Friday, February 11, 2011

Websites for Travelers

Are you traveling soon? Planning a trip? To help my own travels on the Scenic Byway, I have been creating a list of helpful travel websites. Some are the expected ones, others are a little more wacky and fun. I am not including in this list sites such as orbitz, expedia, kayak, priceline, travelzoo, etc. I look at all of these sites to find travel deals, and have used some of them, but this list has other kinds of resources - information for driving or finding lodging or a good place to eat or how to find unusual local sites.

Maybe my list can help you plan your next travel adventure. Click on the links below to see the sites. And, I would love to learn about other travel-related sites that you use, so please send recommendations.

Trip Advisor. I find myself using this all the time these days to find hotels, and I swear that this year I will sit down and write reviews for the great hotels I've used in places like Liberia, Republic of Georgia, Belgium, and the US. I feel its only fair that if I use this resource so much for reviews, I need to contribute to its information base. You can get useful information such as their annual Dirty Hotels list to steer you from the bad hotels.

Roadside America. Described as "your online guide to offbeat tourist attractions." Search by attraction, town or state to find wacky sites to see on your journey. Great for road trips.

The Bed Bug Registry. I think the name says it all. Unfortunately it only covers the United States and Canada.

Historic Route 66. If you want to learn about Route 66 or drive any part of it, this site offers a turn by turn road description of Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles. Not a very fancy site, but cool information.

Eccentric America. Described as "Your guide to all that's weird and wacky in the USA." I think there is quite a lot of weird and wacky in the US and I don't think this site can highlight it all, but it is a start. Great for road trips. I love the wacky sites.

Road Trip America. "Routes, Planning and Inspiration for your North American Road Trip."It is commercial and has a lot of information to digest, including a travel forum, travel photo share, travel routes, map center, information on road trip attractions, etc. - but if you are looking around for ideas and resources, it can trigger some ideas.

Lonely Planet. Lonely Planet is a trusted name to me. My main experience has been buying and using the books over many years, but lately I have found myself checking out the information they offer online. It is basic, but useful.

Seat Guru. This site gives you information about airline seating charts to help you pick the best seats when you are booking a flight. I find this site helpful.

The Bathroom Diaries. Ok, I haven't used this, because I am not the type of traveler who would, but it can be very funny to read. I can't believe this site exists.

Qype London. This feels like a UK version of Yelp. Find any service (eating, drinking, shopping, nightlife, events, arts, entertainment, health, beauty) you are looking for in London.

And when I am on the road here in the US, I rely heavily on using the Yelp iPhone application to find places to eat. You can use the website (check out the link), but I find that I use it when I am on the road in an unfamiliar place and trying to find a decent place to eat besides your typical chain fast food places, so the iPhone application is ideal.

Happy Travels!

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