Thursday, October 10

discover [travel resources]

I travel a good deal for my job, about three trips a month, some lasting the full work week. I like to get out of town on my weekends if I have it my way, too, which means I spend some serious time in foreign places. I wanted to share some of my favorite resources for discovering what to do in a new city, or what to do as you get there.

The Design*Sponge city guides are truly excellent in that they are very true to the blog's brand: if you like D*S, you'll love their guides. They tend to gravitate towards where to eat, what neighborhoods are fun to explore, where the cool art and design stores and galleries are, that sort of thing. Their guides won't direct you to the latest techno club, but they are written by creative souls that live in the actual city, and they do updates periodically, especially for the heavy hitters (New York, Chicago, etc). Heading abroad? They've got that too, so you can save yourself hours of trolling TripAdvisor. I've only been in Durham a month, and I have honestly heard about 90% of the restaurants, businesses, theaters, and local flavor that they highlight.

Brightleaf Square, super cute Durham neighborhood where I work
The Scout Guide is pretty similar, but maybe a bit more varied in the highlights they include. Again, the focus is on having locals really give you the low down on visiting a new town (their tagline is "scouting the best of local"). They have 25+ city guides (with more concentration in the south), a frequent blog, features, and more. They really target local businesses, so if you need something specific or know what you're looking for, it's a great place to start. Each city has an editor, a guide, a directory, and a blog. Check 'em out.

I've told y'all about Roadtrippers before, but it really is a cool system. Use their google-map-esque function to find attractions along your route, from your basic diner to your esoteric giant spool of thread.

PureWow has a general "national" email subscription that I adore, but they also do a few major cities (NY, Chicago, Dallas, San Fran, etc). I follow the cities that I travel to frequently, and can keep up on some really cool stuff- for example, an author I love is having a reading in Chicago this week.

The more practical travel info: I use (keep an eye out for great sales and free cancellation), Marriott (call customer service to find out how you can accelerate your gold membership status, it is SO worth it), National (easiest service through which to earn free day rentals), and try to fly the same airline consistently (right now that's Southwest and US Airways, based on my work regions).

Travel safe, friends.

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