While many people are still happy to book holidays from a brochure or via a travel agent, today lots of us are doing our own research online, organising our own holidays and discovering some great bargains.

As well as booking travel and places to stay, many websites offer advice on what to watch out for in various destinations, travel tips, suggestions for side trips and entertainment, ideas for families and bargain flights.

Try these travel websites – they’re some of the best!

One-stop shops

  • World Travel Guide - Destination guides, flights, hotels, deals, cars and tours.
  • Expedia - All kinds of holidays including packages and tours, flights, car rentals, insurance and city breaks, plus business travel.
  • TripAdvisor - Includes hotels, flights, restaurants and holiday rentals, all reviewed by other holiday makers.
  • Kayak - Compare flights, hotels, car rentals and holidays on hundreds of sites at once.

Good deals

Travel tips and guides

  • VirtualTourist - Great destination guides and insider tips from people who’ve been there. Create your own profile to add your own tips.
  • Time Out Worldwide - What to do in cities all over the world.
  • Lonely Planet - Well-known travel and destination guide.
  •  Visa Guide- Comprehensive guide to visa requirements for every country.

Places to stay

  • i-escape - Boutique hotels and other interesting places to stay around the world.
  • Villarenters - More than 13,000 independent villas and holiday homes in 85 countries.

Specialised travel

  • Companions 2 Travel - If you’re on your own but would like to travel with someone.
  • Ski Club of Great Britain - Everything you need to know if skiing is your thing.
  • GoLearnTo.com - Guide to specialist holidays where you can learn something special while you’re away. Sports, languages, cooking, wine-tasting, arts & crafts.
  • The Man in Seat Sixty-One… - All you need to know if you want to travel by train or ship – in the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.
  • Rail Europe - Highly recommended by a Digital Unite user who says that this website offers the most extensive range of train tickets in Europe and lets you begin planning your travels from the UK.

Info – vital and not so

  • Fit for Travel - Overseas health information for travellers from the UK.
  • babygoes2.com - Essential travel information for parents taking children abroad.
  • ViaMichelin - Route planning for road trips outside the UK.
  • SeatGuru - Shows the seat layout for all flights, with location of toilets, galley, etc. and whether yours is a good seat.
  • Insurancewith - A useful guide on things to consider when travelling with a medical condition
  • Friendshipcircle.org - Airports and Special Needs Travel: A Complete Guide

Siobhan O’Neill is an experienced freelance writer living in Surrey.