We care about your HEALTH:
For those of you with a series of germ-phobias this is the site for you! All the official USG travel health information you could possibly want from the Centers for Disease Control. Or for you folks that prefer the private sector, check out Travel Health Online. And for those that want a real Big Picture understanding of potential global bugs, there's always the World Health Organization.
No matter where you go you have to do official PAPERWORK:
First you'll need an official passport, so contact the U.S. State Department. You may need a visa to enter a country, so you better check out the place you want to visit at Embassy World for their complete directory. Whether you purchase tacky tourist trophies, priceless objects de art, jewelry, or household goods, you better check with the U.S. Customs to see if it's legal to bring your stuff back into the country.
What could be more important than your SAFETY:
Politics aside, it's always best to check out a few sites to see who's protesting, planning coups & counter coups, torturing their citizens or raping Mother Earth, etc. The first place to research and get the official party line is at the US State Department's travel advisory reports. The sun may have set on the British Empire, but they still have great spies everywhere and their Foreign & Consular Office offers great travel-related advice. Canadians are friends with everyone and they're honest, check out their Foreign Ministers Report. And of course the Australians have a great information service too! If you trust the French, their Foreign Legions have great intell at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Finally, for a completely unbiased source of where the international danger spots are and how to protect yourself, see the Kroll Associates site and the Overseas Security Advisory Council. Remember, governments will continue to disagree,
but people are people everywhere!
They spend $45 billion-a-year of your hard earned tax money, so make them prove their worth and check out the CIA's World Fact Book. You can get travel brochures e-mailed directly to you from just about everywhere now, so click to the Tourism Offices Worldwide Directory and pick your destination. Or visit the more Chamber of Commerce-like Official Travel Sites.
Three sites that we really like that may help you put together a thoughtful travel adventure are UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites. The highly informative Human Rights Watch, and the equally important Amnesty International site.
Other fun and HELPFUL SITES:
Want to know what time it is anywhere in the world, check out The World Clock.
Need to know International Dialing Codes?
Eliminate those nasty cultural faux pas by knowing what's acceptable and what's not before you go at Culture Online.
Find out how far it really is from here to there at How Far Is It?
Want to stay connected on the road, Internet cafes are all the rage from Timbuktu to
Learn to say "bottoms up" in 70 languages at the Travel Translator.
Find out just the facts from Country Watch. Typhoon season? Beach weather or ski season? Find out for yourself at either the Weather Channel, World Climate or Earth Watch.
Need to change money or want to know the name of the money you'll be using?
Among the best is Full Universal Currency Converter or The Currency Converter to help you do the math without an advanced degree or calculator.
ARRIVING & DEPARTING:
Check out the airport's services, food and other travel info at the terminals before you arrive, by visiting Airports.
Know all about the airline you're flying on after visiting with Landings.
Maybe the best site of it's kind that allows you instant maps to all the world's mass transit systems is at Subways Navigator. Another great site will get you from many airports to the downtown metro areas the quickest and cheapest at Getting Downtown
We love maps and there are a lot of great map sites out there in cyberspace. Here's a few that we really like: Interactive Atlas or the old commercial standards like: Rand McNally, National Geographic and World Atlas
Finally you're on your way...now for the PACKING:
For what to take, what to take it in and how to pack it, see The Complete Carry-On Traveler. And for how to make the best of your electronics stuff on the road anywhere, check out the World Electronic Guide.
Anything we missed? Please let us know at:
Comments [at] worldsgreatesttravelers.com