It is time to start considering what to do over the Christmas break. Before you run down to your nearest travel agency, it's a good idea to check out your options on the Internet. If you have never bought a Lonely Planet guide, you must be in serious need of a holiday. And if you have never visited Lonely Planets newly redesigned Web site [ www.lonelyplanet.com.au ], it's about time you did. This site holds a host of facts on some of the world's most enticing destinations. While it offers only a fraction of the data that you find in the printed guides, it's a great holiday planning starting point. Another travel site well worth checking out is the World Travel Guide Online [ www.wtgonline.com ]. Built by AT&T and Columbus Press, the World Travel Guide claims to be 'the most comprehensive and objective guide to the travellers' world.' It presents all the essential information you need when planning a trip, from climate to visa tips, to duty-free allowances and the local frequency for BBC World Service. Be warned, unless your ISP provides reasonable bandwidth to Europe, downloads can be extremely slow. Before you buy your tickets, it might be a good idea to check out the health risks on Shorelands Travel Health Online [ www.trip prep.com/index.html]. Travel Health Online gives the low-down on health, risks and precautions for pretty much every country in the world. Each section gives a brief rundown on the country, its climate and seasons and the disease threats throughout the year. You can just click on the name of a specific disease to get a full run-down on its cause, symptoms, treatment and steps to avoid it. The site also warns on environmental hazards and local pests to watch out for. Regular updates are posted on particular disease outbreaks. Once you have decided where you want to go, the next issue is how to get there. The Internet Travel Network (ITN) has been providing high-class interactive services for nearly three years, and makes a great starting point. You can check the claim for yourself at [ www.itn.com ]. ITN provides real-time inquiries on car rentals, hotel reservations, itineraries and prices for more than 300 airlines. With a few basic details entered, ITN will search its airline reservation system quickly to return a list of flights that correspond closely with your request. You can make searches on any international airport and even request multi-city trips. Before booking anything, it is always a good idea to check for special offers with a travel agency first. You might not always find the lowest prices with ITN, but you do get an unbeatable guide to flight times and availability. Finally, Swiss financial forecasters Olsen and Associates has released an excellent currency converter at [ www.oanda.com ]. The Oanda site converts between 164 international currencies. You also can design a cut-out-and-keep currency guide for the country you are planning to visit.