No Travel Guide? No Problem! (32)

May 12, 2008

The library has tons of travel books and guides available for check out. The only downside is that the new ones are often checked out. Or, you might be like me and look for attractions that Fodor’s doesn’t always cover. Where else can you turn? Online? Yes! Online!

First stop, the library!

Yes. A great place for travel advice is the library’s online databases.

“Online databases?” you say, “I thought you’d say Convention and Visitor’s Bureau web sites.” Well, those are good too. But, library databases offer a wealth of travel information.

There are thousands of magazines available in InfoTrac. You’ll find publications like Southern Living, Outdoor Life, and Midwest Living. Magazines often highlight shops and attractions for tourists, so you’ll find articles and helpful hints for planning your trip. Runner’s World features good exercise routes in various cities every month. Our New York Times database has an extensive archive of travel reporting on domestic and exotic destinations.

A simple search in InfoTrac for travel AND kansas brought up articles from Better Homes and Gardens, and a city profile from U.S. News & World Report. Add the term runner and you get a list of activities for runners in Kansas City from Runner’s World !

Tip: A subject search might work better than a keyword search, so watch where you’re searching!

What about the web?

There are online tools for readers, foodies, gardeners, music lovers… So, of course there are online tools for travelers!

Kayak is a travel search engine. That’s it. Kayak makes it easy to compare air fares by using its various sorting features for times/prices/stops. Then, the site links you to the airline’s web site for booking. It also compares deals for hotels and rental cars.

TripIt is an easy way to share your travel plans with any relatives or friends you might be meeting without bothering them several times. When you get an email confirmation from an airline or hotel, forward it to It will automatically generate a daily schedule of all your travel and lodging. Then, login to TripIt and add any concerts or restaurants you might visit. TripIt will use Google Maps to give you driving directions and NOAA to give you daily weather forecasts for destination. You can either print this itinerary or call it up on your fancy mobile device during your trip.

TripHub is a group trip planning tool. If you are planning a trip with a group, TripHub will help you coordinate the adventure together. It integrates schedules, discussion boards, Email invitations/updates, along with mapping and destination features. It is a nice little event planner for family reunions, retreats or other group outings.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

1. Search InfoTrac for a travel article about the River Road or the Natchez Trace.
2. If you have time, try out one of the travel websites. (optional)
3. Take the survey..

If you’ve got any favorite travel sites, share them in the comments!


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