Useful Travel Websites

These links will take you to websites that I've either found useful in the course of my travels or that describe some of the more special, hidden away places I've found. I have mixed emotions about giving some of these up, as I'd like them to stay relatively quiet, but that just seems too selfish. Best of luck to those that decide to make the trip!

Lonely Planet
The Lonely Planet guidebooks have been invaluable to me on my journeys. Wherever you go, I highly recommend you pick up one of these books. They will help you find accommodations, give some background info on the places and people you may meet, as well as to find some places that may be off the beaten path. You can order any of the myriad guidebooks from this site.

Xandari Resort and Spa
Xandari runs two resorts in Costa Rica, one on the Pacific coast and one in the rain forest-covered mountainous heart of the country. While I've only stayed in Playa Esterillos Resort on the coast, my sister gave the Central Valley Resort rave reviews.

Big Blue Bungalow and Restaurant
This hidden away resort in the Gulf of Thailand has some stunning views. Ridiculously gorgeous. Totally absurd. It is situated on what is essentially a private beach protected by two mountain spurs that jut out into the clear, light blue water, which glows at night when you move your hands through it. It's like magic. So cheap too, and the food is good. I don't know how I ever left.

Japan Maps - Diddlefinger
While the name may be silly, the utility of this website is not. Addresses in Japan do not work like addresses in America. While Americans are used to an orderly progression of numbered locations, often on a grid system, addresses in Japan appear to have been jumbled together in a Yahtzee cup and then spilled out across the various cities. This can make finding a specific location a bit bewildering. However, if you have the entire address, you can enter it into this site's easy-to-use mainframe and it will point you to the right place.

Round the World Flights
Bringing it all together. If you are in England, you can set up an itinerary consisting of a series of flights around the world at a considerable savings. The plans allow you to change travel times and sometimes destinations mid-trip. Your journeys can be spread out over the course of many months too, no hurry, no worries. So, if you want to travel to England, hop over to France, hit up Brazil, and then continue on around the world to Vietnam, this site might be a good place to visit. And if you want to do something completely different, it is still probably a good idea. The only drawback is your trip has to start in England, but things could be worse. Bon voyage!