We’ve been spending a ridiculous amount of time on the internet since we’ve been away. Here are some of the websites that have been super-useful.
Updating our website
We built Trexit using Jekyll and GitHub Pages. We work on markdown files and Jekyll turns them into web pages. GitHub hosts the whole thing. We just had to buy the domain name and point it at their servers.
We update Trexit using the GitHub website to create posts, upload images and videos, and make changes. It’s a bit fiddly doing it all on our phones but we’ve been amazed that we’ve been able to do as much as we have.
Roz’s iPhone won’t let her rename images, which is really annoying if you want to call your images sensible things. Using Dropbox means she can store and rename images before she uploads them to GitHub.
Seat 61 is an excellent site if you’re planning to travel by train in Europe. It has a good guide to European rail travel and it’s where we found out about:
- the sleeper train to Cornwall
- an excellent map of the railways across Europe
- how the Eurostar security checks in Lille work
Roz was allocated seat 61 on a TGV train recently. We were disproportionately pleased.
Despite being called the website for ‘just’ Germany, the German rail website gives train times for all of Europe. It has a clean design and it’s quick to load, even on 2G and when you’re searching for things.
The Swiss rail site is really, really good. It includes things like:
- when a route includes connections
- what platform you need to be on and when
- the times your train is due to arrive at each stop on your route
- how busy trains are likely to be so you can avoid the rush
Seeing the sights
We occasionally check Lonely Planet to see if there’s anything we really don’t want to miss in an area we’re planning to visit.
Its pages are a pain in the arse to load on 3G but the content is great.
The culture trip website has good articles on places of interest around the world. The ones on the Belgium Ardennes and hiking in the Black Forest were excellent starting points for planning our walking routes.
When we can’t find anywhere to camp, Booking.com is normally our fallback. It’s great for finding relatively cheap hotels at the last minute.
We’ve used Airbnb a few times but it hasn’t been great for booking super-short notice and it doesn’t normally have as many places to stay as Booking.com.
We also got a bit weirded out when it recently asked us to upload photos of our passports. We didn’t, which meant we couldn’t make a booking.
Our pre-trip planning spreadsheet
Before we left, we added all the websites we thought might be useful to a Google spreadsheet. It helped us plan where we might want to go.