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Great Travel Links for 12.24.2007

To kick off your Christmas Web surfing, here is this week’s roundup of great travel links and tips.  I’ll be back to regular posting on Thursday, December 27th. 

Happy Holidays from around the world!

**  Holiday goodies: a fabulous neighborhood in Baltimore that goes all-out on holiday lighting and decorations,  hilarious tips on making holiday travel a little less horrid, a trip to the real little town of Bethlehem (I visited a few years back and it was pretty awe-inspiring) and enjoying a Presidential Christmas at Monticello or Mount Vernon.

**  If you haven’t already, get those passports for you and your family. Starting in January 2008 and then again later in the summer, you’re going to need one to cross the US border in just about any capacity.  Maybe the magic of that first meal on an airplane will help with all of these hassles.

**  Those who live on or travel to the US West Coast might like these National Geographic Traveler articles on free things to do in Seattle and a destination guide to sunny San Diego.

**  Looking for some new family travel ideas?  How about a Nebraska farmstay (agri-tourism takes families to farms) or off-season stays in our national parks or Jaipur, India or some volunteer work to help Gulf Coast families hit by Katrina?  The “4-Hour Workweek” time management guru Tim Ferriss steps in with how to take off and travel the world with (or even without) kids in 2008. 

**  Traveling to France any time soon?  This frugal expat Mom has tips on finding cheap theater, opera or dance tickets, and if you miss the grand Parisian storefront windows at Christmas, they’re still pretty great during the rest of the year.

**  More items from Europe:  Her Majesty the Queen joins YouTube with The Royal Channel, and the unusual story of the Dutch December tradition of Sinterklaas rather than Santa Claus (complete with a guy in blackface named Zwarte Piet/Black Pete, which makes the Americans pretty uncomfortable. The Dutch don’t view blackface in the same way that we do.)

**  The Chicago Tribune carried a helpful article about how family travel can give us quality time with our kids.  Speaking of Chicago; there’s a downloadable audio tour for the city’s magnificent Field Museum.

**  TravelPost does a “knowledge drop” from one experienced Mom’s head about travel with kids, and another parent wisely reminds us to make use of the airport hotel before a long/crazy trip.  For your flight and hotel searches, you should know that travel search engines Kayak and Sidestep are going to merge.

**  Finally, just because my own husband is so terrific and doesn’t get enough recognition, here are the 10 most influential Dads in the blogosphere according to my colleague Wendy Piersall of the Internet home business blog eMoms at Home.

Hope Santa is good to you and yours. 🙂