Best of BootsnAll’s WhyGo Travel Guides: 2011

BootsnAll readers know where to look for new travel articles – on our homepage we feature the latest pieces, with new articles going up each day – but did you know we also have a host of destination-specific online travel guides that are crammed with practical information travelers need and inspiration armchair travelers want?

These sites are ideal if you’re planning a trip to one of the destinations, but some of the articles posted on these niche sites are fun and interesting even if you’re just in need of a brief mental vacation from your desk. With that in mind, here are (in no particular order) some of the best articles from our WhyGo family of sites from 2011 – and catch up on the best WhyGo articles from 2010 if you want even more reading material!

Jump to each individual site’s list via these links, or sit back with a cup of something steamy and enjoy the whole list!

Amsterdam | Australia | Canada | Chicago | France | Greece | Hawaii | Iceland | Italy | Las Vegas | London | Paris | Portland, Oregon | Spain | Thailand | Travel Gear | Business Travel


France

  • France: A Country For All Seasons – While summer remains the most popular time to visit France in terms of sheer tourist volume, there are great reasons to visit year-round – including some French destinations you might not expect to be fabulous in, say, January.
  • What to Eat in France – Part of what makes this article worth bookmarking is the list of things you should try once, even if you think you hate them. Part of it is the “golden rules” of eating in France, which will go a long way toward helping you understand why people talk in rapturous tones about the French lifestyle.
  • Drinking in France – You’ve gotta have a glass of something deliciously French to go along with all that glorious food, so you might as well sit down for a session of Philosophy of French Drinking 101 before you go.
  • Things You Should Know About the French Riviera – 300 days of sunshine a year? Warm days, even in winter? Yeah, that was definitely news.
  • 3 Omaha Beach Itineraries – Whether you’re looking for a day trip option from Paris or a slower-paced weekend getaway to take in the sights, this article has everything you need to know about visiting the Omaha Beaches (plus other Normandy destinations).


Italy

  • How to Budget for an Italy Trip – Budget questions for any trip are common, and especially so when the destination is notoriously expensive (like Italy). There’s no easy answer for how much an Italy trip will cost, but this article goes through all the variables you’ll need to consider to come up with a good figure for your own travels. (Then use the tips in the Italy on a Budget article to see where you can save money on your trip.)
  • Italy Roundtable: Why I Write About Italy – 2011 marked the start of a monthly blogging partnership between five Italy writers, including WhyGo Italy, who choose a common topic and present their unique take on it each month. This article kicked off the “Italy Blogging Roundtable” in May.
  • DOs and DON’Ts in Italy – Rather than doling out a specific list of things you must or must not do during an Italy trip, this article offers overall suggestions to make your trip (and the planning of that trip) more meaningful. It’s about taking control of your travels, and being confident about doing so.
  • Special Diets, Food Allergies & Italy Travel: What You Need to Know – Italy is often described as a food-lover’s dream vacation spot. But what if you’ve got diet requirements that don’t give you carte blanche to try whatever you like? Here’s how to get through Italy without starving yourself or getting sick.
  • Italy Packing List – Not sure what to pack for your Italy vacation? This article has suggestions for things you should always bring, and then seasonal lists that are more weather-dependent.


Portland

  • 87 Reasons to Love Fall in Portland – Portland isn’t known for its spectacular weather, but those who live in the city know there are plenty of reasons to love it (even when the sun is playing hide-and-seek). Yes, many of them are food-related.
  • 10 Things To Taste in Portland – Speaking of food, here are 10 suggestions for things you should try when you’re in the Rose City, including coffee, drinking vinegar, udon, and a veggie bacon cheeseburger.
  • Where to Stay in Portland for Under $115 {& Like It} – If you’re not the hostel sort, Portland has its share of extremely cool hotels that won’t break your budget – you’ll have plenty of cash leftover for a Powell’s shopping spree.
  • DIY Oregon Bike Wine Tours: 3 Fun Routes – To explore the Willamette Valley wine country on a day trip from Portland is fun, but to spend a weekend biking through wine country is even better. Here are three bike tour options, depending on how you feel about your ratio of biking to wine tasting.
  • Visiting Oregon Wine Country: Photo Essay – And if you need inspiration to get out and see the wine country just over that hill beyond Portland, this collection of photos should do the trick.


