Planning a getaway? The library has some great tips and ideas

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 14, 2016

By Paul Birkhead

Rowan Public Library

Deep into winter, I often find thoughts of springtime filling my head. Some of those thoughts are about traveling and places I’d like to visit in the warmer months to come. If you find yourself daydreaming about places you’ve been or would like to go, stop by Rowan Public Library and check out some of our newest travel guides.

Chances are you may have heard about the book, “1,000 Places to See Before You Die.”  A New York Times bestseller, “1,000 Places to See Before You Die”was first published in 2003 and has remained extremely popular over the years. The book has even spawned its own website and an app to boot. 

In the past few months, a completely revised second edition has been published. With even more color photographs inside, the book is chock full of new information and a more experience-driven and budget-friendly approach to visiting sites around the world. 

The author of the original and revised edition is Patricia Schultz, a veteran travel journalist with over 25 years of experience. I’m confident you’ll find her travel advice helpful and her descriptions of sites thoroughly inspiring. It will definitely make you want to pack a bag and go exploring.

While global travel can be exciting to read about, a typical person’s travel plans generally center on one or two destinations at a time. For more focused research, there are travel guides that allow you to thoughtfully plan everything from lodging to meals to must-see attractions. 

Fodor’s, a division of Random House, has been publishing travel guides since the 1930s. The 2016 editions of some of their most popular destination guides can be found at the library. Fodor’s London 2016, for instance, would be great to check out if you are planning a trip to England’s capital city. Because London is so densely populated, most people find it intimidating to explore.  However, Fodor’s breaks the city up into manageable portions. Up-to-date information and plenty of maps are helpful in planning activities.

A similar set of travel guides is put out by Rick Steves, an American author and television personality. His laid-back style makes his television series on European travel very popular. His personality comes through in these guidebooks, as well. While not as “slick” as the Fodor’s books, Steves’ series makes up for it with advice that is not only helpful, but candid and humorous at the same time. 

If you are planning on visiting “the City of Light” in the coming year, “Rick Steves Paris 2016” should definitely be consulted.  Even though Paris is largely seen as a romantic destination for couples, the guide does have a special section for visiting Paris with children.

When you think of traveling with children, you almost certainly entertain visiting Disney World in central Florida. “Walt Disney World with Kids 2016″ is another Fodor’s product. The author, Kim Wright Wiley, has been faithfully releasing an updated version of this book every year since it debuted in 1989. 

Because it is so up-to-date, you’ll find helpful advice on the newest attractions at the park.  You will also find tips on negotiating the popular and time-saving systems such as Magic Bands and Fast Passes. Visiting Walt Disney World can be very expensive.  Taking time to read through a guide like this one will help you make the most of your trip.

Are you anxiously awaiting spring’s arrival? If you’ve caught the travel bug or are always ready to hit the road, make sure to plan a side trip to Rowan Public Library. There you will find helpful guides to make trip planning easy.

Computer basics class: Thursday, Feb. 25, 9:30-11 a.m. at headquarters., 201 W. Fisher St. If you’re new to computers or have never felt comfortable with them, this is the class for you. We’ll go over the very basics of computers, from computer components to how programs are opened and closed. Class on second floor of library.

iPad basics: Tuesday, Feb. 23, 7-8 p.m., headquarters. Become a confident iPad user in this free class. Discuss components, navigation and the use of apps. Requirements: Pre-registration; bring your own iPad; iPad needs to be charged and have an updated iOS (operating system); bring a current, valid Apple ID.  Free sign-up at: Space is limited, so call Paul Birkhead at 704-216-8242 to reserve your spot. Class on second floor of library.

Castlebay in concert: Tuesday, Feb. 23, 7-9 p.m., headquarters. Castlebay, a duo from Maine, has been weaving together the heritage of New England and the Celtic lands in song since 1987. Admission is free thanks to sponsorship by Friends of Rowan Public Library and Cheerwine. Program starts at 7 p.m.; doors open at 6:30. Sample Castlebay’s music at

Celebrate Seuss: Saturday, Feb. 27, 10:30 a.m.-noon, East branch, Rockwell. Children of all ages are invited to celebrate Dr. Seuss and his very own “Day of all Days.” For if he’d never been born, well then what would we do? No Horton? No Lorax? No Thing One or Thing Two? That really just isn’t a world we can envision so come join us this day for a great celebration. Light refreshments included.

Book Bites Book Club: South (China Grove), Tuesday, Feb. 23, 6-7 p.m. Free, open to the public. We discuss a different book each month and serve refreshments loosely related to the theme. “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cakeby Aimee Bender. Need a copy? Call 704-216-7841.

Learn.Act.Grow.: Personal safety. Monday, Feb. 22, 5:30-7 p.m., headquarters. Free. What would you do if someone approached you in a dark parking lot when you were alone? Learn tips and techniques from local experts on vehicle, home and personal safety. Led by Sidekick Karate and Salisbury Police Department. Register online or by calling 704-216-7734 to ensure a spot.

Genealogy Class: Saturday, Feb. 27, 10 a.m.-noon, headquarters. Co-hosted by the Genealogical Society of Rowan County and the History Room, this series of classes will explore the genealogical resources and techniques available in the library and online. This session will be in the computer lab and will cover some more popular databases that are available for free through the library or otherwise including Ancestry, Fold3, Family Search and some software programs to help organize and store genealogical materials.

Displays: Headquarters, log cabins from North Hills Christian School; South, South Rowan High SchoolCorriher-Lipe Middle School student art; East, Barbies.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second  language.