2. lonelyplanet. My personal favourite and the only one I really have any experience with. Many areas have editions titled “On a shoestring” that don’t list expensive hotels or restaurants making more relevant for my type of travel.
gen.lib.rus.ec is a Russian site to download most Lonely Planets for free.
3. ricksteves.com. Good for Europe.
4. roughguides.com. British and thus Brits think it is the best.
5. travelfish.org – Independent guide to southeast Asia is well-written, packed with hard-earned information, opinionated and up-to-date, with user reviews, forums, blogs and general advice, mainly aimed at budget travellers.
6. eater.com – Endless reviews of restaurants across the USA with maps of localized content.
7. i-escape.com – Find out more about a destination, or try out one of its eclectic selection of recommended hotels (it tends to favour the quirky over chain properties).
1. bootsnall.com. 800 independent travellers with blogs organized by region, travel advice on RTW (round the world) travel, health and all kinds of advice.
2. ronperrier.net. I hope to make this the premier travel web site. For every country I visit, I write a travel fact section with a lot of practical information on that country. Then I describe my trip – usually intensive journeys where I see as much as I can in every country as I don’t plan on returning to many. Unfortunately no pictures yet. Also has a Travel section with ideas on Philosophy, Tips, The Best Places to See in the World that lists every country and its Unesco World Heritage Sites, Best Natural Sites, a selection of hikes and road trips (the last two with good descriptions)
3. travelindependent.info. One of the most worthwhile sites with tons of great information and advice. Good info on visas by country.
4. thesavvytraveler.com. Great for Europe.
5. caravanistan.com. Indispensable for Central Asia., Health and much more.
6. gridskipper.com. maps and news for the urban traveler (could not access this site in 2016; accessible FaceBook page.
7. gadling.com. 4,300 adventure blogs by topic, country and activity. A newsy travel websites, but with an unpredictable scattergun approach – the travel equivalent of an iPod shuffle button.
8. globespots.com. Discusses places to go, travel scams, and reviews guidebooks and travel insurance.
9. bbc.com/travel. Many interesting articles. One I particularly enjoyed was “Six Travellers Changing the World”. Showcased the world’s greatest travellers. Also bbc.co.uk/programmes – The Travel Show with access to all their episodes.
10. travellerspoint.com – One of the world’s largest travel community sites, it features 30,000 blogs and more than 1.4 million photos, active forum, plus a neat travel planning widget. Starting up your own blog takes seconds.
11. etramping.com – good for ESL information and postings.
12. travelactive.nl – Dutch site that arranges cultural exchanges: au pair, high school, volunteer, work, language courses.
13. traveladventures.org – Around the World in 80 Clicks.
14. polosbastards.com – info on travelling to all the world’s most difficult destinations. Dated as most entries dated 2011 or earlier.
Other Blogs: It seems that there are thousands of people out there making a living off blogging. Some have been very successful at monetizing their web sites. In the most extreme, every post is selling something. Amazon and AirBnB give kickbacks for bookings. All these blogs have some worthwhile info.
4. nomadicmatt.com. Many good travel tips. Has weekly emails.
5. triphackr.com. The cheapest way to do many things. Has weekly emails.
8. skift.com – A site for travel geeks, Skift offers everything from the latest Qantas cabin uniforms to infographics, pithy comments, destination updates as well as breaking news. If there’s a travel story, there’s a usually an opinion on it here.
9. 501places.com – A travel blog of of quality by Andy Jarosz, with something you want to read.
10. baldhiker.com – A travel writer with a legion of chums to help him cover as much of the world as possible. Offers a good spread of destinations, angles and styles.
11. grumpytraveller.com – Not always about travel, there’s always something worth reading.
12. everywhereist.com – Following her husband around the world as he travels for work, blogs acidic observations and slicing sense of humour
13. welove2ski – Balanced resort reviews, snow reports and advice on everything from technique to clothing.
ONLINE DISCUSSION GROUPS
3. lonelyplanet.com/thorntree – Check out the archives or post a question for any thorny travel problem?
5. caravanistan.com – Immensely useful if traveling in Central Asia. It is especially useful for visa info when on the road.
6. gogobot.com – It’s ‘Facebook for travel’ but better. Create trip itineraries by browsing through reviews and add your own thoughts on your return. Get advice from other users when you post a focused question.
1. seat61.com – Everything you ever wanted to know about the practical aspects of train travel anywhere in the world.
2. russaintrains.com – Good for the Trans-Siberian Express.
