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Web can ensure relaxing vacation

What you don’t know can hurt you.

Take the case of booking a vacation only to realize upon arrival that the “palatial” pool is piddling, the bistro has been transformed into a fast-food joint and the spa doesn’t provide towels.

Your long-awaited rest and relaxation could turn out to be a bust.

Perhaps you booked your vacation online but didn’t use the latest Web-based resources to maximize chances for a good trip. Far beyond popular travel sites like Expedia and Travelocity, the Web is awash in advice from travelers eager to share every detail from their vacations, from the friendliness of the front-desk staff to the firmness of the beds.

These spots include sites devoted to travel reviews, like TripAdvisor (, as well as others with travelogues, photo journals and unvarnished accounts of trips from Israel to Indonesia. The simplest route, if you’re seeking a quick review, is to head to TripAdvisor, a site boasting unbiased reviews of hotels and resorts.

People are generous with their advice, typically steering clear of bland opinions and providing nitty-gritty details, as well as helpful tips on parking, nearby attractions, and how to make sure you get the best room possible. Search through enough reviews, and you will find commentary on the height of bathroom fixtures, the thickness of the walls and the amount of dust on the curtains.

Other sites provide even more detail by connecting you to travelogues, photos and video clips.

TrekShare (, for instance, is a virtual world with thousands of members fresh from places like Beijing and Kathmandu, each telling stories and posting photos and maps of far-flung adventures. connects you with the collective wisdom of hundreds of thousands of adventurers. Name your destination, and soon you will be gleaning insights from packs of world adventurers eager to share their travel tips.

Other sites worth a look include IgoUgo ( and Worldisround (