Top Travels Sites of 2005

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Hobo TRAVEL TIPS - Top Travel Sites of 2005 - Bogota Colombia
187  January 15, 2006
TIP: Top Travels Sites of 2005
LOCATION: Bogota Colombia
A Hobo trip around the world. Year 9
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       Bogota Colombia
        Top Travels Sites of 2005


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Coming from and going to…
I will leave Bogota Colombia shortly after sending this newsletter.
Nice to get this one off my to-do list, it has been rock sitting in the middle
of the river of my brain for a few weeks. I procrastinated until January 19.
I came to Bogota to meet with German a friend from Colombia that
presently manages the Platypus Bogota Hostel. He is both an expert
on Hostels and on Travel because he also traveled the earth for 15 years.
I worry about myself, am I going crazy, why am I still traveling, do I have
personal problems? I am sure all of the above are true; however,
I am also one of the sanest people on the planet. I am both.

Travel answers all the questions you did not ask,

I am looking for a home away from home. I believe in the future I will
retire from travel after I start and own about five hostels around the world.

Cusco, Peru.
On a beach in Brazil.
One in the Philippines.
Latvia in Europe.
Hopefully one in London, England.
Katmandu, Nepal.
Maybe Goa, India.
Pie de La Cuesta, Mexico, north of Acapulco.
Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand
Panahachel, Guatemala on Lago Atitlan.

So talking with German is great, a little advice both
on how to travel, and how to not travel.

Thanks to all my readers for a good Hobo year.

Today’s tip
Top Travels Sites of 2005

Life is Good!
Andy of

Just another day in Paradise!
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.
      X was HERE!

Article written by Andy the
On Year 9 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
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Top 10 HoboTraveler.Com Award TOP TRAVEL SITES OF 2005
The Year in Review

By Andy of  HOME

From January 1, 2004 to January 1, 2005
Former years -  2004  2003  2002  2001

2005 ...The year in review.
By Andy of the

January 18, 2005
Published from an Internet Cafe in Bogotá, Colombia. Newsletter Number 188 of Hobo Travel Tips on year 9 of my world travels.

Thanks to all of you readers, viewers, friends and family, the Hobo family of websites is six years old, has learned to talk, walk, complain and is asking some good questions, and hoping to provide essential answers to problems of travelers and tourist.

The competition continues between the Paper Guidebooks and the Online Internet Guidebooks, the paper versions are still the best, therefore do not time to chuck your Lonely Planet, Roughguide, Footprints, Moon, or many others yet, hold them keep them they are the best.

There are three major problems with Internet Travel Sites:

Confused until you buy sales methods, therefore unethical web sites, no transparency.
2. TIME:
The internet is the slowest way on the planet to find a room.
The internet access is very good in your home, however when you actually are traveling, working on a strange computer it is only good for e-mail and chatting, the booking of rooms, tourist information, and travel information is weak, often decidedly dangerous for a person to utilize.

Bookings, reservations, purchases, credit card payments, need to be made three weeks prior to leaving for your world tour or one week vacation on a deserted island, somewhere over the rainbow. Please try to refrain from using your credit card when traveling the world.

Internet is for minor decisions and a few airplane tickets, great for a second opinions, However, misinformation the internet has taken over. There is a concerted effort by the internet sites to confuse the reader until they purchase. They are not transparent in information offered, how to buy, or what you are buying, it to is very annoying the unethical, and lack of scruples of some of the major sites. I am hoping the excitement of the internet wears off the readers and they become able to say to themselves.
- I am confused, I am only hoping this is a a good deal, I am not sure. -

A good deal is obvious.
Good travel destination advice is both negative and positive, a good balance.

Marketing - Sale - Presentation - Eye Candy
Somehow a person forgets, there is no sales clerk, talking fast, warm and friendly, helping you, trying to convince to try this Tour on, or what about this, the internet reader forgets. Marketing and Sales Tactics works on the internet, you can be sold a lemon.

Number 1. - Internet Sites
Number 2. - Persons who walk up to you outside you hotel.
Number 3. - Taxi Drivers
Number 4. - The recommendation by reception desk at the Hotel or Hostel.
Number 5. - Travel Articles written that recommend where to buy.