3. RailEurope – It can be tough to book trains on a million different foreign sites in Europe, but Rail Europe makes it simple to do everything from planning routes and checking times to buying tickets.
4. Virgin Trains – A good resource for booking trains in the UK. Unlike other train booking sites, they don’t charge you a booking fee.
1. Vacations To Go
Are you a cruiser? If so, don’t book without checking out Vacations To Go first. This private membership site (which anyone can join) displays rock-bottom cruise prices that you won’t find anywhere else.
2. Repositioning Cruises: repostioningcruise.com, cruisecritic.com, cruisecomplete.com/specials/deals/repostioning, cruise.expedia.ca/cruise/en-ca/csexpedia/search?ds=repostioning, royalcaribbean.com>planacruise>destinations. ncl.com (Norwegian).
wikioverland.org. Started by Dan Grec (below)
wikicamps – crowd sourced app for smart phones that list free camping, the best bush camps, caravan parks and hostels
yourcamp.com – crowd sourced website
ioverlander – website and iPhone app designed by overlanders for overlanders. Gives GPS coordinates and reviews for camping, hotels, propane, water, mechanics, borders and much more
wikivoyoage.org – travel guides
worldtravelguide.net – free passport information, about countries by continent, weekly travel news, features and forums. Tons of useful information
visacentral.com – find out for all countries whether you need a visa and what you need to do to get one
• Overland sphere forum and web site
• Africa overland.
• Overland buy and sell
• www.theroadchoseme.com – Dan Grec, an Australian, drives a Jeep from Alaska to Argentina, Morocco to Cairo (2016-17). firstname.lastname@example.org, jeepforum.com
RoRo – IVSS International Vehicle Shipping Services. Cost effective and stress free. Also container vehicle shipping.
1. iamat.org – International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers. Provides contact information for English-speaking doctors with recognized training in 125 countries.
2. mdtravelhealth.com – Free, comprehensive, up-to-date travel health recommendations for every country.
3. International Travel Health. WHO book revised annually. Can be downloaded for free.
4. cdc.gov/travel – Centres For Disease Control and Prevention. Has tips on immunizations and updates on health conditions by destination.
5. travel.state.gov/travel/warnings.html – US Department of State. Lists travel warnings and basic information on world conditions worldwide, from weather to the political climate.
6. gov.uk/foreign-traveladvice-guide – Problems abroad change fast, gives the latest security alerts and some travel health advice
UK and EUROPEAN TRAVEL GUIDES
1. inyourpocket.com – More than 100 entertaining and honest travel guides to European cities
2. spottedbylocals.com – Rather than rely on an outdated guidebook, get tips from insiders in 40 European cities blog about their favourite restaurants, bars, shops and festivals. Buy a PDF guide to each city or download the free smartphone app.
3. theaa.com/route-planner/index.isp – AA Route Planner – For the UK and the rest of Europe, check driving times, distances, and useful tools like lists on what you’ll need for driving in different countries, from snow chains to fluorescent jackets.
4. nationaltrust.org.uk – Catalogues National Trust properties, gives itineraries, a ‘what’s on’ guide and a very handy activities section covering walking, cycling, running, camping and horse riding.
5. theweekenders.co.uk – Specialises in UK short breaks. Type in a child-friendly break for under £180, somewhere in the south, type this in and plenty of creative suggestions are offered
6. greentraveller.co.uk – If you’d rather not fly or worry about your carbon footprint – Green Traveller is packed with holiday ideas. The site is well-designed and written by expert journalists.”
7. sustrans.org.uk – Cycling charity with a national network spanning 14,000 miles of walking and cycling routes. Enter a postcode or a route and a map delivers all your available options.
8. contexttravel.com – Guided tours by academics who are passionate about their subject and who live in the area they’re working in. In-depth, informed and interesting, these walking tours are simply outstanding.
9. thefestivalcalendar.co.uk – With the huge number of spring, summer and autumn festivals in the UK and Europe, see at a glance, what’s on offer. Good for smaller festivals, many of which have near useless websites of their own.
10. golondon.about.com – Finds the unusual and provides plenty of practical tips.
11. londonist.com – Endless content on entertainment, nightlife, politics, transport and arts plus why are there buttons on Tube train doors? 10 illegal things to do in London, a map of London’s cocktail bars.
