Ah, the age of information… nowadays folks are binging on information, yet starving for knowledge. Rather than wade through countless websites in search of solid advice, I’ve done the leg work for you by compiling the best free international travel guides out there today. The format of online guides differ from their tangible counterparts; where a book must include information you need before and during your trip, online travel guides provide the ability to get exactly what you need, when you need it.Several times I have used an online guide book, and merely printed (or jotted down in my notebook) the most important info for the next few days. Here’s my list of the best free international travel guides:Travelfish.org. There is no single source for travelers to Southeast Asia better than Travelfish. Loaded with easy to navigate information on the entire region, including Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Singapore, Travelfish covers all the travelers’ needs. The forum is really well done, and you can expect a high level experience from those who respond to your questions. Most of the information is free, and they do offer e-guides for each country at roughly $5 (a true bargain).Lonley Planet’s Thorn Tree Forum. Very much like the forum on Travelfish, but with global coverage. I’m a firm believer that guide books are generally outdated by the time they hit the press, and it’s important to get from the road advice from someone who is there. Visa requirements change, roads are closed, violence happens…don’t get caught unprepared. Forums also provides advice you’ll never find in a guidebook, either: the need for bribes, history of violence, etc. These are important considerations in the real world that most publications (and governments) tend to gloss over.Lonley Planet. Though they haven’t implemented it, LP has come up with the brilliant notion of offering a “pay as you go” program where you can choose portions of a guide book and pay for that part only. Keep an eye out on their website for the release date.Bootsnall.com There are many international travel guides available on this site, and one could spend a lifetime searching through their network. A really good network for travelers, with independent travel blogs for a more personal approach.These three are far and away the best online source for free international travel guides, and I suggest you research your destination with these both prior to and during your trip.
When you think of all-inclusive travel to Rome, what do you think of? Do you think of the history, the Forum, the Coliseum and the great Gods of Rome? Do you think of the religion, the Christians that were once sacrificed to the lions, but who now lead the world from The Vatican City: the smallest independent country in the world? Do you think of the Eternal City, the city to which all roads are said to lead, a term that harks back to the Roman Empire when that was a fact?In fact you should be thinking of all of these and more. Rome is all of these but also a modern cosmopolitan city with everything that a great city has to offer the tourist and the adventurer. Rome is one of the best known cities in the world, yet also one of the least known. If you visit Rome, what do you want from it: do you want to see only what the tourists see or do you want to see it all – or as much as you can pack into the time available to you?All inclusive international travel to Rome offers you the history of Rome, the Vatican and the Cistine Chapel, painted by the Italian genius Michelangelo, and other rooms with works displaying the works of the grand masters of painting and sculpture. If art is your thing you should visit the Galleria Borghese, with works by Rubens, Caravaggio and Bernini. Or visit the piazzas and fountains, including the most famous of them all, the Fountain of Trevi. Then why not do as the Romans do, and shop for clothes in the wonderful boutiques, eat in the very best Italian restaurants and then just stroll around the city.Only a vacation package offering all-inclusive international travel to Rome could provide you with all of this, making sure that you miss nothing. Let’s face it, you don’t visit Rome every year, so when you do, you want to get the best flavor of the city: not just the touristy historical venues, but also the real Rome – the Rome of the Romans. But there is more than just that which you want in a dream holiday of a lifetime.Your air travel should be at least business class, offering you the opportunity to stretch out when you need to and receive the best service on board. If you want to use your own air miles for your vacation to Rome you should be able to do so and get that taken from the price: a land only price should be available.Your accommodation should be good while not necessarily luxurious, since many vacation destinations have no luxury hotels – in fact no hotels at all! However, Rome has many, and all-inclusive international travel to Rome should include hotels that have been hand-picked for their comfort and tradition. You don’t want a plastic hotel with no Mediterranean charm, but neither do you want sub-standard accommodation and service. You want the best that Real Rome can offer.Any all-inclusive deal should include your meals, and you should expect good food to suit a wide variety of tastes, but that also reflects the character of Rome. Roman cuisine is amongst the best in the entire world, and is more than just pasta and pizzas, Michelin standard included!Rome is a wonderful city, but you need the services of a top-class guide to enable you to make the most of your visit. Without that you would likely see the sights without understanding their history or understand how the architecture of Rome has changed as the city expanded both before and after the end of the Roman Empire, at one time the largest Empire taken and controlled by military force in the whole of the world’s history.If you are considering a vacation that includes all-inclusive international travel to Rome, you should take each of these factors into consideration, and carefully check out what is being offered in your vacation. You should have a look at the trips and tours included in the various packages, and what degree of flexibility there is, not only in travel dates, but also in excursion times and dates, and in meal times.You might want to skip a meal or an organized trip in order to do something else, such as have an afternoon in the pool or visit one of the ancient ruins outside Rome. You should be able to do so without missing out. You should also make sure that train travel is First Class where available, and that you get free time to roam around the city by yourself.So, if you are considering all-inclusive international travel to Rome, make sure you have list of your needs ready when you book, and also of a ‘good to have’ list; make sure that you get all of your ‘musts’ and as many of your ‘good to haves’ as possible. That way you will find your ideal luxury international travel company for Rome or any other destination in the world.