More Travel Resources

Planes, trains and automobiles—mostly planes                                                                   (JMRL owns this DVD)

Booking a plane trip may be the most frustrating and time-consuming of all aspects of travel planning.  Most travelers start with the previous mentioned online travel resources—Orbitz, Travelocity, and Expedia.    Several websites emphasize airline travel:

Kayak.com—searches in real time and has a wide variety of customizable filters

CheapoAir.com

OneTravel.com

Airfare.com

Fly.com

Farecompare.com

Bing.com—has a price predictor which estimates if prices will go up or down

Hipmunk.com

InsideTrip.com

Enough???  After checking those websites, checking the airline’s website itself can offer other special deals.  And—before buying the ticket, visiting Airfarewatchdog.com or Yapta.com can sometimes uncover more and cheaper fares.

In general, flexibility in travel dates can offer some reasonable alternatives to the price game.  According to Peter Greenberg, Travel Editor for CBS News, the best day and time to buy tickets online is Wednesday morning at 12:01.  His website–petergreenberg.com has a ton of travel information and links.  JMRL owns his Don’t Go There! : The Travel Detective’s Essential Guide to the Must-Miss Places of the World.   According to Rick Seaney (founder and CEO of farecompare.com) the best day and time to buy tickets in Tuesday at 3pm.  The best day to fly is Wednesday, according to a quick look at Google.

Don’t forget train travel www.amtrak.com– delightful in its simplicity and lack of travel-planners angst.

Alternative ways to get places is the topic of Lunatic Express: Discovering the World…via Its Most Dangerous Buses, Boats, Trains, and Planes by Carl Hoffman.

After you’ve arrived, where will you stay?  Once again, hotel and room reservations websites abound.  In addition to Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, and Trip Advisorhotels.com is a standard.  Other fun sites are www.roomatlas.com which includes a map with a price overlay.  Getaroom.com, MoreHotels4Less, and oyster.com (great pictures!)

For bed and breakfasts:  http://www.bedandbreakfast.com/, http://www.bbonline.com/.

For good bargains and often good locations—Vacation Rentals by Owner http://www.vrbo.com/  – often has pictures and reviews of accommodations; several properties require a minimum number of nights.  Other websites offering similar features are rentalspot.com and home away.  Although craigslist does offer a section of vacation rentals, articles in newspapers recount fraud and warnings.

~ Joyce MacDonald

Travel Planning Resouces at JMRL

Where to go?

The world may be divided into 2 groups of travelers—those who like to plan trips and those who don’t.  I’m in the former category.  Planning is almost as much fun as the trip itself.

In keeping with JMRL’s adult summer reading program of Novel Destinations, this series of blogs will explore different aspects of travel:  planning, getting there, staying there, budgeting, etc.  Feel free to share your travel planning experiences and strategies.

JMRL has lots of travel books—Fodor’s, Frommer’s, Lonely Planet, Eyewitness Travel Guides, and others.  We also have access to magazine and newspaper articles by way of online databases like General OneFile and Proquest which includes newspapers such as New York Times and Washington Post which both have Sunday travel sections which are fun to browse.  JMRL subscribes to magazines themselves like Travel and Leisure, Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, National Geographic Traveler and Britain.

Tons of general websites help with travel planning:

Trip Advisor         http://www.tripadvisor.com/    Reviews and advice on hotels, resorts, flights, vacation rentals, travel packages, and lots more!

IgoUgo                   http://www.igougo.com/

Fastest growing online travel community in the world.

Lonely Planet        http://www.lonelyplanet.com/us

iwannagothere       http://iwannagothere.com/

After choosing a destination, then the planning begins—looking for a good deal.   Many start with the combo sites—Travelocity, Expedia, Priceline, Orbitz, Hotwire,  Gogobot (new) and the Frugal Travel Blog—to name a few.  Strategies abound and planners can spend (waste?) a lot of time comparison shopping.

In the following days, I will present other planning tools and thoughts—planning airline travel, booking accommodations, specialty travel and travel writing.

~ Joyce MacDonald

“You decide for yourself when it will hurt.” — Per Petterson (Out Stealing Horses)

Hey, join us for the BrownBagger book discussions every month, 3rd Thursday.  Call the Central Reference Department for more information: 434 979 7151 Extension 4 – You are missing the fun and cookies!!

Per Petterson’s “Out Stealing Horses,” not surprisingly, generated some good discussion among the BrownBaggers today.  As the opening title for JMRL’s Adult Summer Reading program themed “Novel Destinations,” it certainly started us off looking at another culture and place, those of Norway, the author’s home.  It was universally liked by the group who found the gentle, methodical style enticing; not “slow, boring, incoherent, melancholy, and tedious” as one Amazon reader blogged.

The writer fairly successfully weaves 2 stories at once, one of the adolescent narrator and then of this narrator in his later life – both eras find him in Norway’s isolating forest living like a woodsman and near the Swedish border; both of which play into the books plotline.  Following the narrator’s life right after World War II until 2000, we see a quiet story unfold with sudden and startling events interspersed that define the narrator and the other characters.

In a succinct statement on the author’s writing, John Baker on his blog of the same name says: “Per Petterson is concerned with suffering and death and with the way that seemingly innocuous events in a young life become magnified and iconic in the adult. In a languorous and yet understated prose he examines the minutia of everyday events …”

We also discussed briefly the translator’s role in understanding the writer’s intent and writing style.  This discussion will surely play in when we discuss next month’s selection, “One Hundred Years of Solitude.”  Something is surely lost in any translation so how does the writer or publisher minimize the loss.  What are your thoughts here?

The book’s end brought about the most discussion, but of course, we don’t want to ruin the read for future readers by revealing the discussion points.  You will have to read this rich, lovely book to discover what lies between its covers.

Other books by Per Petterson:

I Curse the River of Time

In the Wake

To Siberia

~ The Reluctant Blogger