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Web Voyager

By Ellen Highland Fernandez

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Charting your Automobile Vacation via the Web

The kids are out of school and it is time to plan your summer vacation. One of the great things about living in the Clarksburg, West Virginia area is being within easy driving distance of so many places to visit. Check out http://cpubco.com/cburg.htm to see what I mean. In this column, you will discover how to plan your trip and find a place to stay.

Getting There

With the help of the Internet, you can find out the quickest or the most scenic way to get to your vacation spot, how long it will take, the number of miles you will travel, and get door to door directions. After you have plotted your course, you can print out written directions and a map.

Here are three services to get you started. If you are planning to visit someone's house, have a job interview or you want to know where the closest grocery store is, MapBlast can help. MapBlast offers the options of printing your map, linking to it on your own web site or e-mailing the map to a friend.

Longer and more complex trips may need Maps On Us or Delorme's Cyberrouter. Maps On Us requires you to register on its web site. In return for sharing demographic information about yourself, you can create a database of places you like to visit and get door to door map plotting. A nice feature is detailed route selection. For example, you can tell the site whether you favor major highways or prefer to avoid them. You also have the ability to select intermediate destinations including airports, malls, parks, and tourist attractions. Directions include turn-by-turn instructions and detailed maps. For long trips, Maps On Us gives you detailed maps for all turns.

Once you register with the site, I recommend that you bookmark the completed registration page and write down your password in a safe place. Bookmarking the page will save you the trouble of trying to remember your user name each time you sign on.

Delorme's Cyberrouter is quick and easy. It offers less choices than Maps on Us but gets the job done. The turn by turn directions are easy to read. To help you plan for food and rest room stops, Maps on Us marks the long stretches of roads in bold. The maps are laid out in the familiar AAA triptik format (refered on the site as AAA Map 'n' Go) with the path you will travel highlighted in yellow for you. The AAA triptik or Map 'n' Go allows you to focus on one part of your journey at a time. For example, a trip from Clarksburg, West Virginia to Atlanta, Georgia generated 11 maps. I was able to print out the maps and staple them together to create my own Map 'n' Go. Atlanta here I come!

Places to Stay

Once you have your car trip mapped out, you may need to find a place to stay. The major hotel chains have their own web sites. If you prefer to stay in a particular hotel, you can use a search engine to locate the hotel. If you are not sure where to stay, then you might try selecting a hotel using the web. The two guides I prefer offer different lists of accommodation preferences. Select the guide which suits your needs the best.

The Hotel Guide on the Web is a good place to start. You tell the site what city or stay you plan to visit and then list your accommodation preferences. You can specify, for example, whether you will need a baby crib, handicapped facilities, or non-smoking rooms. You can also request golf, swimming and other kinds of facilities. Finally, you can specify the type of credit card you like to use and the maximum rate you are willing to pay for a room. When you have given the information you wish to have evaluated, you will be given a list of hotels which meet your requirements. Each hotel is linked to a page describing its amenities and booking information.

Once you have selected a hotel, you can create and print out reservation and information forms to fax to the hotel.

Another excellent site is Aaron's Hotel and Motel Catalog . This site is a bit more cumbersome to use as you must go through several screens to get the information you want. The site, however, does appear to offer a more complete listing of places to stay. For Bridgeport West Virginia, the Hotel Guide listed just three places. Aaron's listed 7. Like the Hotel Guide, it offers you the ability to state your preferences. Unless the hotel/motel has registered with the site however, the listings yield only the address and phone number of the hotel/motel.

Have fun on your journeys!


As you voyage down the cyber-path, you are encouraged to send me your ideas for topics you would like to see discussed and to share your favorite links. Send correspondence to me by e-mail: Webmaster@cpubco.com , via post: Web Voyager, Ellen H. Fernandez, PO Box 2000, Clarksburg, WV 26302, or through our web site http://cpubco.com. Phone: 626-1466.

EDITOR'S NOTE Ellen Highland Fernandez is the Webmaster for Clarksburg Publishing Company's site and her column appears on the first and third Sundays every month in the Sunday Exponent-Telegram

Clarksburg Publishing Company, P.O. Box 2000, Clarksburg, WV 26302 USA
Copyright © Clarksburg Publishing Company 1997