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Economy Class Act

By Rob Pegoraro
The Washington Post
June 19, 1997

My usual method of vacation-planning is none at all: I show up and rely on friends in the area to tell me where to go. Actually leaving my apartment and buying a guidebook is, I fear, a habit that will take years for me to acquire. Until then, the Fodor's travel-guide people have made it much easier for me to plot vacations the lazy way, with their "Personal Trip Planner."

It took me less than 10 minutes to research an upcoming trip to Atlanta with it. First I chose the city, then picked which things I needed to know -- I included the restaurants, "Top Picks" and "Essential Information" categories, but left out "Where to Stay," since my hotel's already booked. It only required a few more clicks to limit the restaurant listings to certain neighborhoods, price ranges and cuisines and to narrow the getting-there tips to airlines, taxis and mass transit.

The result: a concise 12-page guide, pointing me to 27 restaurants, that I could stuff into a coat pocket and didn't have to pay a cent for. And, in a shocking departure from standard Web-artiste arrogance, it all printed out comfortably on 8 by 11 paper. I'm sure the designers responsible have been fired for this oversight.

Rob Pegoraro <rob@twp.com>

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