What's your favorite travel Web site? For a business traveler, that's an easy one. You surf to where the points are--airline, car rental or hotel sites where you can make the most of your miles.
But check out the following travel sites--they may not grant mileage rewards, but these resources might improve your trip:
The Weather Channel (www.weather.com) is a good place to visit when you've got questions about your destination's climate. Its travel section offers forecast maps for business travelers plus news that could affect your trip. One of its most useful features is a current weather report based on the ZIP code you're visiting--so no more fumbling around for the city name when you're looking for information.
And speaking of ZIP codes, APBnews (www.apbnews.com) allows you to search for risk of possible crime by postal code, which is handy for safety-conscious travelers. The site also supplies information about crime prevention from a team of security experts. Click on the Fielding Travel Guides site (www.fieldingtravel.com) and point your mouse to its DangerFinder for a list of places to keep off your itinerary.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov/travel) publishes excellent, straightforward information about staying healthy on the road. View health-related information by destination and monitor disease outbreak alerts from around the globe. The CDC also links to other useful sites.
Another government site to bookmark is the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs page (www.travel.state.gov). It offers access to the government's Consular information sheets (brief reports on destinations), important phone numbers and a listing of U.S. embassies.
Clicking on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce site (www.uschamber.org) before your trip might also be helpful. The business federation's international network of U.S. chambers of commerce is a valuable resource for business travelers trying to start ventures abroad. Its affiliated Chamberbiz.com site also provides access to information about starting a business in a new city, including data about local taxes, personnel and member discounts.
For insightful tips on everything from getting there to using technology abroad, check out the news sections of biztravel.com or Trip.com, both of which feature information relevant to road warriors.
For a more irreverent take, check out Smarter Living's cadre of columnists (www.smarterliving.com), who pull no punches when it comes to writing about the travel business.
Christopher Elliott is a writer in Annapolis, Maryland. Contact him at www.elliott.org.
Christopher Elliott is an Orlando, Fla., writer and independent producer who specializes in technology, travel and mobile computing. His work has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines and online. You can find out more about him on his website or sign up for his free weekly newsletter.