Travel Resources

So, you’re planning a vacation. Maybe you’re still in the early stages of the process –  you haven’t picked a destination, and you’re not clear yet on the exact dates. Maybe you’re not even sure who’s going with you or how you’re getting there.  Maybe you’re weeping under a pile of guide books, maps, and the weight of a million different peoples’ advice. If you’re overwhelmed with the idea of taking off and don’t know where to start, you’re not alone. The next time you start planning a trip, take control of the endless resources available to you by checking our TravelSquire.com guide, right here, for your convenience. See? You’re practically on your way.

Travel guide

Guide Books

Pros:

- You get hundreds of pages of information that is, quite literally, at your fingertips. Sometimes maps, coupons, and little-known deals are included, too.

- You can use post-its, markers and notes to highlight important points.

- You can browse through it anytime, anywhere (even when the electronics light is on during takeoff,) just as long as you’ve got a hand free.

Cons:

- You have to carry a decent-size weight around in your bag.

- Not all the information may be totally up-to-date, and you’ll have to keep buying the newest edition for the latest events and openings.

- The travel guide wall in the bookstore is one of the most overwhelming sections. When the covers all look exactly the same, it can be tricky to decide which one is right for you.

The Verdict:

Guide books may seem old-fashioned in an increasingly paperless world, but you just can’t beat the wealth of information written by qualified professionals.

Our Picks:

DK Travel Guides, Rough Guides, Wallpaper* City Guides

travel websites

The Web       

            Pros:

            - Search engines provide quick access to the best-trusted and most popular sites.

- There’s an Internet niche for just about everyone. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you’re probably not looking hard enough.

- You can plan, book, research, and even take virtual tours to almost anywhere in the world.

Cons:

- Search engines can be faulty—every keyword will give you drastically different results, so you have to be precise. Plus, you won’t find the hidden gems of the blogosphere using mega search engines.

- Since access is free, you probably aren’t getting the best quality writing or expertise.

- Access to it can be tricky—you might have to pay for Wi-Fi in the hotel, and even with 3 or 4G, say goodbye while on an airplane or in the subway.

The Verdict:

You won’t find the diversity or efficiency of Internet travel resources anywhere else. As long as you know what you’re looking for and are a relatively savvy user, Internet research is quick, fun, and usually painless.

Our Picks:

www.travelSquire.com
www.expedia.com

www.kayak.com

travel magazine

Travel Magazines

            Pros:

- Issues come out periodically, so you’ll get the most up-to-date information about the place you’re traveling to, like exhibitions, performances, and other events.

- They’re relatively light, usually have bold print, and are fun to read.

- The editorial staff gets paid to write for the magazine- that means they’re professional and educated writers and artists.

Cons:

- They’re not great if you’re looking for a comprehensive guide- that is, unless you’ve got your hands on a city-specific or regional magazine (e.g. Time Out, New York Magazine, etc.)

- Often driven by an effort to please advertisers and sell subscriptions based on promising covers, magazines often aren’t the most sure-fire way to get unbiased opinions.

The Verdict:

With bold pictures and entertaining articles, magazines are more than just escapist pleasures—they contain expert advice and the latest travel trends.

Our Picks:

Travel + Leisure, TimeOut, Departures

Find them at:  www.barnesandnoble.com and www.hudsongroupusa.com

travel agent

Travel Agents

Pros:

- You’re contributing to the growth of a slowly declining business and helping your local economy.

- You get to speak with a real human being with a name and a face, plus industry experience.

- Many tourists remain extremely loyal to their travel agents and return again and again for even more personalized advice.

Cons:

- You’re only hearing one person’s opinion.

- They’re a little bit old fashioned (but doesn’t that also make it sort of cute?)

- You have to pay for them.

The Verdict:

Yeah, many people have moved on to cheaper pastures, but travel agents are practically like your own personal therapists. Try getting a guide book to do that.

Our Picks:

Travel Designed by Stephanie  www.traveldesigned.com

The Sante Fe Traveler  www.thesantafetraveler.com

travel apps

Travel Apps

            Pros:

            – You can feel super hip as you casually peruse the app’s cutting edge features.

- It goes wherever your iPhone, iPad, or Android goes—that is, everywhere you do.

- They’re great for when you find yourself lost in a new city, thanks to GPS!

Cons:

            – It’s not the best choice for people with big fingers or poor vision.

- Apps that require Wi-Fi can be tricky when traveling. You’ll need either a very friendly hotel or a device with 3G service.

- As if you need another reason to be constantly attached to your phone.

The Verdict:

The convenience of having a travel guide right on your smartphone plus the sheer fun of apps outweighs the negatives. Hail to the 21st century!

Our Picks:

DK Top 10 Travel , FlightTrack, Yelp

www.apple.com

Rebecca Jennings
Rebecca Jennings
Rebecca Jennings is a recent NYU graduate embarking on a career in media and creative writing. Originally from Burlington, Vermont, she hopes to one day dogsled in Finnish Lapland, pet a yak in the Mongolian steppes, and cruise around the Arctic Circle. So far, she's visited fifteen countries including the Czech Republic. You can always find her on Twitter: @rebexxxxa.

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