Useful Websites for Easy Travel Planning

1. Getting There | Compares prices at multiple travel and airline sites to help you find the cheapest plane tickets. Just click on the flight you want and you’re automatically aed to the travel site or airline’s website to book. (There are no fees to use Kayak; other sites sell you the ticket.) | Tracks airline prices daily and sends you an e-mail alert if the fare drops—even after you book (in which case you may be eligible for a credit). | Guides you to the best airplane seats. Leg room? Seat width? Most comfortable? You’ll find out here. | People, not computers, search for up-to-the-minute deals, including airlines’ Web-only fares. That means someone’s checking the nooks and crannies, like small airline websites, that other search sites may miss.

2. Where to Stay | Wondering what a particular hotel is really like? Find out from guests who’ve stayed there. This site has user-generated reviews of about 450,000 hotels worldwide, giving you the lowdown on the good and the bad. Thanks to its 15 million members, you get detailed, no-holdsbarred assessments that can save you from making a costly mistake. | Here you’ll find reviews of kid-friendly hotels (destinations and activities, too) in every state, written by parents who’ve stayed there. And you can post questions on just about any family travel topic imaginable and get suggestions from other moms. | If you’re taking a weeklong trip, you may want to save money by renting a house or condo (having your own kitchen cuts meal expenses). Head to this site for a wide selection of rentals—more than 185,000! Looking for something near the beach? A place that allows pets? Air-conditioned only? Just choose your criteria, then search for the exact property you want.

3. Good Eats | Find out how restaurants across the country stack up, based on reviews and ratings from people who’ve eaten there. | Looking for something cheap? Check the menus (and prices) of more than 11,000 restaurants in the U.S. and abroad, and make a reservation on the spot. Includes diners’ reviews. | Search by state or zip code for a list of restaurants offering $10 to $100 gift certificates at deeply discounted prices of $4 to $40. Just print out your favorites and mangia!

Urbanspoon | A great guide to local restaurants, this app uses GPS technology to pinpoint them. Simply select a neighborhood, price range and type of food, shake your phone and the slot-machine–style dial spins to find you the perfect match. Keep shaking until you find one you like. BlackBerry users can hit the space bar; shaking only works on the Storm. (Free; iTunes App Store;