My advice: If they can make money by giving you bad advice, then buyer beware.

Many magazine, newspapers, brochures, and others sources tempt a person, they are written only as a marketing too in partner with the advertisers. They recommend, tell you where, and how to purchase from a company. Explanations about a wonderful travel destination like Machu Picchu, Paris, or how to see Big Ben in London England is fine, however when an article is written to help sell or recommend, my bull-s#(t meter start to ring. I believe presently 40 percent of all article writers are getting paid a fee to say nice things, not the Newspaper, or the Magazine company, the company that benefits.

Therefore I am trying to recommend some internet sites of value, I earn nothing from these sites, however please beware, do not trust them carte blanche, every site, including must earn enough money to pay the bills, thrive, expand. Only when a site earns excess money can it devote money to research and explanations that do not earn revenue.

This is a great year for there is now staff to do research, moderated by me, Andy of somewhere on the other side of the planet, that desperately needs help to travel, and where books are hard or impossilbe to buy.

The sites I recommend were easy to find. I did not find them, they found me, they were recommended by other travelers, or they appeared in a search on They are players on the internet, they are making a mark. Please take heed of my warning, do not trust everything you read about travel, it is abound with misinformation.

Life is Good!

Andy a
These are my choices for 2005 of websites or pages needed and are a great help to me an expert world traveler...
a.k.a. Andy the

I recommend you bookmark this page so you can use these sites as reference in the coming year.

Top 10 HoboTraveler.Com Award TOP TRAVEL SITES 2005




2003 - 1 2002 - 2 2001
 No Rank

Facts and data, information is King. has entered the game, it is a reader edited and created Encyclopedia of information in many language and for everyone to use for free. I personally first use the Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia installed on my computer first, then will by design go to the Wiki Encyclopedia online, however it is normal for me to see them in a top search results in This is good, I do not have to hunt for them, they are trying to find me. The hit a home run when I discovered a well compiled and complete list of LCC - Low Cost Carriers - These are the cheapest of the cheap airlines, and NOT listed or sold normally by travel agents, you will not find these airlines in Orbitz, Travelocity or However you will find them in the WIKI -

2004 - 3 2003 - 2 2002
Not Listed
Not Listed

I am a googler, I trust, they are trying to help me first, then they make money, service and my best interest before money They climbed from the number three Top Travel Sites to number two because of some great new toys. However they are doing the world a great service this year by scanning and providing complete books on the internet. I discovered they have GUIDEBOOKS scanned and available for me to see.

The is wonderful research tool. I have some pre-set searches and daily I receive emails of information I am monitoring, it seems to work best in tandom with free email

World Heritage List
2004 - 2 2003 - 2 2002 - # 2001 - Not Listed


A list of over 800 of the significant culture and historical locations on the planet. There mapping has improved, however the site is overly techie done, great for a nerd, with a great computer, however completely invisible to the search engines. Horribly made, however once you find it great. You must BOOKMARK the site, remember to go look, like most of the United Nations information and they are truly a great source of information, you much go and find it, they will not find you.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List

4 CIA - The World Factbook 2002
2004 - 4 2003 - 3 2002 - 3 2001
 Not Listed

Great raw data and facts - A Map, the Flag, the population, type of government, a few warnings, etc., a specific way to discover the underlying details that help you to understand the why of a country. This site will help you to understand how to stay safe. It is well constructed and made to be found in the search engines.

2004 - 10 2003 - 10 2002
Not Listed
Not Listed

A wanna be Virtual Guide, they are not yet, however again and again this site invade my world. They are a world-class site, one of the very few, a real exception, they are trying to be a guide for the whole planet and not just the easy countries like the USA or Europe. This year I went to Niger to see the problems with Malnutrition, the prior year I was in Iraq, this site was a leader in my search for information about Visa, Rooms, or to me screaming, I need help. Take care, this is a site to make money, however half and half, it is not a replacement to the paper guidebooks it is a second opinion.

