small text medium text large text

Before You Go


Major Online Travel Agencies/Search Engines


  • Air BnB
    Airbnb is a San Francisco-based community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations in more than 33,000 cities and 192 countries.
  • Bidding Traveler
    For help with Priceline.
    An Amsterdam-based hotel-booking agency owned by
    Book hotels worldwide. An affiliate of Expedia, Inc.
  • Wimdu
    A Berlin-based online markeplace of private accommodations listing 50,000 properties in more than 100 countries

Up  Return to the top


Airline and Flight Information

Up  Return to the top



Below are a few apps and articles about apps to get you started.

Up  Return to the top


Best Travel Websites

Below are lists of the "Best" travel websites as determined by various newspapers and magazines.


Travel Books

To find travel books in the library catalog, browse the "Description and travel" and "Guidebooks" subject headings for each country or city. For instance:
Italy -- Description and travel
Italy -- Guidebooks
Venice (Italy) -- Description and travel
Venice (Italy) -- Guidebooks
San Francisco (Calif.) -- Guidebooks
San Francisco (Calif.) -- Description and travel

You can also explore these bookstores that specialize in travel and can give you some reading suggestions for many destinations. Plus you can get maps.

  • The Globe Corner Bookstore
    Offers a large selection of travel guidebooks, maps, literature.
  • Longitude Books
    "Recommended Reading for Travelers." They feature Essential Reading for hundreds of destinations, each a hand-picked set of four or five books and a map, followed up by "Also Recommended". They aren't just travel guides but books about the country or city.

Car Rentals


Customs and Taxes



  • US Department of State: Travel
    Includes links to Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheets amd Emergency Services to U.S. Citizens Abroad (if your passport is lost, information on health, sending money in an emergency, etc.).


See Insurance for travel health insurance for individuals.

  • Centers for Disease Control: Traveler's Health
    Check here for the latest outbreaks of disease before you travel to an exotic destination. Contains the Blue Sheet (disease infected countries), the Yellow Book (Health Information for International Travel in PDF format), and the Green Sheet (sanitary inspections of cruise ships); what vaccinations are necessary, what precautions should be taken, recent outbreaks of disease.
  • HealthMap
    A web application by two staffers at the Children's Hospital Informatics Program in Boston that plots disease outbreaks on a world map using information from ProMed Mail, World Health Organization, EuroSurveillance and Google news.
  • Pan American Health Organization: Core Country Health Profiles
    Profiles of health in all the countries of the Americas, including Mexico and the Caribbean.
  • World Health Organization
    Check out their pages for information on diseases that may be a concern in developing countries. Disease Outbreaks are listed in the right hand column.

Helpful Information

  • Fodor's Focus on Photography
    "How to Take Travel Pictures Like a Pro." With the assistance of author and photographer Jeff Wignall, Fodor's has put together a guide to shooting great travel pictures, giving 100 easy-to-follow tips, with accompanying photos, covering every aspect of travel photography.
  • World Electric Guide
    This World Plug Adapters Guide from The International Electrical Supplies Store shows you the voltage and frequency for all of the countries of the world. Click on a country name to find the adaptor you need.
  • World Wide Metric
    A site featuring measurement conversion tables



Language & Translation Aids

Have you found a web page in a foreign language that you would like to have translated? Here are some website that try to do just that and more. And before you go to a foreign country, attend one of our foreign conversation clubs at the library!

  • Bing (Microsoft) Translator
    You can either input foreign text or a foreign url. English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish. (Formerly Babelfish)
  • Google Translate
    On this page you can search for a term on pages from a particular country or in a particular language. You can also input the url of a page in another language and have Google translate it. The results, although not great, are interesting!
  • Google Translate App
    Translate words and phrases between more than 60 languages. Pronunciation included for more popular languages.
  • Jibbigo
    This voice translation app for Apple products was created by a Pittsburgh company and as of June 2012 is a $3.99 download that gives users access to a 40,000 word vocabulary in these languages: Chinese, English, French, German, Iraqi ($14.99), Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai. It is self-contained on your mobile device so you don't need a connection to use it.



