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It’s said that there are no great adventures anymore. The spotlight of information and far reaching connectivity has left us with no strange places to discover. Or so the popular opinion goes. Travel guides and travel websites have brought some wondrous places close to us; either with their enticing photographs or with first hand traveler accounts. Today’s online international travel guides are also proving handy for the budget traveler who can plan for each dollar.
In the years before the web spun the world around, travel tips came through word of mouth. Now, you can just log on and be a voyeur as travelers carry you along each step of their journey. Which are these websites that allow you to be your own traveling guide?
Let’s pack our bags and take a free trip with the ten free international travel guides mentioned below.
The word this top travel website throws about is ‘candid’. That describes the travel tips they have collected over the years. If you can’t buy one of their travel guides, then this website is just as good a resource for getting to know any destination on the map. By the way, there is a large red map that you can navigate on the site. The articles on each location cover everything that you would care to know, from nightlife information to side trips. You can jump to the Frommer’s forums too and engage in a discussion with travelers. Short of travel ideas? Explore their inviting slideshows. Also look into the Trip Ideas section.
Trip Advisor is all about reviews and advice on hotels, resorts, flights, vacation rentals, vacation packages, travel guides etc. On each destination’s page you can check out information like top rated hotels, things to do, vacation rentals, restaurants etc along with videos and images. As it is a popular website, expect to read a lot of reviews on each aspect of your planned travel. Subscribe to the free newsletter which sends you the latest information on your chosen location. Traipse over to Advice from real travelers section for valuable tips. You can also download a free PDF city guide for the destinations.
We covered this cool travel guide website which covers nearly 60,000 worldwide destinations just at the turn of last year, so I won’t go into too much detail here as Bakari has shown How To Use Virtual Tourist For Planning Your Next Trip.
If there’s a domain name which eggs you on to catch the next flight out, this is it. The tips on the site are about traveling on a budget. The company has been known for its budget travel guides over the last 50 years. If you are searching for bargains on your sojourns, this site is worth a visit. The stories on destinations around the world make interesting reading and just might make you change a plan or two for the better.
The “˜indie’ in their catchphrase is meant for the independent traveler. The site has a complete guide listing where you can browse to the destination of your choice. Also check out the Adventure Destination guides featured on the site. The site also has a pretty active forum for travel chit-chat.
Gets lots of free international travel guides to destinations around the world. The guide is available in English, German, French and Spanish. The site has a nice “˜Holiday Ideas’ section for some inspirational travel ideas. The homepage features a neat globe browser for pinpointing places worldwide. Catch the best deals and the latest events too on the dedicated pages for each location.
The neatest feature on the site (apart from all the travel content) is the Rough Guide to The World picture mosaic map. There’s a movable “˜World Lens’ which you can hover on any location and check out the experiences as pictures. Also subscribe to the free Rough Guides Podcasts every month. Another useful audio download is the free phrasebook available for select languages. Or you can forget about all that and play the!
For international travelers coming to Europe, this site is a handy one-stop place for mapping, route plans, on-line hotel booking, Michelin Guide hotel, restaurant, tourist recommendations and weather and traffic reports. The site is brought to you by the renowned tire brand – Michelin. The route guides provided are the most informative you can find anywhere.
If you frequent the web, then you will be familiar with the names of their network websites (Wired.com. Ars Technica, Epicurious, Reddit etc). The site has a large list of international travel guides covering all the hotspots around the world. You can browse them by name or click on the interactive map to start exploring with articles, pictures, and videos. Then there’s an established community too for sharing travel tips.
Sometimes places off the beaten track make for great adventures. You could discover one on this site which according to the site’s own words is a collaborative project with the goal of cataloging all of the singular, eccentric, bizarre, fantastical, and strange out-of-the-way places that get left out of traditional travel guidebooks and are ignored by the average tourist. Exploring places by category is the way to go here.
If you are wondering why we left out a site like Lonely Planet, then worry not. The so well known international backpackers’ site as well as a few others has been covered in a previous article on The Best Free Online International Travel Guides.
If you want more suggestions, have a look at our list of apps for infrequent and casual travelers.
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