Getting There and Back Again

allison harwood

There is one thing, and one thing only, to look forward to during third quarter: spring break.
For those who are lucky enough to get to travel at the end of March, here are a few tools to use when planning the big, or little, trip.
Trip Advisor
This is the all encompassing, super website of trip planning. From restaurants to air fare, Trip Advisor has it all.
Similar to Expedia or Travelocity, Trip Advisor will compare prices and quality for air fair, hotels and car rentals. What makes Trip Advisor unique is its forums. Users can post any question, put it under any topic, and receive almost instant feedback.
Say you want to know the best beaches to go to in Orlando. Simply post, “What are the best beaches to go to in Orlando?” and you will receive multiple replies from people who really know what they’re talking about.
Whether it’s from natives, or people who have just visited, you get some of the best advice not always found in travel books.

Rick Steves’ Europe
Going somewhere? There’s a Rick Steves’ book for that.
While this only applies to European travellers, Steves’ books really are a fantastic resource.
Steves is an American author and TV personality who focuses on travelling in Europe.
He writes books for regions, countries and specific cities. For example, he wrote a book about travelling in Italy. And Rome. And Venice. And Florence and Tuscany.
What sets Steves’ books apart from other travel books is the detail. He’s not just going to tell to go look at the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London. He’s going to tell you what time, on what day, depending on the time of year so you can avoid horrendous lines.
VRBO
Make yourself at home.
VRBO is an acronym for Vaction Rentals by Owner. This rather ingenious website gives travellers an alternative to a hotel.
The website has houses owners have put up for rent, usually at a weekly rate, in every state in the United States.
VRBO is especially handy for people with large families or people staying somewhere for a long period of time. Using VRBO provides for a quieter, more authentic vacation experience. In many cases, it can also save money for the quality delivered.