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As travel consumers learn their way around the Web, online bookings are taking off

Nancy Albanese, a New Jersey mother of three, used to call her travel agent when she wanted to plan a family vacation. But that was ages ago--or about 12 months in computer years.

These days, Albanese does what millions of other Americans do when they want to book a getaway: she logs on to the Internet. Sitting in her family room, she can rent a beach house at the Jersey Shore, check out hotels in Disney World or book flights for a family reunion.

"I like it better than using a travel agent," says Albanese, 44. "I'd rather do it myself....

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