California & the West
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Web Buzz: Tripsak aims to simplify trip planning

Trip planning is hard, but here's a website with a simple visual grid to lead you through the basics.


What it does: Its destination resource pages offer at least 20 websites to help you with information needed to plan your travel, such as attractions, accommodations, flights, weather, visas, events, how to meet locals and more.

What's hot: The direct links to accommodations (Airbnb,, HostelWorld) and flights (Google flights, Skyscanner, Kayak) are timesavers. Note the helpful function on the location/map page that labels nearby cities and destinations in red. Click on one and a pop-up box will spell out the distance and time to get there by car, flight or ferry. I also like that the top line on the destination page offers quick hits, such as which airport to fly into and whether the tap water is drinkable. Don't miss the "talk" section — it gives you a link to useful phrases and information on mobile phone operators and SIM card basics for your destination.

What's not: It does a fantastic job with popular destinations, but users will need patience with areas that are smaller or less well-known. For example, I wanted to know more about the Costa Brava region of northern Spain. Nothing yet, nor for the nearby city of Girona, which came up Kiruna, a town in Sweden.

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