No more circling the block: find a parking space before you reach your final destination. Don’t overpay for travel insurance packages. Shop around before settling on your satellite service. Wine and dine like the Italians do with a new online resource. And find your next home improvement expert using a community-based service.

Parking Spot

If you’re planning to visit any major cities within the fifty states this summer, you may want to plan ahead when it comes to finding places to park your car once you get there. Free search engine promises to find you the cheapest lots in 16 cities and 66 airports. For example, if you’re heading into Chicago for a weekend getaway, and you need to know where to park while people watching on the Magnificent Mile, go to, select “Chicago,” and search by address. The closest lots near Michigan Avenue will appear on the next screen, complete with cross streets, hours of operation, rates, and a telephone number.

Vacation Back-Up

If you’re planning to fly to your summer vacation destination, you may want to check into getting travel insurance. Instead of purchasing it through your travel Web site as a mid-checkout afterthought, check out, where you can compare a number of vacation insurance options before making your decision. The site breaks down different options, from travel medical insurance to accident plans, and explains whether or not additional packages are necessary for your trip. It also gives you the chance to sign up for traveler assistance, a 24-hour concierge service that can assist you with travel plans from anywhere in the world.

At-Home Entertainment

Sick of spending a fortune on TV and Internet but you’re not sure how to hunt for bargains? Or maybe you’re moving to a new place and want to know your options when it comes to establishing a new connection. Enter, the utilities search site. All you have to do type in your address and in just seconds, you’ll have a list of companies available along with prices for bundles or individual services. 

And it’s free to bargain hunt. If you find the service you want, click the shopping cart and it will set you up with additional options, appointment times, payment plans, and live help if you need it.

Wine On

Restaurateur Victor Rallo, known for New Jersey restaurants Basil T’s and Undici, is taking his food-and-wine expertise to cyberspace with

Victor demonstrates online how to create his favorite Italian dishes, and then helps you decide which wines are best for each dish. Each week, the site reviews a particular wine and offers it for sale at a discounted price. You can also check out Victor’s travels to some of Italy’s best vineyards as he pursued his education in perfect pairings.

Letter of Rec

New service directory lets you survey the recommendations of friends and strangers alike when it comes to finding a new mechanic, babysitter, or electrician. (And mechanics, babysitters, and electricians can “brag” about their services on the site, too.) It’s free for all users, and encourages lots of feedback to keep communities in the know. After creating a personal log-in, you can search by name, expertise, or zip code.

Know of a killer deal or insane bargain? E-mail the goods to, and share the wealth.