Stay.com features 50 cities, including Istanbul. Photo by Jennifer Hattam
There's still something I really love about a well-worn guidebook, its margins covered with scribbled notes about places I've been or hope to go someday, its pages holding tucked-away business cards or a label from a memorable bottle of wine. But even a traditionalist such as me can see the appeal of a customized guide that contains just the information you want, lighting the load in your backpack and requiring a lot fewer trees to print.Stay.com, an online service that debuted in a free public beta version earlier this month, is not the first to allow users to create custom travel guides and share them with each other, but it seems to be a well-designed site with a variety of useful features. Start by picking a city, from Bangkok to Vienna, and then selecting attractions, restaurants, shops, services, and nightlife venues by price, category, or location. There's no need to devote space to shops if all you want to do is hit the museums, or to include restaurants if you'll be staying in an apartment and cooking at home.
Share Guidebooks With Other Users
The site integrates ratings and reviews from other sites, as well as the ability to share your picks and make restaurant and hotel reservations at the places you selected.
Users can also allow others to see and download their custom guidebooks on specialized topics such as "San Francisco Attractions for Active Travelers," "Shanghai Photo Opportunities," or "10 Ideas for Green Travel in London."
And since you print the guides out yourself from the PDF file that Stay.com creates from your picks, you don't have to worry about whether the guidebook publisher used recycled paper -- you can buy your own.
More about green travel:
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