From: Patrick Douglas Crispen 


The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from deep behind the orange curtain in beautiful Irvine, California, a medieval siege engine with a sling attached to a wooden arm for hurling large stones.

My fellow bus driver and partner in crime Dr. Bob Rankin is taking a much-deserved vacation on the New Jersey shore. But he did leave behind this post and asked that I share it with you.

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And now, ladies and gentlemen, here's Bob ...

Today I've got a handful of sites that'll help you make travel and vacation plans.


...also known as Vacation Planning Service was one of the first travel resources on the Internet. In business for 18 years, and online since 1996, it's refreshingly different from any travel- related site I've seen.

Instead of trying to sell you airline tickets, hotel rooms and rental cars, Vacation Planning Service offers free Official Tourism Guides and kits from state tourism bureaus & cities. Browse through descriptions of the most popular vacation destinations in the USA and Canada, select up to 25 vacation guides, maps and travel planning kits, and they'll be mailed to you FREE OF CHARGE! I find this approach refreshing after struggling with online maps and spending hours downloading and printing grainy pictures.

Most of the kits include detailed descriptions of vacation areas, attractions, and lodging, with four color pictures and toll-free phone numbers. Some include state maps, calendars of events, lists of B&Bs, suggested itineraries, beaches, ski areas, trails and other info that will help you plan a great getaway.

The selection includes most of the top vacation areas in the United States and Canada. From Oregon and Idaho in the northwest to New Hampshire and Connecticut in the northeast. From California to Texas to Florida. Almost every major vacation area in North America is listed here. Currently popular spots include Arizona, Pennsylvania, Nashville, San Diego, Tennessee, Anchorage, and Quebec.

You might think it strange that I'm recommending an offline service for travel planning, but in my experience the good old-fashioned color brochures you can feel and touch offer a higher quality of information with less hassle. Once you've decided where to go, the other sites on today's tour may help you find additional info and some good deals on reservations.


We've mentioned several times in Tourbus, because it's an excellent collection of sites, each maintained by an expert in that subject. The Travel site is a great place to look for information on travel to almost any place on the globe.

You'll find info on Air Travel, Bed & Breakfasts, Business Travel, Hotels/Resorts/Inns, RV Travel, Train Travel, Vacation Homes and Time-Shares. There are also guide sites specific to popular travel destinations - countries, states, and cities. The "New York City for Visitors" site, for example, gives insider tips on riding the NYC subway.



Travelocity is a slick website, offering one-stop shopping for airline tickets, vacation packages, car rentals and hotel accommodations. If you're looking for a way to research business or vacation trips and book travel plans online, you should definitely pop in for a visit.

Here are some of the key features of the Travelocity website:

TRAVEL RESERVATIONS - Lets you access the same computer database used by travel agents, so you can book airline tickets, reserve hotel rooms, or reserve rental cars from all the major agencies.

DESTINATION GUIDES - Comprehensive travel guides for more than 80 destinations worldwide with content from the popular Frommer's, Lonely Planet, and World Travel Guide publications.

FAREFINDER - Points you the lowest airfares between the top cities worldwide. Farefinder automatically searches through airline reservation systems daily to locate the best fares.


I'm sure many of you have used other websites to research and/or make travel reservations. I think Travelocity is one of the best, but you can find LOTS more related sites by starting at

or .

You'll find links for everything from Backpacking to Virtual Field Trips. Enjoy your trip, whether it's real, virtual, or a little of each. That's all for now, I'll see you next time! --Bob Rankin

That's it for today. Have a safe and happy week, and we'll talk again soon! :)

The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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