Our traveler Susan wants to make it easy for you to get around once you get there — so here you’ll find her favorite websites for Cars, Maps and Trains …xxx
My last few posts focused on travel websites that assist you in pre-trip planning, getting there and finding those special places to stay. Here you’ll find websites to help you get around once you get to your destination — specifically cars, maps and also trains:
â€¢ autoeurope.com: Offers the best deals (using mainstream companies like Hertz, Avis, etc.) in Europe and Mexico; rates in U.S. dollars; often flexible terms for changes once en-route; and someone you can call collect in U.S. 24/7.
â€¢ googlemaps.com: Great for routing suggestions and point-to-point driving instructions (or help in directing your taxi driver to that hard to find restaurant).
â€¢ viamichelin.com: Map information, routing and directions for driving, mainly in Europe, but also the U.S., and some exotic destinations in Asia and Africa.
â€¢ superfuture.com: As their site says, it is “urban cartography for global shopping experts.” Maps of cities worldwide are divided into local areas which show the hip stores located there, along with other establishments of note. A necessity for power shoppers and fun for everyone else. There are links to TabletHotels on the maps.
â€¢ raileurope.com and eurostar.com will provide you information on train routes, timetables, etc. for all over Europe. However, don’t forget to check out sites for specific countries — often there is more information on within-country rail travel on these sites. Following are a few examples, and you can easily find others by entering “country name + trains” in the Google search box:
â€¢ bahn.de for train information in Germany, trenitialia.com for train information in Italy, sncf.com for train information in France. Some sites have English versions, others not, but they are usually not too hard to figure out.
â€¢ orientexpress.com, mentioned in my previous post, covers luxury train travel worldwide.
TIP: If you’re working with a travel agent, he/she can often purchase tickets in advance for you and will certainly be able to give you timetable information as well. If advance ticketing in the U.S. is not possible, I usually ask the hotel I’m departing from to obtain the tickets for me. (You usually have to pay them in cash for the tickets upon arrival.) Although many websites now allow online booking, they are not all setup to take American credit cards, and the transaction will not always go through.
As always, we we’d love to hear from you at snoety — tell us where your travels have taken you and how you got there and around!