travel web sites
- For those of you who are still home and getting ready,
here is a nice list of travel-related web sites, published
in the U.S. newspaper Washington Post in September...
U.S. federal Transportation Security Administration
Contains lists of prohibited and permitted luggage items, average wait times
at airport security checkpoints and claim forms for luggage lost or damaged
during the security screening process. Also, the
U.S. Federal Aviation Administration
Contains airline safety records, tips on flying with children and pets, and
passenger complaint forms regarding safety, service and security issues
Everything you ever wanted to know--including leg room, pitch and proximity
to the loos-- about the seating for 26 airlines. Can't find your airline?
Offers info on a dozen foreign carriers not covered by Seatguru.
Allows searches for ATMs by city or Zip code across the globe. The
advanced-search feature also displays locations on maps and includes info on
24-hour and disabled-accessible ATMs. MasterCard's site,
Can locate more than 900,000 ATMs in 120 countries and includes such details
as drive-through locations. Both sites offer airport-specific searches.
Best site for quick conversions of 21 major currencies. For more details,
such as cash vs. interbank rates, go to www.xe.com/ucc , which has info on
currencies from the Afghanistan afghanis to the Zambian kwacha.
Offers similar info, plus a printable currency cheat sheet.
U.S. CUSTOMS SERVICE:
The Bureau of U.S. Customs and Border Protection publishes a "Know Before
You Go" fact sheet with details about items that can and can't be taken into
the country and the rules on duty fees. Also offers info on border wait
Check a flight's status within a two-hour window by airline, flight number,
city, airport, etc. Also offers separate displays for delayed flights and
schedule changes by airport.
The site addresses the complicated subculture of frequent- flier miles,
covering details on every major hotel and airline program. Frequent-flier
guru Randy Petersen supplies timely articles on such topics as miles and
Chat with others about the world of miles.
For those so mile-involved they're willing to pay a $45 annual subscription.
Good articles on hot topics like what to do with those Delta and Northwest
HEALTH AND SAFETY:
The U.S. State Department's site publishes consular info sheets and travel
warnings on every country, with details about crime, terrorism and traffic
For a more global opinion.
For health-related info on vaccines, health threats, etc.
The site compares and gives quotes for 96 travel insurance policies from 16
companies, including Access America, Travel Guard, Travel Insured and most
of the other better-known firms. Easy-to-read chart lets a consumer see
which policies are best for terrorism, financial default, emergency medical
evacuation, etc. Similar comparisons are available at...
Plug in the address or city for locations around the globe and this site
will plot it on a map. It also offers driving directions for spots in the
United States and a dozen Western European countries. Subscription service
lets you download info onto your mobile phone.
Shows lodging and lets users ask for routes that avoid tolls or favor scenic
A good choice for directions for 43 European countries
The Better Business Bureau's site can be searched by company name, phone
number or Web address to find out whether a travel operator has a good or
bad rating. Check for membership in these trade groups...
American Society of Travel Agents
U.S. Tour Operators Association
The U.S. State Department's site explains how to obtain, replace or change a
passport. User can download applications and forms. It also details how much
passports cost and how long they take to get. For visitors traveling abroad,
the site contains foreign entry requirements, such as whether a visa is
TIME AND DATE:
Site contains a chart of the current time in hundreds of cities worldwide.
Can be customized to show specific cities.
You can search for weather by Zip code or city. Contains detailed hurricane
info, and travel. Also covers historical averages and records for U.S. and