PLAN A TRIP
While online travel giants are similar to department stores -- great for one-stop satisfaction -- sometimes it’s nice to do some specialty shopping. Lucky for you, these days there’s a travel site to fit any personality. They’re not quite as specific as the personals, but we trust you’ll find your match anyway. And best of all, they’re free. -- T.S.
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Staying Busy, try Eventful.com.Anyone with the inclination can quickly and easily find info on any destination’s travel infrastructure -- as in hotels, restaurants, sights to see. But you want to fill your calendar too. At Eventful, you can find which local bands are playing, which symphony the local orchestra has on the program, whether any new plays are opening, and whether that hot new restaurant has a special wine tasting. Without a lot of effort, you can customize a trip to your tastes. The only downside? No more excuses for vegging in your hotel room.
Immersion, see Viamigo.com.You don’t want to skim the cream off a place; you want to drink it all in. For that, you need the inside skinny you can get only from a local. At Viamigo, personal guides help you bypass tourist thoroughfares in favor of back streets and remote villages. You can find guides by location and by activity, and the ratings posted by other travelers will point you to the best.
Organization, go to TripIt.com.You want to know when, where, and how you’re traveling, and you don’t want to search your half-dozen itineraries for the info. Enter TripIt.com, which combines flight, hotel, rental car, maps and directions, weather forecasts, and other notes into one whiz-bang master itinerary. All you do is forward any confirmation e-mail messages to TripIt, and the service compiles all your stats with helpful local intelligence.
Trendy, see Fabsearch.com.You’re on the cutting edge, but your guidebook lost it about 30 minutes after publication. Fabsearch delivers inside info on the hippest and trendiest places to be, with constant updates from trend arbiters like Vogue, Wallpaper, and DailyCandy. This way, you won’t blunder into dinner at a restaurant that’s just so yesterday.
Customization, visit BestTripChoices.com.Not sure what you want? Take a quiz. At BestTripChoices.com, your answers will classify you into one of six travel personalities and then recommend destinations based on the results. Because if you’re a risk-taking Venturer, you don’t want to laze in a hammock like an Authentic.
Personal Service, see AAVacations.comWant someone else to do the negotiating? Pick your destination, and then choose from the hotels and rental cars offered. Add on suggested tours and activities -- and voilà! -- the entire trip is set. Plus, you can pay with AAdvantage miles.