I'm taking off on a journey that may extend beyond my planned itinerary. I'm concerned that I may be in transit without a proper guidebook in English for countries such as Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, England, etc. Are there suggestions for info packed travel sites on the internet? Thanks!
Have you had a look at the forums on Trip Advisor or perhaps Fodors? Lots of info available and you can ask specific questions and have them answered by Destination Experts or others that have visited the same cities or sites.
I agree with Jo that TripAdvisor and Fodors are two good places, besides this Helpline, to get travel information online. If you're looking for more budget advice, you should also look at the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree. For accommodation, there's hotels.com, booking.com, and venere.com for standard hotels, and hostelworld.com and hostelbookers.com for lower priced places (not all are hostels). You can get last minute hotel deals on laterooms.com and hrs.com. For central and eastern Europe, inyourpocket.com has online guides (as well as paper ones) for many places. Looking at their website, I see they cover lots of places in Croatia, and a few in Bulgaria and Romania. Large cities should have English language guidebooks for sale in main bookstores; if you do want to buy a guidebook once you arrive, ask around for stores that might stock them.
Sally second and third the recommendation for tripadvisor.com forum especially, one thing that I like about them is they have country and even city specific forums and are very well used so lots of feedback available. I also use their hotel review sections for ideas and recommendations, I do read them carefully ,, and sometimes even contact the posters for specific questions .
I don't know how experienced a traveler you are, but I'd say that Romania generally requires "advanced" travel skills for the independent traveler (i.e. without a guide, particularly if you're going anywhere but Bucharest/Transyvania and I've heard the same of Bulgaria from people who've visited. With that in mind, I'd really try to take a guidebook that at least minimally covers areas you might be going with you just in case. That's less of an issue in England where you can pop into a store and buy an english-language guidebook whenever.
I was reading a travel log online the other day where a couple had a personal guide chauffeur them throughout Romania. The country is very inexpensive, and has untold sights to see. You could Google personal guides out of Bucharest.
It's not a country you would want to travel independently in.
'It's not a country you would want to travel independently in.' Why? Lots of us have.
It's completely possible to travel independently in Romania, but it requires some research, particularly if you are getting around entirely by public transit. The quantity and quality of services for travelers there are not up to the standards that people experienced in traveling in Western Europe (or even many other Eastern European countries) have encountered, in my experience. Which is why I wouldn't visit without having done extensive research online AND a guidebook in tow.
Go electronic; go digital. Government travel sites, from small towns to major countries, use the Internet to promote their tourist industries. Easy to Google. Many hotels now have free computers in their lobbies so you can do on-the-spot research. I look for free WiFi in my room, convenient to sort out local transport and check restaurants whenever I want to. A small laptop is easy to carry but the various smart phones and tablets are quickly expanding electronic connections on the road.
I am a very visual person, and I stumbled on www.virtualtourist.com. People post about what they have seen and done and give helpful advice and pictures!! Some are locals and some are fellow travelors, might not hurt to check out...
Southam: in my experience, wifi is readily available when traveling, until you really need it, and then it's a hassle. So going digital is a nice idea but not one the entire world is quite up to par with yet. )