Australia


Greece

  • Best Places to Honeymoon in Greece – Greece is a well-known honeymoon destination, but not every part of the country is ideal for a quintessentially romantic holiday. This article lays out four excellent options for a honeymoon in Greece, including tips about how to get there and where to stay.
  • 10 Days Budget Itinerary in Greece – Greece may seem like it’s an expensive destination, and you can certainly travel in style there – but it can also be very budget-friendly. This article demonstrates how to spend 10 days in Greece on a small travel budget.
  • 7 Hotels with a View of the Acropolis – What do you want to see when you look out your hotel room window in Athens? The Acropolis, of course. These hotels offer just the view you’re hoping for.


Hawaii

  • What to Eat in Hawaii: Famous Hawaiian Food – You may have heard about some of these Hawaiian foods before your first visit to the islands, but even if you’ve had them elsewhere they’re must-haves when you get to Hawaii.
  • Hawaii’s Love Affair with SPAM – Speaking of famous Hawaiian foods, this great post covers why SPAM is such a big deal in Hawaii – and why you shouldn’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.
  • 3 Days in Maui: Itinerary Ideas – Planning an itinerary in a place with too many options can be a challenge, so these itinerary suggestions for a 3-day stay on Maui can help you figure out your travel plans.


Las Vegas

  • 5 Things You Should Know About Las Vegas – Many people who have never even been to Sin City think they know it already, but this post offers some things you may find surprising (and hints to make the most of your trip).
  • Best Las Vegas Hotels for Bachelor or Bachelorette Parties – Vegas is one of the most popular destinations for bachelor/bachelorette parties, but not all hotels are the ideal settings for such a shindig. These five hotels are good options, suitable for hardcore partiers or more sophisticated gatherings.
  • What to Eat in Las Vegas: Famous Las Vegas Dining – Whether you want to sample the goods at all the celebrity chef restaurants in Las Vegas or you’re looking for something more old-school, this post covers all the bases. Yes, including buffets.


Iceland

  • Itinerary Suggestions:5 Days in Reykjavik – A 5-day visit to Iceland, based in and around Reykjavik, is a fantastic way to get acquainted with the country. This 5-day itinerary covers all the highlights, including day trips, restaurant, and guest house suggestions, that any first-time visitor to Reykjavik can benefit from.
  • Photo Slideshow: Images from Iceland in Winter – We may think of Iceland as always being in a wintry state, but that’s not the case. And, in fact, Iceland’s winter climate is often warmer than some cities in the U.S. Still, during winter, Iceland can look like quite a snowy wonderland, as you’ll see in this photo slideshow.
  • Photo Slideshow: Summer in Iceland – If you need more proof that Icelandic summers are a far cry from winter, look no further than the images of sandy beaches in this summery slideshow.
  • Photo Slideshow: Icelandic Horses – Remote Iceland has retained its own particular breed of horse, beloved as much by locals for their hardiness as by visitors for their sheer adorable-ness.


Canada


Chicago

  • How to Budget for a Trip to Chicago – There may be a fair number of variables that go into figuring out how much a trip will cost you, but you’ll get a good start on narrowing down a budget for a Chicago trip from this article.


Amsterdam

  • Things to Do in Amsterdam for Kids – When a city has such a grown-up reputation as Amsterdam, it’s tempting to think there aren’t any good kid-centric sights. It’s tempting, but it’s wrong – there are some great family activities in Amsterdam, as this article by Monique Rubin points out.


Paris

  • When to Buy Eurostar Tickets – Should you buy your Eurostar tickets in advance before you leave home? Or is this the kind of train for which you can just walk up to the counter and buy your tickets before you want to travel? This article answers that question, along with a few others you might have about Eurostar tickets.
  • How Paris Builds a Beach in the City [Video] – You may have heard of the temporary beach along the Seine that Paris creates each August, the Paris Plage, but have you ever seen the city workers building the beach? It’s a fascinating process, captured beautifully in this timelapse video.
  • 5 Favorite Kid-Friendly Attractions in Paris – Paris is an incredibly romantic city, but that doesn’t mean it’s not also ideal for a family trip. This article by Mara Gorman offers suggestions for five great attractions that are fun for the kids and parents alike.


