I’ve been looking at travel sites for a long time – since way back when MK and I would spend slow afternoons at work meticulously planning our next trips. We scoured the Internet for nuggets of information about our destinations – and it wasn’t as easy back then, let me tell you.
Now, travel sites are all over the Internet. They’re a dime a dozen. And sadly, even the most promising quickly succumb to ever more savvy hotels, restaurants and other vacation service providers, so that you’re never quite sure about the veracity of what you’re researching. Even the entries on Wikitravel – a site I had great hopes for – seem to have devolved into free advertisements for those shops and restaurants savvy enough to know of its existence.
In this installment of my “Blogging About” series, I’d like to tell you about some of the more general travel sites and blogs I’ve come to love. Let’s get started! And as always, I welcome your comments, especially with links to new sites.
Vagabondish is everything I want a travel website to be. My only complaint is that I do not have enough time to read every single thing on their site. I’m not sure what it is about Vagabondish that I love so much; but I have yet to roll my eyes at a single article, and the people who contribute strike me as honest lovers of travel who have a healthy level of respect for traveling, without being pedantic or condescending. Love this site.
World Hum comes a very close second to Vagabondish. In fact, for a time just last week, the scales of love were tipped in World Hum’s direction as I yummed up Jim Benning’s interview with my idol, Paul Theroux. If Vagabondish is the cool older brother whom I wish would take me on trips, World Hum is the giggly best friend who feels the same. exact. way. about everything as I do.
Travel Rants is less about the unbridled glee of traveling and more about the nuts and bolts – and the only site that relates travel industry news to the reader in a way that isn’t dry as toast. After reading this site – which I do every day – I feel smarter, which is a rare thing for the Internet!
Now for one I don’t love, but need to talk about:
Oh, Gridskipper. I include it here because I read it every day, but this too-cool-for-you site toys with my affections in a way that I’m not sure I can justify anymore, but it’s so much better under its new owners than it was with Gawker, and I keep reading, because it’s devastatingly hip and has great themed-map posts.
Now for two near and dear to my heart:
You know how Travel Advisor was such a great idea, and then totally became too unweildy, busy-busy and untrustworthy, and when it comes up on your Google searches you just get annoyed and skip over it? If you know what I’m talking about, then bookmark Planet Eye. And I’m not just saying that because I’m their Montpellier local expert – this is travel advice for the Web 2.0, and it’s going to be your go-to site for insider information.
I have to include the Happy Hotelier yet again, and not because he interviewed me. As someone for whom the choice of hotel is just as if not more important than the destination, he would be the one I’d go to first for hotel recommendations. And, the travel people he is interested in writing about are interesting to me as well. And, he just plain seems to love hotels as much as I do. Which reminds me: His post today is one worth checking out – it talks about Hotels.com’s new Visual DNA method in choosing the hotel that’s right for you, which is probably the most fun I’ve ever had on a travel booking website, and it was dead-on accurate for the cities I know well.
Well, that’s it for today’s installment of my “Blogging About” series. Next up will be my favorite expat sites and blogs! And, just a reminder: Send in those super recipes for Blog From Italy’s recipe contest! I’m a taster – best job ever, by the way, I highly recommend it – and the winner get s a free subscription to La Cucina Italiana magazine!