12. secret-london.co.uk – Focuses on those odd little details that give London its charm
13. coolcamping.co.uk – Search by location, comfort level, specific facilities or local activities in England, Scotland, Wales and France, Cool Camping is a painstakingly researched site with a lot of personality. Flexible and refined to search for campsites that are near to a beach or a short walk from a pub.
AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCES When Traveling
1. WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) – Work for room and board usually on farms.
2. couchsurfing.org – The best way to meet people everywhere in the world. Rates hosts and stayees. Hosts are usually people who speak some English, want to improve their English and like to spend time with travelers. Social events are also provided where hosts and other couchsurfers meet for a meal or social event.
3. badoo.com: meeting new people (girls especially) in the countries you visit.
4. warmshowers.com – Couchsurfing for bicyclists on tour.
5. affordabletravelclub.net – For people over 40 traveling in America. Host families provide a bed and breakfast atmosphere for a small fee, usually $20. Has a membership fee.
6. Hitchhike – Where hitchhiking is safe and easy, this is the best way to meet locals.
TIME, DATE & WEATHER INFORMATION
1. timeanddate.com/worldclock/difference. Find out time zone information, weather, sunrise, sunset and day length, holidays, airports, and shortest distance between it and any location on earth.
3. weather2travel.com – Shows everything from humidity levels to sea temperatures, for any month of the year, as well as the current conditions and forecast for the following day.
MONEY EXCHANGE RATES
1. xe.com – The site uses mid-market rates, which are not the same as you’ll get from your bank, but there’s no quicker or easier way to check prices abroad.
MISCELLANEOUS SEARCH ENGINES
1. rome2rio – A door-to-door travel search engine that shows times, prices and even carbon emissions, whether you plan to fly, drive, take the train, bus or ferry. For example, it’s a two-hour flight from Gatwick to Venice, but from your front door to Piazza San Marco will take six hours 24 minutes, apparently, including a 41-minute ferry ride to Ospedale, followed by an 18-minute walk. Getting to the Falkland Islands would take me 31 hours 40 minutes. It’s a fun and addictive site.
2. lastminute.com – late deals on everything.
3. Kayak Cars – I don’t rent cars often, but when I do, I use Kayak. I’ve found their rates to usually be the lowest.
4. Buses in North America – Megabus, Bolt Bus, and Greyhound – One of the secrets of U.S. travel is that the buses are comfortable, usually have plugs and wifi, and are dirt cheap — you can get $1 fares on the Megabus and Bolt Bus if you book several weeks in advance!
WORTHWHILE WEB SITES and WAYS OF TRAVEL
1. spaceweather.com – Sends weekly emails about everything happening in astronomy.
2. bivouac.com. The beta on mountaineering info in Canada. Requires a $25/year fee to access all the info. Also has canoe/kayak trips
3. mountaintrips.ca. Commercial and noncommercial mountain adventures (Gmosers)
4. peakbagger.com. Lists many mountains in the world.
5. stuff white people like.com – Hilarious and so true.
6. where the hell is matt.com
8. environmentalgraffiti.com – A wonderfully eclectic collection of bizarre images and topical oddities, all gathered together under the fairly loose banner of environmental news
9. Google Image Search For Eastern European especially Russian and Ukrainian Dating Scams. To check out if you are being scammed by that Russian beauty go to Google image search and upload one or all of her photos and find out where else those pictures show up. Some of the sites might be scam exposure sites. You will see all her aliases, email samples and other people’s stories.
Basically they are ALL SCAMS.
10. How to watch movies online: Forget about downloading, just google “watch ?movie online free.” The most common site is putlocker.com. Also YouTube but quality poor and often watermarked.
11. www.her-odyssey.com. Two women from Moab, Utah are walking from the tip of Patagonia to the top of Alaska – a 20,000 mile journey. Subscribe to her regular email posts.
12. dropbox.com – Backs up files across different devices – desktop, mobile, tablet, etc. – but is also a great photo-sharing platform without any of the gimmicks of the wannabe social sites. Create a folder of photos and simply send a link to share with friends; no downloads, no log-ins, just view.
13. thecomedynetwork.ca/shows/thedailyshow and nightlyshow
1. Oxford English Dictionary. What is a real word and what isn’t, but conservative. Look up a single word, all the citations by a single author, words that share a root, Waits 10 years before adding a word. Finds all the language in use, not merely the nice words.
2. Green’s Dictionary of Slang. 2010.
4. Urban Dictionary. Terms of rank racist and missogynist abuse , drug- and sex-related terms. Allows oldies to find out what their kids are talking about.