London

  • How to Save Money on Your Trip to London – From flights to hotels to food, this article covers the main expenditures of a London trip and highlights some ideas for saving money in each department.
  • How to Navigate the London Tube: Practical Tips – If you’ve never ridden the London Underground before, it can be a little confusing. This article helps out with some first-hand practical tips that’ll make you a Tube expert in no time.


Spain

  • 5 Reasons to Study Abroad in Granada – There are plenty of great options for a study abroad base in Spain, but Zoe Fishman makes a good case for Granada in this article.
  • Working in Spain – What happens when you fall in love with Spain during your study abroad and decide to stay? Here’s what you need to know if you want to find gainful employment in Spain.
  • The Most Romantic Places in Spain – Anyone looking for the ultimate Spanish location for a honeymoon, proposal, or other romantic holiday, this article lists five of the most romantic cities in the country.


Thailand

  • First-Timer’s Guide to Thailand – Every novice could use a tip or two (or twelve) when veturing into unfamiliar territory, just to avoid making stupid mistakes or to get more out of a trip. First timers to Thailand will appreciate this article full of useful advice, including when to go, what the lodging is like, and how to get around.
  • Five Tips for Visiting Temples in Thailand – Temples may be tourist attractions, but they’re also places of worship – and it could be a completely new set of religious traditions than the ones you’re used to. Knowing a few rules before you go in, then, is not just polite, it’s necessary.
  • 2-3 Day Bangkok Itinerary – If you’ve got 2-3 days to spend in Bangkok, you don’t really have the time to research a detailed itinerary for yourself, and you still want to make sure to avoid the obvious tourist traps – then this suggested itinerary is just what you need.
  • How To Visit the Location of the Movie “The Beach” – The Thai beach made famous by the Leonardo di Caprio movie is popular as a tourist attraction for its natural beauty, not to mention its Hollywood good looks. Lucky for you, it’s not a difficult location to visit during your trip.


Travel Gear

  • 5 Ski Accessories You Probably Don’t Need, But Want – Once you get past the gear basics, it’s easy to start lusting after the fun-but-totally-not-necessary stuff like the five items on this list. Heated gloves, anyone?
  • Best iPhone Travel Gear Apps – The iPhone has quickly become one of the most handy multi-tools a traveler can have, and that includes outdoor travelers. This list includes apps for the camper, the cyclist, the photographer, the hiker, and the budding astronomer, among others.
  • Travel Clothing: When & Where You Should Consider It – Specialty travel clothing might be fancy and new-fangled, but it’s also (often) expensive. This article helps you figure out when the expense is worth it.
  • How To Choose Eco-Friendly Travel Gear – When cost isn’t your sole decision-making factor in choosing new travel gear, this article breaks down the various types of environmentally-friendly gear out there so you know what to look for when you’re shopping.
  • Best Backpacks for RTW Trips – Not all backpacks are created equally, and not all of them are good for long-term travel. Find out which packs are best for RTW trips before you leave, or you’ll be aching and buying something else midway through your trip.


Business Travel

  • Business Traveler Interview Series – We loved our series of interviews with business travelers. They shared the kind of travel advice that only the true road warriors know.
  • 10 Gorgeous Hotel Pools Around the World – Business hotels are often the ones decked out with the finest amenities so that busy travelers don’t have to go far to eat, shop, and relax – as these hotels prove by having incredible pools right on-site.

photos by: cogdogblog, ColbyOtero.com, nixious, JohnGoode, La Citta Vita, Raja Habib, Houstonian, Monica Arellano-Ongpin, thornj, http2007, GanMed64, BluEyedA73, Neeta Lind, asvirskas, Nick.Fisher; Italy photo by Jessica Spiegel & may not be used without permission

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