It’s that cold and dark time of year when you’re suffering from back to work syndrome after the festive period and thoughts turn to planning your holiday for 2013.

We wanted to share with you five websites that we use when researching and booking flights, trains, accommodation and trips around the world.

Skyscanner.net

Skyscanner is always the first port of call when we’re looking to book a flight anywhere in the world. It’s a great way to compare prices across the airlines.

It’s fast, reliable and saves us an unmeasurable amount of time in visiting several airline websites and still not knowing if we’ve found the cheapest.

One of our favourite features is the ability to add “Everywhere” into the destination and select a whole month or even a whole year to find where the cheapest place to visit is and what time of year. We haven’t followed through on it’s suggestions yet but if you’re looking for some inspiration on where to go, give it a shot.

Rail Europe

We’ve used raileurope.co.uk a few times recently to book trains from Austria to Slovakia and throughout Portugal.

It’s results are detailed enough to plan out your journey making sure you hit connection times if necessary and gives information on what to expect from the different classes.

Rail Europe’s most impressive feature though is the speed of the ticket delivery. On both occasions we’ve had them delivered to our home within two days of ordering even if the trip was weeks away.

Hotels.com

This website and it’s app only came to our attention in the last year but it’s the only one we use now to book hotel accommodation around the world.

Hotels.com has a great search function that allows you to search counties in the UK so if you know you want to Northumberland but not sure where it’ll still return results. The results filters are pretty nifty too allowing you to select hotels near landmarks.

We’ve joined the Welcome Rewards scheme where every ten nights booked we get a free nights stay – pretty handy if you’re travelling the world.

Hostelworld.com

Every now and again we want somewhere budget to stay so we head straight to hostelworld.com to see what we can find.

During our round the world trip we use the site to book most of our accommodation through Asia and Australia. We always order our searches by overall rating as we’ve found you can trust the reviews.

Hostelworld recently led us to Stay Inn in Lisbon, a small boutique hostel in the Portuguese capital which was perfect located to the outdoor restaurants and bars yet was very quiet at night.

Viator

Whilst we haven’t used viator.com in a while due to us doing things on a whim when we get to a destination, it’s a great place to research what activities and trips you can do whilst your visiting.

From experience their service is excellent and we received email conformation when we purchased a trip which we printed ready for showing the company when we eventually met up.

We hope these are useful to you but also let us know what websites you use when planning and booking a holiday.

Note: We were not paid to write about any of these sites – these are websites we visit and use on a regular basis