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The Web's Greatest Hits (for January at Least)

John Deiner

And I thought I was the only one who needed directions to get to the nearest Wawa.

Hitwise, a company that tracks Internet usage, released its list of the Top 20 most-visited travel Web sites last week, and if you're direction-challenged, you can relate to its findings. Among the Top 10 travel sites: Three that show you how to get from here to there, and back again. Mapquest was by far the top site for the month, with nearly 12 percent of the market share. (No. 2 was Expedia, lagging far behind with a 4.6 percent share.)

The other two map sites we seem to love? The ones provided by Yahoo and Google. I have to admit I'm a Mapquestaholic, even though half the time it seems to spit out directions that are little more convoluted than what I need. But if I can beat the estimated driving time it offers, I feel as if I've really accomplished something.

Two sites made what seemed to be particularly good gains for the month: TripAdvisor (No. 13) and Hotwire (No. 14). Both jumped at least five spots from the previous month. (I have a feeling I contributed to the TripAdvisor ascent. As dicey as some of those reviews can be, or as contradictory, I'm finding it an indispensable trip-planning guide these days. Now if it would only provide direct links to the hotels being critiqued.)

Airlines are heavily represented in the Top 20, with Southwest coming in at No. 5, followed by American, Delta, United, JetBlue, AirTran, Northwest and US Airways.

(As long as we're on the topic of airlines, it's good to see that JetBlue happened to look at the weather forecast over the weekend. But did it really need to cancel so many flights in the New York area? According to the Associated Press, the airline did make good on its mega-promoted bill of rights and compensated fliers for delays.)

By John Deiner |  February 26, 2007; 10:35 AM ET  | Category:  John Deiner , Online Resources
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Yahoo Maps gives much better directions than Mapquest does. Mapquest keeps you on major roads as long as possible, while Yahoo Maps sends you by reasonable routes. For example, from Wheaton to the Beltway, do not EVER take Georgia Avenue. If you're going west, take Connecticut; if you're going east, take University. But taking Georgia (where Mapquest will send you) gives you two legs of the triangle instead of the hypotenuse -- it's both slower and farther.

Posted by: Beth | February 26, 2007 1:00 PM

I love TripAdvisor! I don't believe every single review, but love it as a resource for a good picture of what hotels should be avoided in certain cities!

Posted by: Angie | February 26, 2007 1:02 PM

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