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Great Travel Links for 03.03.2008

The wonderful insanity that is Austin’s South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) tech conference starts at the end of this week, so I hope I can keep posting as my schedule begins squeezing my head….

** Smarter Travel has a good overview of where to start your travel destination research using tourism offices (and you know I’m all about research!) then you can take all that and have fun mashing it up on Google Earth or plan your 8 family-friendly spring flings.

** The UK’s Times Online recommended Great Little Adventures (“child-friendly hotels, restaurants and activities in England;” registration required to access most info) in its monthly list of noteworthy travel Web sites. While we’re thinking of England, a hot musician gives his Insider’s Guide to London in the UK’s Guardian.

** You can fly across the English Channel, or take the Eurostar train, but apparently the old-fashioned way is regaining popularity: are we falling back in love with ferries? What better way to see the White Cliffs of Dover?

** No particular reason and nothing to do with travel, but I feel compelled to ensure that you can preemptively save Christmas gift-giving insanity by starting now — another great idea from the organizational Web site 43 Folders.

** If you’re planning a trip to Europe, I found the top 5 places to go in Greece and the 15 best campsites in France. Whatever you do, here’s how (not) to get an infant’s US passport in 27 easy steps and you may discover that US credit cards cause some problems in Europe.

** Aw, just really go all out and look into the best trips in North Africa, or beat the crowds to Panama.

** One author at Canada’s Globe and Mail says forget it; leave the kids at home. I could not disagree more, obviously. Sure, sometimes it stinks having the kids in tow, and some trips are, well, a trip too far, but in my experience the good far outweighs any bad.

** Travel goodies in the US: maple sugaring in Pickens, West Virginia, the nice beaches in Alabama are ready for your visit, dolphin encounters at the Baltimore aquarium, winter discounts abound at Boston and Chicago hotels and the best activities for kids in Denver, Colorado.

** We’ll see more and more travel stories about China as the 2008 Summer Olympics approach; if your teens are on the Internet all the time, they’ll learn some interesting stuff in this Mashable article about the Great Firewall of China. Parental controls should come from parents, not the government.

** Not enough family travel blogs in your life? The BootsnAll Traveling With Children forum has a thread going that highlights gobs of these blogs, including a lot featuring families on an RTW (Round the World trip.)

** Finally, thank you to the Carnival of Personal Finance #141 for featuring the FT video post on inexpensive travel souvenirs, plus many others about funding the college years, and a great post from my Freelance Austin colleague Kay Bell on her blog Don’t Mess With Taxes. It’s about how she helped her Mom file a tax return. Additionally, the FT post about visiting the home of Curious George was featured in the Carnival of Cities hosted by GrrlScientist on her blog Living the Scientific Life.

Thank you!