Travel Resources

Whether you're thinking of travelling or not...

  • O'Reilly & Associates' Traveller's Tales series puts you, the reader, in touch with the depth of the travel experience.
    Check out this series if:
    ~ you want to travel but don't have the time or means...
    ~ you don't "get" what your backpacking friends rave about...
    ~ you want to understand more about life
    ~ you just want a great read
    There are stories from all perspectives. In my opinion, it's one of the best gifts you can give yourself or a friend.
  • VirtualTourist.com may help you discover destinations, or enable you to visit places vicariously.
  • The Soul of Adventure, by Gary B. Hudson   308 pages, ISBN: 0738829706
    This is Gary's first book, about the first part of his two year world travel trip. Gary left LA to travel the same week I left NYC. His trip began in Africa. What would he, a blue-eyed, African-American, with soft black hair and light chocolate skin, raised in the western world, find in Africa? Instead of being a black man, would he be just a man? Join Gary as he experiences life outside of the US, and far outside of western world, for the first time. I joined Gary for real, in our 2nd year of travel and got to know him quite well. But I got to know him better reading this book. You'll not only get to know Gary a bit, but also feel as if you've made the trip along with him.

If you're traveling, you'll find these resources useful.

Flights!

Services

  • International Student Identity Card got me discounts on public transport, museums and other cultural attractions. It's also supposed to help wtih air fares and more. And free travel insurance [outside the US] and an Emergency Help Line. (I bought travel insurance though, either with this card or through STA. Three cards: students 12+ (ISIC), full-time teachers (ITIC), youth 12-25(IYTC). Each is $22.
  • STA Travel is always a good place to start when you seek air, rail and bus passes. They do more too.

Books

  • Lonely Planet was THE travel resource by real travellers for real travellers when I first traveled. I used to say their books are must-haves while on the road. Their books are still popular, andcI have referred to a couple as I travel this time, but I am less impressed by them these days.
    When their site was new I felt it great for researching trips. Now I refer to the forums there, but check several other sites and forums as well, if I check anywhere.
  • The WanderLust Survival Guide, a book by Ken Vollmer. Anecdotes and travel tips based on his journeys abroad,. Geared towards the backpacker/hostel traveller. I have not read this yet, but it seems good. From the excerpts it feels like I'm reading a traveller's journal. My own journals, children's notebooks from around the world, filled with the daily events, feelings, and travel tips, are tucked away in my closet, unpublished.
    $15.95, ISBN 0-9722459-4-4, available in stores or by order online from the link above.
  • Lets Go is a resource I question recommending. As a traveller I came to find Lets Go recommended places to be infested with fast-travelling young Americans and therefore often ruined. Still, the site may help you, and you may appreciate having their books with you.
  • Michael Brein's Travel Guides — Sightseeing by Public Transportation. Michael says his life "is all about travel and adventure." He invites you in as an armchair traveler and to create your own journey. In addition to stories and spirit you'll find here, you can also purchase Michael's Public Transport Travel Guides for $5.95 + $1.00 shipping/handling.

Websites

  • Step Up Travel — a site for "socially-minded travelers". I have not yet spend a lof of time at this site, so I'd appreciate feedback if you have experience with it.
    Nothing like this existed when I travelled, but it seems it may fit my principles: travelling, not touristing.
    It appears that it lets anyone post a classified ad about their property — places you can stay in various countries; that it's an alternative to hotel sites and word of mouth. Personally, I am not a fan of pre-paying for a hotel when I don't know what that hotel is really like. I just arrived and looked around. But travelers can post feedback, so that's good.
    From the site:
    "We promote responsible travel which emphasizes the importance of personal exchanges, deeper cultural understanding, genuine benefit to local people and their communities, preservation of the environment, and ultimately a more peaceful and equitable world."
  • For calling a country or phoning home, Country Calling Codes will help you get the number right.
  • Hostelling International's Youth Hostels: they are not just for youth!
    These days many have options for singles, couples, and even families. Whether you arrive alone or with others, you'll meet plenty of unpretentious people from all over. So check 'em out.
  • Hostels.com is a complete guide to hostels around the world, and a lot more. Learn about hostelling, experience other people's trips, learn about places... get excited!
  • The Savvy Traveler, is a place - and radio show - where you can travel vicariously or learn the things you need to get out there in the world yourself. There is even a wealth of information on travelling with disabilities. (That impresses me.) It's produced by Minnesota Public Radio (in LA) and distributed by Public Radio International.BootsnAll.com
  • BootsnAll.com - The Ultimate Resource for the Independent Traveller
    Articles, forums, trip planners, hostel listings, and much more. The site's First-timer's page starts with:
    "BootsnAll.com is the ultimate resource for independent travellers. Whether you are planning a trip, actually on a trip, just back from a trip or simply thinking about travel, BootsnAll.com probably has a resource or two that may interest you."
  • Travel Notes — The Online Guide to Travel says of itself: Travel Notes™ guides visitors to essential travel information with detailed country backgrounds, reviewed web sites, and regular travel articles.
  • Culture Connect has stories and more.
  • Travel Backpacker — "dedicated to bringing travel experiences from around the world to your computer. Whether you frequently travel yourself or enjoy reading interesting tales of distant lands, this is your website." It invites travellers to ports stories and surfers to read them. Sightseeing by Public Transportation.
  • The Budget Traveller's Guide to Sleeping in Airports. With a name like that how can you not want to read this site?! I can tell you from experience that if you travel enough you'll sleep in an airport whether you want to or not. :)
    Here's what the site's intro says:
    "For travellers who are REALLY on a budget and are looking for a way to skim a few bucks off their travel expenses, why not consider sleeping in an airport?  Many airports are actually better than local lodging.  And to top it off - IT'S FREE!  Your friends and family may look at you funny when you return with your airport stories, but that's only part of the fun.  So now, sit back....get out your travel itinerary and plan which airports you're going to sleep in (or avoid altogether) during your next trip.  If you have an airport, bus/train station or other strange place that you would like to add to this list, please tell us your story. More than 1996 listings from over 532 cities."
  • World Travel Watch is designed to provide you the scoop on international trouble spots and travel conditions beyond traditional State Department does. Visiting our embassies around the world I often laughed at the warnings I saw there. I have not studied this site yet, but in my opinion, all perspectives on the world and safety are welcome. Larry Habegger and James O'Reilly have been doing this tracking since 1985.
  • Econotravel.com. An online magazine contains stories. Per the site:
    "EcoDirectory is a searchable directory of tour operators, lodges, private guides, non-profit organizations, and ancillary travel services to help you plan your next ecotrip." Destination Guides provide "information on the country/state's history, culture, cities, and events, as well as, climate, health, currency and visa information. The guides currently cover the U.S., Canada, Central and South America, and the Caribbean."
  • Cybercafes.com can help you get your Internet fix. This site hosts a database of 4206 internet cafes in 140 countries.
  • World'sBestBars.com can teach you about some of the places to hang out a while. It covers quite a few cities in many countries.
  • World Travel Guide brings you info about countries, cities, airports and more.
  • And my own NYC and LA pages. Since I've lived in these places and like to help folks who visit them, I've put together a few pages of information (with help from some friends.) Michael travels the major cities of the world bringing you his unique travel guides to sightseeing by public transportation, how to enjoy these magnificent cities on a moderate budget and see more for less! This is the world's first and only travel guide series of its kind.

Specific Countries

Curious about Turkey — one of my top recommended destinations? Whether you'll be travelling there or just want to do some armchair travel, check out Turkey in Photos by Kerem Almaç. It is full of history, photos, and other information.

 

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