From: Bob Rankin
Subject: TOURBUS - 10 Jun 03 - Vacation Planning
A few weeks ago I wrote about online maps, and promised to follow up with an article about websites that will help you plan a trip, save money on travel costs and learn about the attractions before you arrive. If you are planning to travel this summer, read on!
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 Frommer's Guide.
FAREFINDER - Points you the lowest airfares between the top cities worldwide. Farefinder automatically searches through airline reservation systems daily to locate the best fares.
We've mentioned About.com several times in Tourbus, because it's an excellent collection of sites, each maintained by an expert in that subject. The About.com 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.
...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, this site offers free Official Tourism Guides and kits from tourism bureaus & cities.
Browse through descriptions of the most popular vacation destinations in the USA, Canada and Mexico, select up to 25 vacation guides, maps and travel planning kits, and they'll be mailed to you at no cost. 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.
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.
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
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