Dan K. Phillips is the internet travel author of Four Corners - A Literary Excursion Across America and is the editor of the monthly e-zine The Web Surfer Travel Journal. Please check them both out!
This article was published in a special edition of America Economia magazine in Santiago, Chile.
With the advent of the internet, and especially with the development of the World Wide Web, an encyclopedic and varied assortment of travel sites have made their appearance on numerous computer networks.
The list of travel sites on the web extends from travel guides and resorts to internet travel books and travel magazines. Cab drivers with portable computers stay online waiting for technological mavericks to arrive at nearby airports, while plush resorts send steady streams of e-mail to potential customers.
Countries worldwide are represented. Every continent has a vast array of available websites.
With this pattern of immense resources, how does one make sense of the web as far as travel information is concerned?
The following list is only a starting point on the journey. However, it covers enough territory to help you with the travel information you need.
For instance, Yahoo, one of the leading web search engines, has a list of over two dozen ongoing travelogues. By ongoing travelogues we mean daily event oriented travel with the immediancy of a daily news paper. Trips across the United States, bike hikes from one side of Australia to the other side, and groups climbing Mount Everest are examples of this type of daily travel journal writing.
Another online venture includes several travel books, most with numerous photographs, and each facing the struggles of extended travel. The first of these, and the most famous, is TRAVELS WITH SAMANTHA. The author Philip Greenspun began his journey following the death of his 65 pound seven year old dog named George. With the help of his portable computer, Samantha, he writes "about the summer I spent seeing North America, meeting North Americans, and trying to figure out how people live." Greenspun's travels allow his participation in a language war in Montreal, a splash down in a float plane and a week spent with 20 bears.
Other web travel books include ACROSS THE TRANS-SIBERIAN RAILROAD with Keith West, TAN WEE CHENG'S MAD RUSH ACROSS EUROPE, Carla King's AMERICAN BORDERS, a trip across Canada and America on a Russian built motorcycle, and the author's FOUR CORNERS - A LITERARY EXCURSION ACROSS AMERICA.
Another type of travel journey that encourages world wide participation are the travel expeditions. Terraquest, a joint venture of Mountain Travel-Sobek and World Travel Partners, has led cybertravel journeys to Antartica and the Galapagos' Islands. Mungo Park, owned by Microsoft, presents exotic multimedia expeditions via the World Wide Web. Mungo Park has joined Mariel Hemingway for her first trip to Cuba and George Plimpton for his insights on running with the bulls in Pamplona Spain. McVitie's Penguin Polar Relay, representing the first all-women expedition to reach the North Pole, is another exploration site.
Besides these expeditionary explorations, there are also monthly e-zines including: The Vagabond Review composed of Tim Mahoney's Strangest Journey's, Randy Johnson's Travel pages, and Travel at the Speed of Light - a compendum of "off the wall" travel stories.
Some web sites are link sites only, meaning they list only the best travel sites. Two of the best are Steve Beikireh's and Andrew Hudson's Travel Photograph Home Page.
From a more traditional vein, Arizona Highways, Texas Monthly, and Outside, present a more conventional approach to travel literature. National Geographic has a site, as does its companion travel journal The Traveler.
Several airlines have sites dedicated to booking your airline reservations online. Southwest Airlines, American, and Delta also have their monthly and bi-monthly travel magazines on the web.
Travel guides are also well represented. Gayot, Lonely Planet, Fodor, Fielding, and Frommer are readily available with selections from their print materials.
Tourist attractions such as The Ponderosa Ranch, Opryland Hotel, Disney World, and the Santa Monica Tourist Bureau, keep active information for potential customers.
There are also sites dedicated to motorcycles, national parks, African Safaris, hostels, bed and breakfast establishments, motels, trains, buses, skiing, hiking, and theme parks. City sites include New York, Buenos Aires, San Francisco, Paris, london, Atlanta, Sydney, and Cape Town are also represented. Maps, articles by travel columists, and large newspaper travel sections fill the web.
Besides these travel information sites, there are sites that share how to pack your suitcase, sites selling travel gear, travel bookstores, sites for travelers over 50, and sites for women only.
What ever your travel interest, the World Wide Web has the answer only one click away.
(Dan Kenneth Phillips is the editor of the Web Surfer Travel Journal (http://edge.edge.net/~dphillip) All of the sites above are only one click away on the Web Surfer Travel Journal. Click on Traveling on the World Wide Web)
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