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As seen in Transitions Abroad Magazine July/August 2003

Web Picks for 2003

Travelers are More than Tourists: See for Yourself

Best Web Sites

With all of the negative news in the world, we’ve decided to move into a more positive frame of mind by visiting some of our favorite globally-minded, proactive, and travel-to-make-a-difference sites. We’ve also included our portal picks and the most informative sites for travelers of specific groups. If you are looking for the best web sites for accomodations and transportation, we recommend you refer back to Kent St. John's selections.

—Sherry Schwarz

Best Portals A fun site that offers down-to-earth travel stories and country guides, informative articles, and access to more than a dozen travel newsletters.,, is a terrific site for expatriates and for foreigners in the U.S. Of most relevance to those from the U.S. going abroad are iAgora’s bulletin boards and its searchable database that provide you with ways to connect with others who live in your destination country.

Johnny Jet Portal: This web site offers everything designed to help point travelers to what the web has to offer—from transportation tips and packing lists to travel news.

Kasbah Travel Information,, has just about any travel resource you can imagine. Best of all, it helps you search for good deals.

Lonely Planet: . This site remains popular for a reason—it offers practical planning information for all aspects of travel, travel advisories, and it boasts one of the best online forums for travelers, the Thorn Tree.

Travel With a Challenge,, gives those over 50 a chance to explore alternative travel opportunities throughout the world, while also providing plenty of nuts-and-bolts information. It gives visitors access to its guidebook, links directory, and travel article library.

University of Michigan Travel Abroad: The long URL may be intimidating, but the site is user-friendly. William Nolting, the director of the Overseas Opportunities Office and Transitions Abroad’s work abroad editor, has put together this site, which is chocked full of resources for students and independent travelers of any age. You’ll find currency converters, budget accommodations and tips, as well as general information and links on everything from languages to maps to health and safety concerns.

Information and Ideas

Cultural Survival Quarterly: Based on its journal, which continues to be the leading publication of indigenous affairs in the U.S., this site offers important information on indigenous peoples—who they are, where they are, what problems they face, and what solutions have been developed to aid them. Topical articles keep global citizens informed on issues concerning culture, indigenous enterprise, and natural resources., This is a site brimming with information and articles for the person who wants to leave home permanently to live and work offshore.

Food First,, is a think tank and education-for-action center that works to find the root causes and value-based solutions to hunger and poverty around the world. Its Resource Library offers links to many great organizations and research resources on the web.

Green-Travel,, provides links to sites for ecological, sustainable, and responsible travel. For example, you’ll find links to the UNESCO World Heritage List, the World Guide to Vegetarianism, and Intentional Communities on the Web. It also updates online ecotourism guides.

I Go U Go,, was nominated for “best travel site” at the 2001 and the 2002 Webby Awards. It offers a space for travelers to share travel journals, tips, and photos. Those who join the IgoUgo Travel Club can get some travel discounts.

Journeywoman,, is a fantastic site for female travelers. Women from all walks of life will find inspiring and practical articles, resources and tips for solo travel, and country-specific advice on dress and customs.

Out & About,, is the established newsletter for gay and lesbian travelers. The most detailed information on specific destinations is only available through subscription, however, the site still provides ratings and reviews, useful links and resources, as well as articles on issues of general interest to gay and lesbian travelers.

Planeta,, is a pioneering, award-winning ecotourism site that sponsors online forums and conferences and offers resource guides and information for responsible travelers.

Rick Steves, . Rick Steves has been a contributing editor to Transitions Abroad for more than 20 years, and we still turn to his site for the best tried and true advice on budget travel to Europe.

The Practical Nomad: Edward Hasbrouck, author of The Practical Nomad: How to Travel Around the World, has developed a thoughtful site that not only offers advice on preparing for trips but also offers commentaries and articles on the big questions surrounding travel in the 21st century: Should we still travel despite conflict and terrorism? Do we understand travel safety and civil liberties? Who’s watching you while you travel?, etc.

Travel for Kids, Don’t let the name fool you; it’s really a site for parents too, offering country-specific suggestions on what to do and see with your kids. Its section on “travel essentials” is, well...essential.

Travel Library Comprehensive information invaluable to dedicated long-term travelers. Covers routes, weather, budgeting, duration, and more. Advice from experienced travelers makes this great site even better. Includes a page full of links to various round-the- world travelers’ personal web sites. 

World Hum, This site continues to grow, providing many enjoyable travel narratives and a long list of excellent journals and web sites.

The Worldwide Holiday and Festival Site: This site has gathered information on more holidays than any other we’ve come across. You can search for holidays by date, country, or religion.

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