CIA World Factbook

U.S. government profiles on every country in the world.  Includes maps, statistics and information about geography, the people and society, government, economy, communications, transportation, military and transnational issues.

TSA (Transportation Security Administration)

Latest news on U.S. government travel restrictions, RealID requirements, information on traveling with disabilities and medical conditions, TSA PreCheck(TM), and updated lists on what you can bring whether traveling abroad via ship or airplane.

United Nations

A list of United Nations member states with information, maps and in-depth information about humanitarian and legal issues around the world. Not all member states are recognized by all other member states. For the purposes of the information linked above, 193 member states along with Kosovo and Vatican City, where reported on our country lists on the 2008 website.

World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

Home to the World Weather Information Service, WMO provides official weather information to nearly 3,000 cities around the world.  This site is easy to customize: go to the Personalize tab and enter a city name/country for every one you want on your favorites list.  So far it doesn’t recognize The Villages but it is easy to save Orlando and/or Tampa, your destination city, or those of your loved ones.  While on the site, check out the Cloud Atlas page…it is fun.

Rob’s Top 5 Planning Tools (July 2, 2020 online meeting) will help you plan a route across borders, within and through regions, using local transport and even ferries. It gives you costs, routes and travel time for each option. Helpful in linking airports or cruise terminals to hotels and for planning best routes to attractions and shops. uses a map feature so you can see all the options along a route or in a particular area. Using the filtering options, you can choose a price point. Especially good for independent travelers looking for a place to stay along a route. Frequent users also receive 10 percent back after booking 10 nights (must have activity every 12 months to keep their account active). Using their Hassle-free Travel Guarantee, they got a hotel to cancel a nonrefundable room, without hassle. is helpful for domestic and international flights. Using the filtering options and their maps, you can see options for each ticket class (economy, premium economy, business and first). If you are flexible enough (we are retired), you might find a low cost option for an upgraded seat that flies into a different, nearby city. Then use the Rome2Rio website to find easy connections.

Foursquare This is best as an app on your mobile device. It is used to find restaurants and things to do once you are situated someplace. Lesser known than TripAdvisor, but a great companion to that popular website.

Viator A great resource to learn about your destination highlights and to book tours.

Moovit App This is a map-app for helping travelers get around using local, public transportation and plotting pedestrian routes. It does include ferries, buses, trains, subways and water taxis. and Navigator are two travel apps that are particularly helpful for those who are driving (or biking) from place to place. Both allow you to download maps onto your mobile device so you can access routes and information without needing to have internet connectivity.