Where do I find general travel resources?
For basic information on travel, including vacation planning, start with books in call number 910.202 or check the Discovery Place catalog for subject heading "Travel." For vacation planning within the United States, try call number 917.3 or subject heading "United States Description and Travel." For resources on traveling with children, check Discovery Place for the subject heading "Children Travel."
Several magazines cater to travelers. Here are some titles to browse, or you can search for articles on specific locations or topics in any of the library's online periodical indexes (please ask a staff member for assistance if you prefer):
- Conde Nast's Traveler
- Consumer Reports Travel Letter
- National Geographic Traveler
- Trailer Life
- Travel & Leisure
These web sites provide gateways to a wide variety of travel information:
- OPLIN Travel (Ohio Public Library Information Network)
From the OPLIN homepage, in search box, "Search this site" (lower left hand corner), type "Travel" to access travel services and reservations, links to destinations worldwide and tools from ATM finders to translating dictionaries. Ohio travel and tourism are also highlights.
The Expedia site features lookups for air flights, hotels, rental cars, vacation packages and cruises. It also includes destination guides, maps, a special corporate travel section and information on special interest options including beach, golf, holiday and romantic vacations.
- Travel Channel
The Discovery Channel's Travel Channel offers a visually beautiful web site to explore for vacations by destination or idea (Beach Guide, Haunted Travels, etc.). Offers travel articles as well.
Travelocity has a suite of services similar to those of Expedia (above), plus a helpful section of travel tips and advice on topics from combating jet lag to preventing malaria. Last minute packages, cruises and cars/rail are included.
One of the "big three" travel sites with airflights, accommodations, vacation packages, etc.
- Travel Sites Reviews
For good travel sites and excellent articles about travel, visit ratings conducted by ConsumerSearch and based on credibility in testing, and evaluating and identifying the best travel sites.
Where can I find information about my destination?
Travel books, DVDs and videos on specific destinations are easy to find. To browse the shelves for books and videos, look for call numbers starting with the following:
- 914: Europe
- 915: Asia
- 916: Africa
- 917: North America
- 918: South America
- 919: South Pacific/Australia
Check the catalog for locations by entering subject headings "[Place] Description and Travel" and "[Place] Guidebooks." For example:
California Description and Travel
Barcelona Spain Description and Travel
For an excellent visual preview of your destination, try a travel video or DVD. Call numbers are the same as for books. One DVD/video series is Travels in Europe with Rick Steves, from the television series.
Several publishers produce travel guides to destinations worldwide. Most are updated annually and include reviews of lodging, transportation, shopping, entertainment, natural attractions and cultural life:
Dorling Kindersley, the British publishing company, offers the award-winning Eyewitness Travel Guides to many countries and destinations. These guides are densely filled with photographs, maps and drawings of points of interest, museums, cathedrals, historic places, etc.
Lonely Planet, an Australian series, covers countries in every continent with facts, the Thorn Tree Forum and excellent cultural background. The Blue List is fun experiences by travelers for travelers.
Insight Guides include lots of color photos and a narrative that helps travelers learn about native cultures and peoples.
National Geographic Traveler continues the tradition of its namesake magazine with excellent photography and well-written text.
Rough Guide publications describe places and cultures with a down-to-earth flavor and a true understanding of local life and customs. Ipod downloads are available for eating/drinking, etc. in London, Paris, Rome, Dublin, New York City and others.
Baedeker, the classic travel guide, offers in-depth coverage, A-to-Z listings of attractions and towns and excellent maps.
Off the Beaten Path titles cover North American destinations for travelers seeking the unique or unusual.
You can also look up your destination place on the following web sites:
- Google Regional Directory
Select a country or locality to find web sites on tourism, businesses, recreation and culture. Another regional directory is Yahoo! Regional.
- U. S. Department of State Background Notes
The State Department's Background Notes series summarize government, political conditions and travel and business information for many of the world's nations.
How do I locate maps for my destination?
Road and street atlases are found in call numbers beginning with 912. Some well-known series include Rand McNally, AAA and Euro Atlas. The Michelin Green Guides include fold-out maps attached to the individual books. Other travel guides incorporate maps that identify points of interest. City maps for various locations are found in the vertical files. Ask at the Reference Desk if you do not find what you need.
