Save money and time with these travel-planning websites
Some travelers experience interminable delays, cramped seats, and rundown hotel rooms. Why should you? These five websites can help you have a trouble-free trip.
Find a delay-free flight
FlightStats.com has delay data for almost every U.S. route, airline, airport, and time of day. Planning to fly from JFK to San Francisco at 5 p.m. on a Friday? Think twice; more than 52 percent of those flights are delayed, and the average delay is 83 minutes. FlightStats also has weather data, airport parking and traffic information, text message alerts, and a flight-status widget. In fact, there's only one drawback to the site: It contains so much information that it's rather difficult to navigate.
Pick the perfect hotel
Just launched in May, Raveable.com gathers hotel reviews from websites like <a href="http://www.tripadvisor.com">TripAdvisor</a> and <a href="http://www.travelpost.com">TravelPost</a>. Then, Raveable's software determines whether the reviews are positive or negative, organizes them in a clean, easy-to-read format, and ranks hotels against others in the same area.
Choose the best seat
For those who require extra legroom or a seat right next to the bathroom, SeatGuru.com is an indispensable tool. It has detailed seat information for hundreds of aircraft, including tidbits about recline angles, misaligned windows, power outlets, and lavatory proximity.
Set your schedule
Send your flight, car rental, and hotel confirmation e-mails to TripIt.com, and it will create a complete itinerary, with maps, weather information, and directions. When you are set to jet, simply print it out. A free iPhone app is available; other smartphone apps and text alerts will be added in an upgrade this summer.
Packinglistonline.com provides a packing list based on where you are going, how you plan to get there, and what you plan to do. Lists are gender specific and easy to customize by removing useless items or adding your own favorite gear.