Nail down the details with a travel tool kit


September 25, 2005|By Knight Ridder / Tribune

No time to assemble the contents for your own travel tool kit? You can get one ready-made.

Travel tool kits -- "a collection of approved products, services and information resources to prepare you for travel anywhere in the world," as the Web site explains it -- are handy to have.

The suggestions below might not have all the contents you may want, but they represent a basic, good starter set for you to build on.

Many such sites exist, and while we highly recommend a customized toolbox -- no one knows your travel choices better than you do -- visit these sites to see if they'll do the trick, at least for now. / before

Public Radio's Savvy Traveler offers a ready-made toolbox with one of the most complete listings of tools on any single Web site. Virtually everything from travel guides to Web sites for U.S. embassies is here, and if you don't want to assemble your own kit, this is among the best you'll get. / traveler / toolbox .html

Another fine toolbox, already constructed, comes from National Geographic, with a wealth of sites ranging from general information to travel newsgroups you may want to look in on. It's well laid out. / traveltoolkit

If it's air travel information you mostly seek, here's a good all-in-one site for flight tracking, airport delay data, weather, airport terminal maps, and international calling codes. (click on "Travel Toolbox")

It has an ATM locator, currency converter, travel warnings and advisories, online guidebooks, passport and visa information -- and a site just for kids that is essentially for teachers, promising young ones more than it delivers without official registration. (click on "travel toolbox")

On the list at the left-hand side, you'll find links for maps, currency, time zones, weather, country and health facts, passports and visas, phone codes and a translator. / May-99 / brentcol.html

This ready-made toolbox lists and describes plenty of sites about weather, restaurants, money, health and the like, but without links. You'll need to copy the address of a site to your browser to call it up. / toolbox.htm

The Association for Safe International Road Travel offers an unusual toolbox based on safety, with travel cautions and road-safety reports.

A ton of sites, clickable along the left-hand side, lead you to many travel subjects, including those you won't find on many sites: newspaper travel sections, travel magazines, and all the major organizations representing travel agents.

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