Vacation Planning? Start At the Library.

Library Resources | August 23, 2018

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Discover how libraries across the United States are offering unique opportunities for patrons to plan their vacations.

Interested in travel? Find out what your local libraries have to offer as you research or plan your next trip.

Travel Workshops and Patron Groups Aid in Planning

Many public libraries offer free travel workshops to their patrons to assist in the vacation planning process. Offering a variety of sessions on various types of travel can help in all stages of vacation planning. A patron may be just starting to plan and wants to explore all options or if their decision has been made and he or she is looking for more in-depth information. For example, last year, Arlington Public Library in Texas offered a variety of sessions on all types of travel— group tours, day trips, and cruises. Experts in the field, such as bus tour operators and educational travel professionals, conducted these workshops. Libraries can also take advantage of local travel bloggers and “veteran” travelers, as Arlington did for sessions on day trips and creating an informal cruise chat group.

Vacation Resources in the Library and Online

Public libraries house resources such as travel guides, maps, and DVDs that are available for patrons to borrow. In addition to traditional resources, many libraries offer electronic resources for travel research. The Thomas Crane Library in Quincy, Massachusetts is among many that host a travel section in their online research guides. This guide offers a link to the library’s e-book service, suggesting travel e-books and provides the patron with a list of travel websites, broken out into sections by location, interest, and age of the traveler. A patron can do travel planning from his or her own home!

Engaging Digital Magazines for Travel Planning

Flipster offers many digital magazines that complement these activities and resources. There are magazines that cover travel, in general, such as Travel & Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, and Lonely Planet Traveller. If a trip is already planned and a patron is looking for insider/local information, Flipster also offers many regional/local magazines, such as Chicago, Texas Highways, New Orleans Magazine, St. Louis Magazine, and Delaware Today. Visit to see a full list of titles offered. 

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