Travel Information By Country

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

New posts on my main site

I have started to add city information pages to via.us.com (under articles). The first on Chisinau, Moldova. The second article on what to do in Sydney (view it by water) has been added to via.us.com. It also includes Sydney weather forecast, map etc plus links to other sites with useful information on Sydney.  Next article will probably be on cities/ports from which cruise ships operate.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Travel Tools Page to research your trip

Inblighty.com have created a travel tools dashboard providing a huge range of  tools for independent and business travellers, backpackers and those on gap year or career break trips.  You can now conduct much of your travel planning and research from one page:
  • Travel advice, vaccination and malaria information, by country. Travel related feeds from USA, UK, Australian & Canadian Governments + UK Civil Aviation Authority passenger news (covers issues affecting holidays like volcanic ash & ATOL).
  • Weather forecast, currency converter, world time difference calculator, Embassy locator tools.
  • International Dialing Code tool that also tells you the international dialling prefix for the country you are telephoning from.
  • Two flight airfare price comparison engines selected to complement each other. Both search over 600 airlines and major agents like Opodo and Ebookers. One includes 100 low cost budget airlines many excluded by other search sites because they don’t pay commission. Its search routines are very good at identifying connecting flights for a cheaper airfare, and it is good for single tickets.  The other provides greater search flexibility on dates and covers more agents/booking sites.
  • An hotel price comparison engine that searches 33 major booking sites (e.g. Hotels.com, LateRooms, Expedia, Priceline,) and hotel chains.
  • Car Hire, and Travel Insurance price comparison (UK residents only – US and international versions to be added shortly).
  • Direct links to the relevant pages on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk for your country travel guides, maps and phrasebooks.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Blogger Travel Gadget tweeted by UK Foreign Office

I'm delighted to say our travel advice by country widget has been tweeted by the UK Foreign Office, and that Directgov Innovate are listing it.

Unfortunately, as discussed in this Blogger Developer forum post: currently no new gadgets are being added to the Blogger Gadget directory, so you cannot select it from the Blogger directory.  Our original post explains how to add the gadget to your site.  Some widget developers suggest the following method (no need to cut and paste the gadget URL) which you may, or may not, find easier:
  • Ensure you are logged on to your Blogger/Blogspot website;
  • Click THIS LINK (it opens Blogger's gadget installer with our gadget in "preview" mode)
  • Customise the widget (see 3 examples on this page). Note the default colors should match your site style, so we suggest you don't enter anything in the color boxes at this stage.
  • Click "Save" (this places the new widget in the primary sidebar of your site)
  • Leave the gadget where it is, or drag it to the gadget column and position of your choice.
  • Click Preview to see how the gadget will be displayed on your page.
  • If necessary, fine tune the look of the gadget (click the "edit" or "screwdriver and spanner" button next to it) to alter width, height, colors and justification etc.
If you are using it let us know via the comments here, and like SpecialBaggage.Com we may include your site, as an example, with a dofollow link here and on our main site. If you've tried it out and decided not to use then post some constructive comments, and we may change it.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Flight Prices - some general tips

If you are using a flight search engine to find an airfare, the following "rules of thumb" may help you identify the cheapest flights:
  • Early morning/late night flights will often cost you less (don't exclude these from your search).
  • Enter dates for cheap days of the week. Tuesdays and Wednesdays tend to be cheapest. I’ve also been advised that Saturdays can be cheap.
  • Be flexible with your airports, it may be cheaper to fly from a neighbouring airport, rather than your first choice.  Ideally, the site you use should at least have the option to include all airports for a major city, such as New York, in your search.
  • Carrier pricing policy usually means that booking early is cheaper than booking late.   It is now very difficult to get a late booking bargain on a scheduled flight. 
  • However, if you are flexible on where and when you travel, you can still bag a bargain booking late. More in my next  post.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Feedback on Travel Advice Widget - dofollow link on offer!!!

Hopefully you will like the  Travel Information Widget offered in my earlier post as much as I do.  If you decide to install it, please let me know. I may include you as an example site with a "dofollow" link.

Friday, 17 September 2010

A bit about me:

I've noticed I've written 2 entries, but nothing about me, and this is supposed to a personal blog!

I'm very old, divorced, and brought my son up as a lone parent :



I have worked in IT most of my life. Enjoy independent travel, including taking a year career break, when despite being "old" I stayed in hostels.  My favourite destinations are:

  • Spectacular scenery: Golden Circle, Iceland (preferred their ice laden falls to Niagara)

  • Historic monuments: Pyramids, Egypt

  • Club: The Cross.  A little bit "counter culture and grungy" full of weird Heath Robinson type art.  Away from the tourist traps of  Prague, near Holesovice Railway Station.  I went in 2005, the few foreigners who went then, were like me, staying at a near-by hostel.  There are now hundreds of entries for it on Google, hopefully it hasn't lost its character.

  • Culture - Turkey, among the most friendly people I've met, and lots of East/West history, and if you go  you have to visit Istanbul.