I first stumbled on BootsnAll.com when planning a hostel-hopping trip through New Zealand in 2003. But the site has transformed itself into a richer planning tool for independent (read: budget) travelers in the intervening years.
What's hot, what's not: The home page is static, with a flat map of the world, stories without photos. But dig down and you'll be rewarded with message boards where you can share advice, post questions and find more resources for planning trips around the world. Its hotel offerings are primarily budget. The reservations widget calculates prices in different currencies. And of course there are blogs.