guide to great travel tips

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Synergise : Travel.Wise Tips

Before you travel : be wise, check below!

Travel-Wise Tips
Content - Presentation - Execution
Discover local colour  
Meet a local at your vacation destination: meetURplanet
This great site offers you the opportunity to meet someone interesting who lives at your travel destination. This is a superb opportunity to discover local colour! Or maybe you'd like to meet visitors to your country and be their guide?

Take a look at a local newspaper: The Paperboy
This portal allows you to find local newspapers across the globe. What better way to get a bit of local colour?

Consider a travel writer's viewpoint : Travel Intelligence
Great travel articles to give you a personal feel about a place
Getting technical about a country: CIA World Factbook
The official US line on everything about countries upon which the CIA might have an obvious interest: outline maps, geography, people, country, economy, communications, transportation, military, world flags and 'transnational issues'. Everything from natural to un-natural hazards... such as invading troops.
Maps and ferries
General map sites : use our Map page
We have a separate page for this!
Car routes, even via ferries : Via Michelin
Ideal for a route planner and maps. Weather, hotels and restaurants are an added bonus. Just make sure you get the right destination before you set out!
Irish Ferries information : Irish Ferries
Good, basic information on Irish ferries, together with route and port information, sailings and online booking.
English Channel ferry information : Brittany Ferries
Very functional offering route information, timetables, availability and online booking. Also has a good 'Holidays' section with information about places you might like to visit in France and Spain.
World ferry links :
Dan Youra provides links to ferry sites worldwide. A great place to start if you have that sinking feeling!
Travel by train  
Point-to-point information and tickets : Europrail
This US-based site uses AcrobatReader for its maps and allows you to buy tickets.
Destinations, timetables, services and tickets : Eurostar
Great for planning and booking - including special offers.
Enthusiasts view of worldwide rail travel : The Man in Seat 61
Former British Rail station manager's love for worldwide railways knows no bounds. Nor does the information on this excellent site. The site is named after his favourite Eurostar seat! (One warning: you may go off the rails if you haven't got your glasses!)
European train timetables : Travel Notes
The link is to the page of Travel Notes that provides European timetable information for specific requirements.
Fly there  
Plan your globe-trotting trip here : Airtreks
You just select your start city, the cities you want to visit across the globe, and your final city, and it then computes the lowest cost, most-for-money (ie extra stop-overs) and fewest stops - with prices. You then call to speak to an 'AirTreks Travel Counselor' to commit. Very smooth.
Flights to worldwide destinations from the UK : Airline Network
Simple and to the point - and with all those holiday extras available such as hotels, breaks, insurance, and best-buys.
Flights to worldwide destinations from the UK : Cheap Flights
A site that doesn't expect you to know what you want before you know what's available! Choose destination, then your departure airport from those available, then your dates. Well thought-out!
Flights worldwide from the USA :
and the UK :
One of the best known sites for flight tickets - but perhaps not the fastest. It is good at giving you options to consider. So consider!
Go by bus  
European bus links: Eurolines
This site provides links to bus lines in different European countries, plus offers cross-border passes that could be just the ticket.
USA buses : Greyhound
What name is better known? Here is the site.
Health. Safety & Visas  
Need a Visa? VisaHQ
A versatile site offering lots of answers.
Safety issues : UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Aimed at British citizens, but a winner when it comes to checking out trouble spots.
Health issues : Travel Health Online
US site providing health profiles for over 200 countries with country vaccination requirements, malaria risk, how to handle the undesirable life on both two and more legs (ie criminals and insects). Dealing with emergencies and everything else a committed hypochondriac could need. (But you need to become a registered hypochondriac first.)
Health issues : US Centers for Disease Control
Aimed at US citizens, this site contains advice about inoculation requirements plus health and safety ratings for all major US cruise ships. (Warning: It might just make you want to stay at home! The devil is in the detail.)
Health issues : IAMAT
Worldwide disease, sanitary conditions, environmental conditions, hospitals, clinics, and other jolly vacation topics. Should spur you on to immunization! This site provides 'pdf' charts.
Earthquake Sensitivity: In Fear of Quakes?
Our links to sites that map earthquake sites and tectonic plates -
so you can avoid holidaying on a fault line!
Accommodation Reviews  
Independent assessment of hotels:
A great way to check out how good hotels really are all over the world.
Independent assessment of hotels and apartments:
Another site with guest reports, concentrating on hotels and apartments, mainly in Europe.
Those little practicalities  
Currency exchange rates :
Our preferred site for conversions.
International time zones :
A great time zone map of the world.
Keep in touch while on the move :
Provides tools and services to help keep those separated by distance connected via photo sharing, message boards, etc.
Worldwide weather : BBC Weather
Maps, forecasts, sun index, marine, sports weather and great summary maps and 5-day forecasts.
Worldwide weather and climate: Vacation Sunshine Planner
Although the above link opens on the UK, it is also the easiest page to start from for weather anywhere in the world since it clearly shows the options available to you of temperature, sunshine, humidy, etc. which offer you handy annual graphs if your firstly click in the 'climate data' panel.
Worldwide sunshine and rainfall records : World Climate Records
Want to know the sun and rain patterns for anywhere in the world? Here's a great way to plan WHEN to go there!

Worldwide snow forecasts :

If you know you want snow, then here's where you can find it! 3-day ski resort forecasts updated twice daily. Covers over 30 countries from Iceland, through Europe to Japan. (Picture is Grindelwald web camera.)

On Beauty
Zadie Smith
"On Beauty" concerns a pair of feuding families - the Belseys and the Kipps - and a clutch of doomed affairs. It puts low morals among high ideals and asks some searching questions about what life does to love. For the Belseys and the Kipps, the confusions - both personal and political - of our uncertain age are about to be brought close to home: right to the heart of family.
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Ian Kingsley
A gripping psychological thriller with characters that reach out and grab you. Sandman touches our primary emotions: jealousy, love, fear, hatred, and grief. The dialogue is authentic, and, along with the scene-painting narrative, youíll feel like youíre on the beach witnessing the unfolding action.

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The Playgroup
Janey Fraser
With an opportunity to prove herself, Gemma can't wait to take over Puddleducks Playgroup. But the new head of the infant school, Joe Balls, soon tempers her enjoyment. Meanwhile, Nancy is in turmoil. Her only son has just started at the playgroup and her husband has taken a temporary posting to Vietnam. There never was much hope of conceiving her much-wanted second child so what is she to do now? A tumultuous term lies ahead for all.
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Dead Men
Richard Pierce
Birdie Bowers, an infamously secretive painter, is a woman given a dead manís name by her obsessed parents. Her namesake was one of Scottís companions on his fated expedition to the Antarctic. Almost a hundred years after his death, she is determined to discover what really happened to him accompanied by Adam, a bored computer geek, who falls in love with her. But Scottís tent is now under 30 metres of ice.
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Publishers & Authors - Find out about guaranteed visibility in our Departure Lounge Bookshop
Please note that book covers may vary from those shown above

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