I have added a regular feature to Satisfying Retirement. On the second and forth Friday of each month you will find a link post. This type of post is a collection of links to specific articles on other blogs or web sites that I hope you will find helpful or useful. Each time the focus of the links will be on one of the major concerns for most of us: health or health care, relationships, finances and financial planning, creativity and leisure, travel, simple living, and retirement transitioning.
Two weeks ago the links related to retirement financial planning. If you missed it, you'll find it listed below under Related Posts. We are one month into what has been a rough winter for many. Spring still seems a lifetime away. Even here in the desert southwest we've had a wet and cold season that can't end soon enough for me. So, this link post concentrates on great sites to help you plan a trip or vacation. Just thinking about a getaway can make the winter blahs more bearable.
Here are links to sites designed to ignite your travel bug, to get you ready to plan and pack, and hit the road, airport, boat dock, or hiking trail. I have avoided listing the common, big names like Expedia or Priceline. Instead these are sites you've probably never heard of. Either I have personal experience with the site or it looked interesting enough to list.
I have not included any site that requires you to register or leave an e-mail address. Also not on the list are sites overwhelmed with pop up ads and other distractions. Fordor's has more ads than any other site, but the information is worth the minor inconveniences of closing the pop ups.
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ The best part of this site is the section of reviews written by travelers. There are links for booking all parts of your travel and a tab for ideas on where to go, but the feedback from people is the reason I have used this site several times. I have found the reviews accurate and very helpful.
http://www.bootsnall.com/ A full-featured site with a focus on independent travel. If you prefer to not travel as part of a group, check this one out.
http://www.planetware.com/ This site specializes in foreign travel information. While the U.S. and Canada are included, I'd come here if South America, Asia, or Europe interested me. There is a great collection of photos and detailed walking and hiking information.
http://realtravel.com/ This site specializes in reviews from social media-active travelers. Information comes from Facebook and other sources. The reviews appear to be helpful in making a decision.
http://www.licketytrip.com/ This is a place to go if you decide on a vacation or trip at the last minute. It lists availabilities all over the world for the next two weeks.
http://www.fodors.com/ My biggest complaint is with the number of pop up advertisements. At times it becomes a real challenge to navigate from page to page. If you can stand the interruptions, Fodor's is the gold standard of travel and lodging information.
http://wejustgotback.com/ Another site with an annoying number of ads. The focus is on travel with kids. For most of us, that would probably make this site better if you were taking a trip with grandkids. But, the information appears solid.
Senior Friendly Vacations For balance, here's a link to several different sites that specialize in senior-oriented travel and services.
http://www.roadtripamerica.com/ This one really caught my eye. It features routes, planning, and ideas for a road trip anywhere in North America. There are interactive maps and enough information to keep you motoring for weeks.
Iglu cruises - Family cruises A site that offers information on cruises anywhere in the world. This would be a great place to start if you are ready to experience the joys of cruising from family friendly operators.
I stumbled across many other fascinating travel and vacation-oriented sites that I will detail in the next semi-monthly link posting that is dedicated to travel.
If you have a personal favorite, please let us know. If you know of a site that we should steer clear of, that would be very helpful, too. There are so many good (and bad) resources in the Internet it takes all of us to find the best.
On January 28th I can do a link post on one of two subject: simple living and frugality, or relationship strengthening. Which one would you rather see next? I will cover both in the weeks ahead, but what would you, dear reader, prefer I tackle in two weeks?
Leave comment about the above post and/or vote for what should be next. The majority wins!