Itinarod.com Untangles Web of Online Travel Planning Sites

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Features a directory of the best online sites to plan a trip and a community space to promote conversation among travelers.

With the Memorial Day Weekend and summer travel season about to begin, AndTyler222 Communications today introduced an online travel planning and research service called Itinarod (http://www.itinarod.com) that is designed to help travelers sort through the overwhelming number of online and offline travel planning resources available to quickly find the information that will add the most value to their trip.

Itinarod offers both free and paid research and planning services. The centerpiece of Itinarod is a free, self-help directory that anyone can access featuring more than 200 of the best online sites available to plan travel itineraries and book travel. Sites were chosen based on a 5 star rating system that evaluates content, ease of use, and objectivity.

Site publisher Richard Abrahams, a former executive with a national association of travel agencies, said Itinarod is among a handful of travel directory-type sites that use a rating system. “As of this writing, 213 sites have been posted, of which no site received a 5 star rating, 32 received 4 stars, 93 received 3 stars, 72 received 2 stars, 12 received 1 star and 4 were not rated.”

The Itinarod self-help directory is divided into 11 categories to aid the travel planner:

MegaSites--features expansive sites that provide complete search and booking functions.

Bargain Finder--enables planners to quickly find air, hotel, car, vacation package, cruise and last minute deals.

Itinerary Planning--features resource rich sites to plan leisure and business trips, and read personal journals and travel section columns published by leading magazines and newspapers.

Specialized Activities--features sites focused on specific interests, such as outdoor, luxury, ecology, spas, military, disabled and more.

Audio Tours--features sites to download self-guided tours.

Places To Stay--lets users find accommodations to suit their needs, from home exchanges to villas, national parks and pet-friendly.

Cruising--features sites that can aid in the planning and booking of nearly any type of ocean or river cruise.

Car/Rail--features sites to find car and rail deals, and obtain more detailed information such as system maps.

Dining--lets users discover places to eat and make reservations, worldwide.

Coupons Plus--features sites to download discount coupons and keep track of loyalty rewards points.

Travelers’ Assistance--features sites to help the traveler before and during a trip.

Itinarod also boasts a community space that fosters commentary and dialog among fellow travelers. Interactive forums currently available in the Community Section are: ItinaShare, ItinaSource, ItinaGripe, ItinaSong, ItinaGBee, and ItinaTag.

ItinaShare gives participants an opportunity to share their favorite itineraries. ItinaSource is a place to share favorite online travel sites. ItinaGripe is the forum to gripe about anything related to travel. ItinaSong and ItinaGBee give participants a place to share their favorite road songs and games, and to demonstrate their knowledge of geography, respectively. ItinaTag is an experimental area where participants can create "Da Vinci Code" type travel hunts using the latest tagging technology from Google.

Also, in the community section is a link to Rich's Weekend Reader, a weekly blog focused on travel news and information, http://www.weekendreader.blogspot.com.

Additionally, Itinarod provides a paid research and planning service for travelers too busy to do it themselves. Itinarod’s experts make use of all available resources--including the Internet, travel agent reservation systems, books, magazines, newspapers and destination experts--to accurately answer travel questions and create detailed itineraries that best match the needs of the traveler or group. Travelers then have the choice of making their own reservations or letting Itinarod do so.

Itinarod is a unit of AndTyler222 Communications, an organization devoted to helping people get more value from things that they enjoy doing. For more information, visit http://www.itinarod.com.

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Richard Abrahams
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