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Planning Vacations is Easier with the Web

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RALEIGH — From hotel reservations to checking out attractions most anywhere in the world, the Internet is the traveler's friend.

Teacher's assistant Denise Capley spends her days with kindergarten students. But a recent trip to the mountains found her spending time on her home computer planning the entire trip beginning with accommodations.

"It gave me a menu of everything I needed; reservations, how to get there, driving distance, accommodation specifics," Capley explains.

Capley joins a growing number of people using Internet sites likeAbout.com. A quick scroll brings up pages of information.

A check of Disney World possibilities leads to the Wilderness Lodge.Travelocityis a favorite of many travelers. Special Memorial Day airfares are offered as well as discount hotel rates. Capley says the Net offers more than just hotel and airline information.

"It gave me the attractions in the neighborhood and how much it cost to get in, that type of thing," she said.

The Mining Companysite offers advice from travel experts. One of them gives the lowdown on bed and breakfasts around the country. Capley prefers the Web over travel agents because the sites offer more.

"They're going to tell a lot of information, the little things that a travel agent can't tell you," says Capely.

Family.comspecializes in "perfect" family vacations. Among their choices: Cape May, New Jersey, New Braunfels, Texas and Black Hills, South Dakota. Capley says she is an "enthusiastic novice" on the Web, but she is sold on cybertravel planning.

"I'll use it every time now because I think it give me such specifics," she said.

A travel agent explained that online reservations are probably OK when dealing with a major airline, hotel or motel chain. He did say vacationers might not get the best price, as travel agents often are able to get special deals on rooms. If convenience is important, check the Web. For the best deals and someone to fall back on in case of trouble, go the travel agent route.


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