Travel websites: Which online resource is best?

(CBS News) If you're still planning that summer vacation or have a business trip on tap, there are many ways to find help on the Internet. However, even though they're just a click away it is not always easy to tell which site will give you the best options.

Personal financial expert Lauren Lyons Cole, of TheStreet, made the process a little easier and shared her top picks for the best travel websites on "CBS This Morning: Saturday."

To get the best airfare, she suggested the Google-owned site, ITAairfare. The site is popular because it not only gives you best pricing, but is very easy to search. It has a calendar-style presentation and is great for finding cheap fares for international routes.

If you're looking to travel the rails, she suggests the site Man in Seat 61. Cole says that this site is great for those new to rail travel. It provides information on tickets, pricing and the best routes. It's also a great tool for those traveling in Europe where trains are much more frequently used for travel.

Cole gave two different options for those looking to book hotels. The website Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a catalog of reviews for boutique hotels from a couple who've actually stayed at each venue. This is a great resource for those looking to stay in these types of establishments.

On the flip side, Hostelworld is a site for people who want to save a bit more money. Cole said that hostels aren't what they used to be, and that even families can stay in them.

"They're a great way to save on money while you travel abroad," she said, noting that not all hostels are exclusively for students. "There are hostels that are more family-friendly. You can get on, see everything, whether it's booked or not booked, and then read expert reviews on whether this is going to be the right fit for you."

If you're looking for things to do off the beaten path, Cole suggests the site Atlas Obsucra, where you can put in a location and check out reviews on bizarre sites across the world -- or in your own backyard.

As a safety precaution, Cole recommends that any time you leave the United States you check with the U.S. State Department's website for any urgent restrictions, as well as register your trip in case of emergency at home or abroad.

For Lauren Lyons Cole's full interview, watch the video in the player above.

Five travel websites you need to know about