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| Currency conversion & Delivery | News & Weather
| Other resources
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keep the days and dates on the screen. Drag it off to the side so you can access the reservations pages but still keep an eye on a month's worth of dates.
We have two sites that offer both currency conversion and currency delivery. We have not used either site to buy foreign currency. We find it useful to have some local currency when arriving in foreign airports for tips, luggage carts, and small purchases. Having it delivered is more expensive than getting the currency locally, but sometimes delivery may be the only way of obtaining a particular currency.
OANDA Corp.is set up to convert dollars to euros, but you can change it to any of the remaining currencies. The converter is available in
You may get a small printable cheat sheet on current values of dollars to Euros. You may choose the Interbank rate, a typical credit card rate, or a typical cash rate of exchange.
(OANDA sells small ads that appears on the pages; once in awhile it is for doing "investigations." The Civilized Explorer does not track your movements, so feel free to ignore whatever ad pops up.)
You may order currencies from OANDA. We have not used this service, so we cannot address any issues which may arise from its use. We do find it useful to have some local currency when arriving in foreign airports for tips, luggage carts, and small purchases. Having currency delivered is more expensive, but for many it may be the only way of having some local money on hand.
Our second resource is xe.com. This site provides a page with conversions to many different currencies, and it updates itself with market rates every minute. XE also delivers foreign cash by courier (we don't know who) in one or two business days.
The graphic below will pop open a small browser window to Weather.com's world weather page. Move the window around and resize it to suit your needs as you plan your trip to pleasant weather in your main browser.
The New York Times RSS feeds for text-only news. (Also good for your mobile device.)
- Before You Go (ATM locations, local holidays, weather reports, and airline and airport codes)
- Online Airline Information (links to major US airlines and their check-in policies, schedules, flight information; FAA, TSA, Department of State, and FirstGov.gov; and consumer Web sites concerning travel and current conditions)
- World Airport Codes (find the airport for the city you are flying to; search by country, city, and airport name or code)
- Flight Stats (realtime, online statistics on which flights are historically on-time, which flights are most often cancelled, and what routes, carriers, and airports are most often involved in delays)
- FBOWeb/Google Earth (Use Google Earth to track flights incoming to several airports around the country, including Earth's ability to zoom, pan, and tilt)
- Flight Arrivals and Departures (arrivals, departures, delays, airport status, and schedule changes for commercial flights over the US and Canada)
- Seat Guru (an incredible site that lets you compare first, business, and coach seating in different carriers, find out if your assigned seat has a power port for your laptop, inflight entertainment -- including what movies are being shown, and much, much more)
- Turbulence Forecast (maps areas of turbulence)
- Getting Online in the French West Indies (Cybercafes and other resources to get to your email and the Web)
- Calling the US from the French West Indies (links to major carriers with a presence in the French West Indies, how to reach English- speaking operators, prepaid cards that work overseas, international calling plans)
- All Nations Expatriates & Travelers Telephone Search Engine (how to place an international call from any location, international directories, telephone numbers of embassies)
- Wireless Access Page (get links to Wi-Fi access points throughout the world)
- txt2day.com (send text messages from the Web, if the recipient's cellular service is listed)
- TokBox (online video conferencing with no software to download)
- Zotofoto (upload a photo from your computer via the Web, add a message and mailing address; Zotofoto will print it as a postcard and mail it for you from the U.S. for a small fee)
- Hazel Mail (another site to upload a photo to then mail for you for a fee; Hazel claims to have mailing sites in other countries, so check to see if you are covered - I cannot determine what countries from its Web site)
- Photojojo has instructions on three more ways to make your own postcards: buy preprinted peel- and- stick stock and stick your photo to it, just print a photo and mail it, or use the USPS to create and mail a card from the US. If you can print color photos while on your trip abroad, few things beat a hand- written note to your folks and friends on a card with a photo of you.
- Snipshot allows you to upload RAW files, edit them online, and save them as JPEGs. (Fee required. Try this site out before you need it.)
- FotoFlexer is another online program for editing photos. In addition, you can edit video from your Webcam (EEE PC, for example, is a little laptop with a built-in video camera).
- Picnik allows you to edit JPEGs that are already online or on your computer for later uploads. Picnik can be plugged in to your Flickr, Facebook, Photobucket, Picasa, and Webshot accounts to edit phots already online there. Picnik is free and has plug-in extensions for FireFox and some othe browser I never use. (Try it before you need it.)
- Maps Online (directions, traffic reports, topos, nautical charts from online services)
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