April 3rd, 2011

Resources for Memorable Travels

Last month, I invited you to Take Yourself to Dinner (In Another country).

After I impulsively booked my first plane ticket, I had to figure out where I’d stay and what I’d see. Here are some resources that were helpful and others that I’ve collected since…

Travel planning

  • AAA Travel Services
    This is where I started for my first trip – I visited an office and asked for suggestions. Thanks to the recommendation of the agent, I ended up in Capri for a few days of my first trip and she pointed me to…
  • Trafalgar Tours
    You’re not completely alone when on a tour with others and that can help with loneliness when you’re getting accustomed to traveling alone.

Cool places to stay

  • Rent Villas
    I stayed here on my second trip to Italy. It’s family owned and they serve a fantastic dinner in the onsite restaurant two days a week. It’s very close to San Gimignano (a long walk or a short, beautiful drive).
  • Welcome Beyond
  • The Library Hotel (NYC)
    Different-themed rooms, loaded with books based on the theme. Fun!
  • Airstream Trailers (Catskills, NY)

Things to see

  • Roadside Architecture (USA)
    An old-school site, but with tons of resources to find diners, interesting signs, miniature villages and obsessive places.

Travel deals

For the more adventurous traveler

  • Dragoman: Life Changing Adventure Travel
    A blogging friend is now leading tours through Africa. This company leads tours throughout the world that sound great for those who like to camp and get away from civilization.
  • 4 Hour Workweek (book & website)
    Tim Ferriss is an advocate taking “mini-retirements” – extended trips while you’re still young enough to enjoy them. His life is structured so that he can move to another country for months at a time. Here’s the 4 Hour Workweek Expense Calculator so you can build travel into your life.
  • The Art of Non-Conformity (book & website)
    Chris Guillebeau’s goal is to visit every country in the world by April 7, 2013 and he’s very unconventional about it – using round the world tickets and frequent flyer mile strategies.

Why travel? Here’s some inspiration

  • A friend’s advice to her daughter for marriage: ”Save your money for experiences, not things.”
  • My married friends take road trips (seems to be almost weekly) and post beautiful photos here and here. Want to see that waterfall? Go do it.
  • Before getting married, another friend would have a GNO (girl’s night out) all by herself. She’d stay overnight (or a weekend) at quaint bed & breakfasts within roadtrip distance. She shared photos and blogged about her revelations and we learned along with her.
  • Nick Miller on travel
    “Travel is extraordinary conversations with ordinary people.”
  • The Journey is the Destination by Dan Eldon
    Dan created beautiful, fascinating, eclectic journals during his adventurous travels. Excerpts are published in this book after he was chased down and killed by an angry mob at age 22 in Somalia. By then his journalistic work had already appeared in Time and Newsweek.

Journaling and photo resources

Keeping a journal (online or physical) and sharing photographs (online or physical) is a great way to keep your memories with you, long after your adventure concludes. Record how a place feels and smells, the people you met, the places you’d like to return to. I’ve even taken photos of my room keys in Paris so I’ll remember which room had the great balcony and can request it upon my return.

Free online resources:

Physical resources:

My resources

Share your best travel resources in the comments below. As soon as I get 5 comments, I’ll give away Top 10 Naples and the Amalfi Coast to one of the commenters, chosen at random.

Photo by Susan Clemens

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