Postcards and journals? They're passé
Several websites allow even the feeblest of computer users to create their own travel blog, a home page that you can update anywhere to fill in relatives and friends on your adventures. You can even illustrate your online journal with photos downloaded from your digital camera.
Here are five of the best free DIY sites.
Rough Guides: The well-organized site holds your hand every step of the way, with tips that make it very easy to set up an account and post messages. travel.roughguides.com.
Travellerspoint: Fast sign-up (a rarity), straightforward navigation, and cute emoticons are a few of the pluses. Security is as good as it gets, with safeguarded message exchanges; too bad it won't let you ogle other travelers' diaries. travellerspoint.com/onlinediary.cfm.
VirtualTourist: You get a VT e-mail address and plenty of options to customize pages, with spots for personal mottos, photo albums, maps, and diary chapters. It's easy to quickly scroll through tips offered by members, which range from the best bowl of soup in Bolivia to the location of a secluded lake in Bavaria. virtualtourist.com.
TravelBlog: The unlimited space capacity is appealing if you write like Tom Wolfe (or even if you just write as much as Tom Wolfe). Scores extra points for encyclopedic blurbs on every country in the world. travelblog.org.
Blogger: The Google-owned site isn't geared to travelers, but it does a good job anyway. You choose a Web address, select from over 30 templates, and build a chronological diary with searchable archives. Bonus: spell-check! blogger.com.