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A DIY Solopreneur Longs for the Days of the Corporate Travel Department

. . . Or does he? The web makes being an informed consumer overseas easier than ever. Plus, eight handy travel apps.

This story appears in the July 2011 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Years ago I worked in an office for a medium-size corporation. Looking back, I miss the languor of the midafternoon cafeteria breaks, the carefully crafted Pollyanna prose of the monthly newsletter. Mostly, though, I miss the travel department. Whenever my boss assigned a trip, I'd call down and tell them where and when. Within an hour, a packet would land on my desk. I'd have a plane ticket, a car voucher and a reservation at a perfectly serviceable hotel. It was magical.

I thought of that the other day as I struggled to make arrangements for a visit to Greece. Now that I'm self-employed, I do my own bookings. I rely on the internet, which works just fine for that two-day conference in Minneapolis. I consult Kayak to find the cheapest airfare, TripAdvisor for hotel advice, Chowhound for restaurant recommendations, AccuWeather to know what to pack.

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