co.uk - There will be a host of travel writing sites launching in 2008. This, from Jack Barker, is one of them

49. Travelintelligence.net - The travel writing, hotel review and booking site has a new editor and is about to get a huge facelift

50. Gowander.com - Just launched: a new social networking site from one of the best independent travel magazines in the UK

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