Online Forums for Travellers

  • Arthur Frommer's Community
    Connect with other members through their active reader Forums, share your travel photos in their Photos section, and read blogs from Frommer's book editors and guidebook founder Arthur Frommer.
  • Fodors Travel Talk Forums
    Travelers share their experiences, tips, and recommendations.
  • Trip Advisor
    Read and post travel reviews for hotels, vacations, resorts.
  • Virtual Tourist
    "The inside scoop from a million members on 61,619 destinations and counting"


  • Airport Parking Reservations
    Search for a U.S. airport and travel dates to compare parking and accommodations/parking options.
  • Park Sleep Fly (Airport Hotel Parking Packages)
    Get free parking when you fly when you stay a night at an airport hotel at the beginning or end of your trip.

Passports and Visas
including travel advisories

  • US State Department: Travel
    • Passports
      How and where to apply for passports (includes a passport application that can be downloaded); Get a Passport in a Hurry
    • Country Specific Information (Consular Information Sheets)
      For Foreign Entry Requirements (whether passports and/or visas are required for a specific country) go to the Entry/Exit Requirements section for that country. Includes information on unusual immigration practices, health conditions, minor political disturbances, currency and entry regulations, crime and security information, and drug penalties.
    • Current Travel Warnings
      Travel Warnings recommend that Americans avoid travel to a certain country
    • Current Travel Alerts
      Short-term conditions, either transnational or within a particular country, that pose significant risks to the security of U.S. citizens.
  • Embassies
    Links to embassy websites in Washington DC. For visa requirements in foreign countries, check their embassy.

Phone Calls

  • Cellular Abroad
    This is a commercial site for renting cell phones abroad. It can give you an idea of the rates and possibilities using GSM mobile phones and SIM cards.
  • How to Call Abroad: International Calling Guide
    Instructions on what country codes to use and how to call from the U.S. to another country, from another country to the U.S., or between two foreign countries. Also information on calling cellular numbers, foreign area codes and links to phone books.
  • Skype
    A free software program that allows users to make telephone calls over the Internet, including calls to and from foreign countries.
  • Slow Travel: Cell Phones in Europe
    Information on cell phone options for Americans and Canadians traveling to Europe.
  • Telestial
    A commercial site selling phones and sim cards for use abroad. Includes an article on "getting started".

Travel Gear / Traveling Light

Most of the sites below are commercial sites that want to sell you gear but they allow you to see what is available since much of this is not carried by regular department stores. Some of them also offer packing tips.

  • Eagle Creek
    Manufacturer of useful bags, suitcases, pack-it system, and travel accessories. Also includes travel tips such as The Art of the Carry-On or "How to Pack 50 lbs into a 20 lb Bag" and how to travel lighter.
    An online retailer of luggage and travel accessories from major manufacturers.
  • Ex Officio
    Travel and adventure clothing, such as climate control vented shirts; moisture wicking, fast-drying clothes that provide UV protection; stain-resistant and now even bug-repellant clothing.
    Eagle Creek travel gear, luggage, backpacks
  • The Luggage List
    Provides helpful luggage and travel bag resources and information.
    The art and science of travelling light, going pretty much anywhere, for an indefinite length of time, with no more than a single carry-on-sized bag.
  • Packing Light
    Find out how to pack a 22" Carry-on bag for weeks of easy, care-free travel; from Holloway Travel Outfitters, Sacramento, CA. Follow their 6 steps for packing a suitcase, and their 4 steps for packing a suit under "Video and Travel Tips".
  • Rick Steves' Europe: Travel Tips
    Includes a section on packing with a packing list for women and men.
  • TravelSmith
    At this "premier purveyor of performance travel gear" you can find, in addition to quality travel-resilient clothes, packing lists for a variety of travel scenarios.

Weather and Time

  • CNN Weather
    Includes world and US weather forecasts.
  • New York Times: Weather
    Input the name of a city (national or international) to add it to your list of favorites.
    NOAA's National Weather Service.
  • Weather Reports
    Gives the average temperature and precipitation for each month.
  • World Time Server
    Get the current time (and weather) of destinations around the world (useful when phoning or expecting an email response).