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Free holiday information

Where do you go to get good unbiased information about a holiday quickly before you book it? Well read on, we have some great places to look, all free of course.

Honest and unbiased information on your accommodation?
All travel agents have a directory called the 'Gazetteer', which gives a factual, honest and unbiased opinion of most holiday accommodation. You can ask to see this at travel agents, but most are 'backwards at coming forwards' with it - they don't like to share its sometimes bruising reviews. But, you can get access to its accomodation reviews online - free.

This is one of our favourite online travel resources. When you go to the travel section of the virgin website you get a busy travel home page. Ignore the holidays and offers (for now!) and click on the 'Resort Finder' link (in the index in the left hand margin). Now search and find the holiday accommodation you've been offered for an honest, unbiased opinion. Then decide whether you want to book the holiday!

Information about the general area?
Most holiday destinations have a 'tourist office' charged with promoting the area. They provide lots of good information and free advice to potential visitors. Much of it is available online. You can find your holiday destination's tourist office at the 'towd' (tourist offices worldwide directory) website.

What's on whilst you're there?
Check if your holiday coincides with a 'must-see and do occasion' with the whatsonwhen searchable database of festivals and events.

Want to see where your accommodation is compared to the 'attractions'?
Then get a map. Or rather look at a map online and print it if you want. We like the multimap website. Not only does it have good worldwide coverage, it's easy to navigate and, unlike some 'free' sites, has printer friendly pages.

Want information about travelling to a specific country?
Try the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website. It has the government's view on around 160 countries.

Four of the best travel guides are Lonely Planet, Time Out, Frommers and Rough Guides. Want most of the information from their guides for free?
All four publishers have great websites, very generously giving you free access to much of the information in their guides. They don't give you all of the information and you won't want to print it out to take with you on holiday, so you'll still need to buy a guide (so see our buy a guide page), but you can get a great deal of information about the country and the resort by combining the free information from these four sites.

For london visitor information, try this london guide website.

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