A Marker - Left as a Protest
Who When Where Why

HOTELS - A protest and shame on you to all the Accommodations sites.
Find a Mom and Pop site that has some recommendations, the small guy, made because he or she knows how to make a webpage. I have reserved and left one empty spot, the unknown, yet to be created Hotel or Hostel Information and Reservation site. To find a room on the internet is scary, I am presently off to explore the extremely expensive Caribbean Island, I wish to hop from Island to Island, the paper guidebooks are scarce and difficult to buy, not to mention too heavy to carry for the many Island and 20 plus countries. However it will take hours to find a good value Hotel or Room in the Caribbean. I will not trust any of these gougers, the sites that say, give up, you have to be rich to travel in the Caribbean, if you care about a good value, go fish.

2004 - 6 2003 - 4 2002 - 1 2001 - 1

This is a great site to find the top pages on a specific travel subject. If you want to go to Bolivia and want some down to earth information and without the hyperbole this is the place. Note that I also recommend you subscribe to newsletters offered, has good moderated recommendations of sites, a place to find the Mom and Pop sites, the best links on any subject. It is clustered and confusing when it comes to finding the the travel specific information, but once you understand this site it probably has more information than the ones above.

8 FORBES.COM - Travel Section
2004 - 5 2003 - # 2002 - # 2001 - Not Listed

DIRECTORY OF TRAVEL SITES is a huge site and these pages can only be found by people looking very hard, I stumbled on them by accident. But they have paid people to collect the best travel sites on the internet. So if you are looking for a great directory of good sites on various travel related subjects. This is a great source or the place to start, they do not appear to have an agenda.

2004 - 7 2003 - 7 2002
Not Listed
Not Listed

FORUM - ASK QUESTIONS - (Warning! Lots of BULL@#%*)
The Lonely Planet is one of the worlds largest guidebook publishers, but I am not recommending this site as a guidebook, I want you to visit the Readers Forum called the Thorntree.

I offer this as a top travel site with a serious warning to be careful. I want you to visit their forum that allows you to ask personal questions and other readers will post answers, but please take care as there are often tour operators and obnoxious readers hanging around causing problems, but if you are going to the end of the earth and there is no guidebook this may be the only place you find guidance.

9 2003 - 9 2002 - 4 2001 - 2

Johnny is the collector. He collects all the links you need to book airplane tickets or enjoy your trip so you do not need to hunt for sites. This is an airfare sales site with a personal touch. has left the USA, he is now going to some fun places like FIJI or Thailand, or Europe, the newsletters now are best read with a good connection and online.

2004 - Not 2003 - Not 2002 - Not 2001 - Not

This many has gone to more countries than any person I know, his list of all the areas of the world is great.

This is a club of person who have gone to over 100 countries.

Sent to your e-mail box.

I receive emails from world news, tips and travel warnings. A great way to be notified when the world changes, and stay away from civil wars... or find them.
Travel Warning Alerts By Andy of
NOTE: I am reading all the alerts and sending as they come in, however I may be two days behind on very current issues.


Canada Travel Warning
Sign up for this one, probably the best.

  Not 2002 - Not 2001 - Not

Travel Warning by USA Government.

2004 - 1 2003 - 1 2002 2001 - Not

Go to site and look for news updates.

2004 - 2 2003 - 2 2002 2001 - Not

The BBC of England has added a nice news report you can receive in your box.

2004 - 3 2003
Not Listed
2002 - NA 2002 - NA

Yahoo Alerts
They will send you an annoying amount of news updates, however for sure you will know.

Not Not Not Not

The popular belief among travelers is that all of these updates by email are full of crap. Please read offline materials for the accurate information. But these sources are good starting points to keep you aware.

THE PRIOR YEARS 2004  2003  2002  2001


The number of great travel sites is increasing, I have contracted some researchers, I truly hope, and desire to next year to sub-categorize and scramble this list a little. I will give the best Map Sites, or the best Hotel Sites, or the best Travel Destination site, hopefully I find a clean path in the middle of the overcast and fog to find what is a priority for both you and me. I am not able to be on the internet, I am a traveler first and always first, then a person who tries to give you hints, tips, and recommendations on the best paths to follow.

