Compiled by Alex Fruin, posted Sept. 23, 2010
1. Globespotters: Compiled by the editors of The New York Times’ travel section, Globespotters is the perfect blog for anyone with the travel bug. Since it is written by some of the nation’s lead journalists, it’s a great resource for anyone who wants to pursue a career in travel or international journalism. In addition to personal blog postings from reporters across the world, the site also has a “Featured Destinations” page that provides readers with suggestions for interesting sites to visit across the world.
2. Global Post: For anyone with an interest in international journalism, Global Post is one of the most valuable resources you can know about. Global Post provides an outlet for freelance reporters stationed all over the world to find a place to connect not only with one another—but with media corporations who are no longer able to finance bureaus in different cities. Television networks and newspapers based in the United States have frequently relied on the reporters linked to this site to find someone to cover an emergency or other event if they cannot send a reporter in time.
3. Lonely Planet: Most people interested in travel already know about the many travel guides Lonely Planet publishes each year. While these are a valuable resource, the company’s website is an even more valuable since it contains not only the information from the books, but also daily blog posts and travel tips that even the most traveled of reporters can certainly learn from!
4. United States government travel: While the United States’ government site is certainly not nearly as interesting as the rest, it’s a crucial important resource for a journalist traveling abroad. The site is constantly updated with the newest alerts from the state department which is especially important for any journalist covering any type of emergency situation. Also on this site, journalists can find many of the forms they made need when filing for a visa for a foreign nation.
5. National Geographic Traveler: Whether you’re attempting to make the long trip home from Miami a bit more exciting or you’re planning a backpacking trip through Southeast Asia, National Geographic Traveler has tips and ideas for you. Most journalists interested in world affairs may already be fans of the company’s main publication, but I tend to prefer this newer and less well-known branch of the site. It is here that you can find hundreds of tips for exploration and resources from some of the world’s most experienced travelers.
6. Yelp: While Yelp is only in a handful of cities abroad, its impact is quickly spreading across the United States. Before joining the website, I found it to be the most reliable website when searching for real opinions on restaurants, hotels, and other places to visit while traveling. After becoming a member of the site, I have realized even more how valuable of a resource it is when traveling to a new city; through using the “Talk” section, you can converse with other “Yelpers” who know the city you’re traveling to very well and can help you to plan your trip to the full extent.
7. Dog Meets World: Dog Meets World is a new website discovery of mine, but I find that it will be a very great program for the next time I travel abroad. DMW is a nonprofit organization that provides children in developing nations with a photo of themselves, something many of the children have never even seen before. The mission of the organization is to promote “photo diplomacy” allowing very different cultures to mesh in a peaceful way.
8. Google Earth: While I have been using Google Earth for years, it wasn’t until I researched the site in great detail for class a few weeks ago that I realized how amazing this subset of Google really is—especially for a journalist. When researching a location for a story, Google Earth can be an extremely valuable resource because it allows you to search an exact address and see a satellite image of it so that you know what you’re looking at before you even arrive. It’s also a great tool for those of us who cannot travel worldwide, but would like to see the world firsthand—even from the comfort of our living rooms.
9. STA Travel: One of the many reasons traveling abroad or even within the United States is so difficult for college students is because of high travel expenses. I have been able to travel across the country and even to Canada with tickets as cheap as 50 percent of the prices that are found on other discount travel websites. STA Travel caters to providing students and teachers with discounts for flights, tours, and hotels, but also has many other helpful sources for the traveler in all of us, such as ideas for ways to work abroad.
10. CIA World Factbook: I have already written a blog entry about the World Factbook, but I really cannot reiterate enough how important of a resource this government site can be for journalists. The many features of the website include the information for American embassies in each country, something very valuable to any journalist who may find him or herself in need of aid while covering a story.
11. MobileMe: I never realized how valuable having a MobileMe account was for travelers until interning this summer. The producers for the show I worked for were able to manage their email accounts, personal calendars, and more as well as being able to upload their interviews to their personal sites for me to transcribe before they even stepped foot in the office. As the journalism industry becomes increasingly reliant on the internet, having an account on MobileMe will certainly make organization a bit easier.
12. Glimpse: Glimpse is an organization I discovered shortly before I traveled abroad. This site is great for anyone who plans to study in a foreign country or who has done so in the past. There are options for how you can narrow your searches; you can choose to read about a certain country or a certain topic, or you can submit your own blog to be featured. The website offers a great competition each year for a few young travelers to serve as correspondents for the site; in return, the site provides the winners with a stipend to assist in their travel expenses.