Let's start with search
engines which open the way to all the treasures.
Google is the
biggest and best for most things. It includes Google Images for
pictures, Maps, Froogle for shopping, Scholar for academic research
and many more interesting features.
Yahoo is a much
smaller search engine but includes Yahoo Groups which you can join
and discuss any subject under the sun.
If you can't find what you want try
Dogpile which automatically
searches several search engines for your request.
Ask.com is designed
to answer questions but I don't think it works very well.
For your independence you
must be able to buy things over the net that can then be delivered. You
will need to use your credit card, but this is relatively safe these
days. You will also need an email address.
Tesco or one of the other
delivering supermarkets must be first as you can't live without food
and drink. Register with them and practice a few times before you
put in an order.
Comet is a well organised site
for household goods but you might like to try
Froogle to compare the
prices of all retailers. Most larger shops have a good website now
and will deliver the items you order online. Let me know your
Amazon is the worlds largest
bookstore. Make sure you get the UK department. There are some good
second hand bargains to save the pennies.
If you are sending
flowers to a friend and want a florist near her then
Local Directories will help you
find what you want. They are good for all local services. You could
also use Google Maps which
has a business search function.
Shopping around for the
best electricity and gas supplier or phone company can be hassle
until you find Uswitch. They
make the comparisons and organise the switch free of charge.
Whatever you want cheap
you can get on Ebay UK . They
have a unique system for rating the quality of the seller which
really works well. It's good fun too.
If you are planning to travel
you may need to explore these sites.
For a nice villa in the
sun try Holiday Rentals
. Amazing choice of 18000 villas including a romantic
Jungle Retreat for two in Sri-Lanka for £70 per week.
For holiday travel we use
Cheapest Flights or
Flightline but to cities
Ryanair are good value in
Europe. You might try Expedia
anywhere in the world. Try more than one as the prices vary, while
you book, even on the same flight! Make sure the meal is included if
you want one. The online check-in often makes life easy at the
In the UK
National Rail Enquiries
are very good for planning journeys and costs but you may find
The Train Line easier.
Rail on the continent
sounds fun! I tried an enquiry by entering "London Turkey Rail" into
Google and found the Seat
61 website which is full of useful information.
Bus Travel is still quite
disorganised and is best approached by putting each leg of your
route into Google. Any better suggestions?
By car you can get
directions from Mapquest
Multimap or one of the
motoring organisations. You may want to check the
Metoffice for the local
You could check
the prices at points on the way. Use my username malcolmcro and
password candid or join yourself at no cost.
Bed and Breakfast is
quite difficult but it is usually best to use Google to find the
nearest tourist information who will have the best list.
Bed and Breakfast
Nationwide Directory or
Bed and Breakfasts
can sometimes help.
If you have older children to
entertain they may be able to show you some good sites but these are a
few useful activities for the younger ones.
Pictures to colour can
be found at Coloring.ws and
there are a few games there too like Hangman
A better selection of
games are available on
thekidzpage.com . Try to choose ones that use the mouse if you
are playing on a laptop as the keyboard is expensive to replace.
You may need to find a
bike or other toys for their stay or a cot or car seat. Try
Ebay.co.uk a few weeks in
advance and pick up a bargain.
A trip to the zoo might
fill a day. Book the tickets online at
Zsl.org to save the queues and find out about special events.
The games which come
free with your computer are good fun and do not need an internet
connection. My grandchildren like Pinball and sometimes play
Minesweeper quite well.
The Paint program that
comes free with your computer is good fun for all ages. Experiment
with all the toolbar items yourself before they come and they will
be quite impressed. You can even co-operate to draw a picture with
children in another country using Microsoft Messenger.
Other sites of interest are:-
Art galleries, public
and private, and painters often have an online gallery which you can
enjoy. Try Tate.org.uk or a
private artist like
BBC website is a mine of
information. Programmes, radio you can hear on the computer,
repeats, education and the Climate Change Project.
I like the 360 degree
images you can explore with the mouse. Try
The Space Agency for a
tour of 50 Oxfordshire villages. Have a look at
London in Pictures on the BBC website or you might prefer the
GRAND CANYON which is in the proper Quicktime 360 image. Miles
better than Google Earth!
Royal Mail website gives
you postage and also a useful lookup for postcodes. You can use my
account malcolmcro and password candid.
UK Phonebook enables you
to look up telephone numbers free of charge.
Ourproperty provides the
prices at which houses have sold. Very useful for the nosey! Use my
account as above!
My Guide is the government
website which aims to make email easier. See what you think. They
have spent £27 million already!
Now let's add your favourites.