TOYS - Electronic
Hopefully and I am always under time constraints, I like to only work 2 hours per day, I want to travel and avoid work, however we will show or discuss how to use the new toys. Computer, GPS, Ipod, MP3 player, DVD, CD Rom, Handheld or Palm Computers, Translators etc.

Most gear is just fancy toys and trends, however there is probably sufficient gear to make this a point of reference, most gear sales is about money making, however there is some travel gear that is being sold anywhere on the planet, becoming the must carry and you can buy gear. Practical, good values, and easy to purchase and find. As always I will focus on safety and danger first, second on what make my life easier.


Lots of the mentioned sites are failing desperately, as the are becoming sites that only sell and do not help.

LEFT THE BUILDING (MENTIONED) - Were in the Top 10 and took a walk.

2004 - 8 2003 - 5 2002 - 6 2001
Not Listed

This site is great, but losing ground fast as they have allowed NON- Hostel type properties to enter. Take warning, use this site, but there are lots of cheaper hostels available and these are not the cheapest. But this is a great source and a great guide to know about, and sometimes a place to book a room. I used only this site to book room in the past year..

How much is a cheap room in Katmandu, Nepal? A search engine of "Budget Hotels" for the world that allows you to make reservations with the cheap sleeps. This site helps the small hotel compete with the large chains and you should keep you eye on this site. I have used the service and recommend because I believe it one of the best. This reservations system is for anyone, and not just backpackers.

2003 - 8 2002 - 10 2001
Not Listed

This is a site to find newsletters to subscribe to, or a place to publish your personal newsletter. Newsletters are the easiest and best way to research a subject. A good newsletter will collect and give you digested materials, with what is NEW or News inside the letter. I choose a few newsletters on a subject a year in advance and read the letters from the writers. is my choice and helps me avoid receiving junk mail. is a good source and worth mentioning, but is my favorite. I use for my travel newsletters, but also have some mirrors in I worry about will try to hard to sell and this is distracting and sometimes annoying for the reader.

2003 - 6 2002 - 7 2001 - 18

This section is having the most trouble as the computers in the internet cafes cannot handle the best sites. There are some really good java and flash sites available but still impossible to use by the average travelers while on the road. I still recommend you look at National Geographic for an overview, then search in for the map you need.

Note: Buy a great country map from home and bring with you, they do not sell them on the road.

2002 - 5 2002 - 3

For the person that wants to leave home and never return. This is for the expatriate, the investor, or for the person wanting to retire overseas.  A portal of information for people that live, work, and hide offshore.

2002 - 8 2002 - 4

I like this page. This guy has been everywhere. Although obviously made by him for him. It provides the personal introspection of a true traveler, and sets a tone or voice  to understand the future of travel.

2002 - 9 2002 - Not Listed

On the cutting edge of airfare booking services. This site understands the budget traveler and is trying to give you the necessary tools to book a flight anywhere in the world. With around the world tickets and open Jaw, this ticket sales site understands that on a trek we do come home the same way we went.

FURTHER... MENTIONING Added 2005 Added 2005
LCC list with Added 2005 List of LCC - Low Cost Carriers - Airlines and Tickets Added 2005
World 66
Arthur Frommer's - Forum - Ask Questions - Stories - Added 2002 - Added 2002 - Added 2002  - Added 2002  - Added 2002 Planning and Packing - Added 2002 - Use before you leave.
Lonely Planet Online - Added 2002
The Let's Go - Added 2002
Leisureplanet  - Added 2002
Footprint Handbooks  - Added 2002
Fodors  - Added 2002 - Added 2002 - Added 2002 - Airplane Tickets - Added 2003 - I use as guide, not to buy tickets. Suggested prices. - Destination Guide - Added 2003 - Newsletters - Travelogues - learning - Added 2003 - Travelogues - Added 2003 Hotels and Advice Added 2004
Sections of Added 2004
Sections of Added 2004
Thomas Cook Inc. Added 2004

In the past you was able to submit below your choice. Unfortunately all the sites think they are the top travel site in the world. Now... If you know a "World Class Travel Site" that you think I have missed. Please click on the contact link to send to me... Andy - Note if you submit your own site I am going to just delete your email.

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