A new blog may be born every 7.4 minutes, according to search engine Technorati, but which travel blogs are actually worth reading?The best on-line travel diaries include a mix of tips, breaking news, and (of course) juicy personal tidbits. In the end, that's what reading someone else's journal is all about. Here, a few of our favorites.
BEST FEATURES Writing is superior: this is a highly literate collection of travel journals. Members are generally responsive, creating a "classic" blog community feel. Insiders in more than 100 countries are available to answer trip-planning questions.
CAVEAT No mapping function, and you must bookmark the site; postings take you outside it.
BEST FEATURES Written by Fodor's editors. Offers updated guidebook entries and news. Many useful links to other travel sites, including restaurant blogs, search engines, and in-flight mags.
CAVEAT Organized only by date. Search function scans the entire Fodor's site, not just the blogs.
BEST FEATURES One of the largest on-line travel communities (350,000 members and 4,000 destinations at last count). Entries are organized and searchable by destination, interest, member, or keyword. Won a Webby for best travel site.
CAVEAT Though editors post their picks, the huge number of member blogs makes it hard to sort through them.
BEST FEATURES Great for those seeking practical advice; newest entries are organized into categories—tip, discussion, and comment. Othersections include "off the beaten path," "warnings or dangers," and "members living here."
CAVEAT Ads on the site are nearly indistinguishable from content.
World Hum www.worldhum.com
BEST FEATURES More like an on-line travel magazine. Writers submit stories, which are then vetted by the editors. No "What I did on my summer vacation" reports. A comprehensive list of links to newspaper travel sections and travel bookstores.
CAVEAT No search function: stories are organized by date only.
BEST FEATURES Enjoyable mix of hostel-hopping backpackers and professionals taking a year off; good for people who like to live vicariously through those who actually hitchhike across Europe. Readers can post comments. No pop-ups.
CAVEAT Entries are rich in poetic asides, but look elsewhere for practical travel info.
BEST FEATURES Dispatches from bloggers in 192 countries are sortable by place, popularity, keywords, or newest post. Bloggers "pin" a map so you can follow their progress. Readers rate entries; TravelPod editors pick favorites, too.
CAVEAT Plenty of soap-boxing: "Not all who wander are lost."