Monday 27 January 1997
Travel Insight (http://www.compuserve.co.uk/ ukinsight/) is produced by two of Britain's most experienced travel journalists - Roger Bray (ex- London Evening Standard) and Jeff Mills (ex-Travel Weekly) - and offers a solid mix of news, reference material and features. There's a useful section on health and related risks around the world, which is enough to put you off leaving these shores at all, a few interesting features by Bray and Mills and a compilation of holiday bargains (intriguingly symbolised by a shiny dustbin). Whether your definition of a bargain will include a seven-night holiday in Norway costing pounds 790, I'm not sure.
The design is clean and clear but makes little use of the power of the Web. There are few pictures, no tricky stuff and no reader feedback; I found only a couple of external links - one of them to the Foreign Office site, where you can read even more dire warnings about disease and terrorists. Signposting and structure are slightly weird in places; only by clicking on "skiing" in the features section did I discover an excellent little ski news department.
The editors have hit on the spicy idea of commenting with statesmanlike authority on news items. Carrying this through sensibly looks likely to be a bit of a burden, though. At the foot of a piece about booking ski holidays in advance, we get this nugget: "Some commentators believe the pound will have to fall again before too long, so this could be a good year to pay up front." Well, call me old-fashioned, but there must be an equal weight of commentators who take a different view, or the value of the pound would not be sustained at its present level for a moment longer.
Travelmag (http://www.rednet.co.uk/travelmag/) is in its 20th edition, and claims to have won all sorts of awards from the usual arbiters of Web status. I'm at a loss to know quite why. The features cover tantalisingly exotic experiences and some are competently written, but others appear to be written by holiday-makers with no sense of structure or style. The "Regulars" section is composed with an eye more to amusing than to informing the reader.
What Travelmag does have is a fat links section, which is a great place in which to stumble around for an hour or two, perhaps dipping into some travellers' diaries as well as gathering information from the sites of tour operators, publishers, governments and so on. If you want to use the Web to explore the world without leaving your PC, this is a good place to start.
Life & Style blogs
What is ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge?
Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
Doctors tell Treasury of their anger at rejection of pay reviews
Jeremy Hunt to reform hospital parking rules
Victoria’s Secret says tickets for the London fashion show are not for 'sale' - but seats are still available for £10k
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
- 3 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
- 4 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
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