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Traveller's Tree banner
Monday 4.30-5.00pm
The BBC Radio 4 travel programme that inspires you with ideas for fulfilling holidays.
This week
Monday 17 November 2008
Listen to this programme in full
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This week: 
Surfing the web
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Guests: Jennifer Cox and Spencer Kelly

The internet not only offers an overwhelming wealth of information for the traveller, it also allows the traveller the chance to give their own views and advice to others. Spencer Kelly mentioned the website Trip Advisor - a free travel guide and research website that hosts reviews of hotels, attractions and destinations worldwide.

Natalia Rolleston reported on the Couch Surfing Project on a trip to Kracow, Poland. Couch Surfing is a free, internet-based, international hospitality service which links travellers up with local people who are prepared to offer free accommodation for a few nights. There are a number of couch surfing websites you can sign up to, eg:

Couch Surfing Project
A professional-looking site that aims to “create deep and meaningful connections that cross oceans, continents and cultures”.

Global Freeloaders
An Australian hospitality network.

Hospitality Club
One of the web originals, aiming to “bring people together”.

A global “free accommodation network” based in Holland.

Travel writer and couch surfing expert Vicky Baker named Montreal, London and Paris as the world’s biggest couch surfing cities. Other areas where she has also found the network working well include La Paz, Buenos Aires and the Islands of San Blas off Panama.

Self-guided adventures are a growing aspect of the worldwide travel business. We mentioned Zephyr Self-Guided Adventures, a tour company offering self-guided tours of Italy. They have introduced new technology to the travel industry with their Portable Media Player, pre-loaded with videos of Italian guide Giovanni Ramacionne. The mini video players are attached to the handlebars of your bike or onto the dashboard of your car.

Claire Wade, founder of the newly launched Holidays From Home, told us about her unusual virtual holidays. The charity provides free virtual holidays for people who are bed- or house-bound, or who are unable to travel due to illness or disability.

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