Road maps for locations outside North America and Europe can be a challenge to find. Check the travel guides, or try Mapquest, http://www.mapquest.com. In addition to detailed driving directions for trips in North America and Western Europe, Mapquest provides maps to places worldwide, though frequently not in street-level detail. Another site to try is the World City Maps collection of the University of Texas at Austin. From the Worthington Libraries Online main page, follow this path: Virtual Reference Room „³ By Subject „³ Geography, Travel and Weather „³ Maps. Scroll down to find the link to World City Maps.
- Google Earth
Google Earth is a free download available from Google. This program combines satellite imagery, maps and the power of Google Search to put the world's geographic information at your fingertips.
- Maps on Us
Draw a map or plan a travel route with turn-by-turn directions and mileage, or search a Yellow Pages directory for businesses near your destination.
- Yahoo! Maps
Find a location or get driving directions between any two locations in the United States or Canada. Also find weather and traffic conditions, nearby businesses and more. Maps for some European countries are also available.
How can I find out about lodging during my trip?
Books in call numbers beginning with 647.94 identify or review hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts, motels, hostels, campgrounds and park lodges.
Several evaluative series describe and rate bed and breakfasts, inns and hotels. One such series is Karen Brown's Country Inns, which covers selected destinations in the United States, Mexico and Europe.
- Business Travel Planner, North American Edition. Updated quarterly. [R 917 OAG]
This comprehensive source, the official directory of the American Hotel & Motel Association, lists lodging options in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America, plus airlines, buses, car rentals and cruise lines.
- Woodall's North America Campground Directory. Revised annually. [R 647.9473 WOO]
This large volume is a directory and rating guide to private campgrounds and RV parks throughout the U. S., Canada and Mexico.
Where can I find schedules and make flight or hotel reservations?
Locate stations, schedules and fares, make reservations and learn about special offers on this site for United States rail service.
- Die Bahn Travelservice
This current and nearly comprehensive database covers most railways in Europe. Enter your starting and destination stations, and time of travel, to find available means of transport and up-to-date schedules.
- Last Minute Travel
This site shows flights and fares for near-future trips, plus last-minute hotel rates and bookings for cruises and vacation packages.
- Railpass Express
A United States outlet for Eurail and Britrail tickets and regional and country passes, this site includes schedules, maps and general information about rail passes and traveling by rail in Europe.
Major hotels and airlines also have web sites, where you can browse rates and make reservations. Search for the airline or hotel name on Yahoo! OPLIN links to major U. S. and international airlines from its Travel pages. Travelocity includes do-it-yourself booking services for flights and lodging.
Where can I find out about currency conversion?
- Exchange Rates
Look up daily exchange rates between any two of over 40 major world currencies, or create an exchange table comparing one of the currencies to all of the others.
Compare the current rate of exchange between any two of 164 world currencies.
Newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal, ew York Times and Columbus Dispatch also offer charts showing conversion rates for major currencies.
Where do I apply for a passport?
These Franklin County post offices have passport applications: Worthington, Upper Arlington, Dublin, Westerville, Bexley, Main, Christopher Columbus, Ohio State University and Lincoln Village. County Clerks of Court for Franklin, Delaware and other surrounding counties also accept applications.
- U. S. Department of State Passport Services and Information
Just about everything you may need to know about passports can be found here. Learn how, where and when to apply for a passport, renew your passport, replace a lost or stolen passport and more. Fees, locations and printable applications are also included.
How can I find out if there are health or safety risks in the country I plan to visit?
Books on health and wellness for travelers can be found in call number 613.68. The following web sites are useful to consult before traveling abroad or into the wilderness:
- U. S. State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs
(Click on Travel & Business) The Bureau of Consular Affairs maintains a list of travel warnings and public announcements, plus Consular Information Sheets that discuss crime, traffic safety, health and other issues for each country of the world.
- United Kingdom Foreign & Commonwealth Office
The British consular unit provides similar information to that of the U. S. Bureau of Consular Affairs, intended for British travelers overseas but useful for American tourists as well.
- Centers for Disease Control: Travelers' Health
The web site for the National Center for Infectious Diseases offers current health information and warnings for international travelers, advice for those with special needs and travelers with children and a list of recommended vaccinations.