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It’s prime vacation time right now, but don’t be tempted to stayput just because you don’t yet have concrete plans for a getaway.There’s still time to book hotels and flights through the multitudeof travel websites that specialize in discounted tickets andairfares. Remember, half the fun is searching for a place to escapethis year.

Here are some useful resources that will provide you with a hostof ideas and inspiration for your trip, wherever you decide togo:

* TripAdvisor.com: Explore user-generated videos, pictures andreviews that provide unfiltered insight. It’s easy to viewsubjective rankings of attractions and locations – you can evencheck out the restaurants in the area. Search destination ideas onthe site’s inspiration generatorby region with categories to choose from like “Family Fun,””Romance” and “History & Culture.” This can be a great way toexplore options you’ve never considered without actually having torisk a bad trip.

* The Travel Channel: Available through most cable TVcompanies, The Travel Channel’s original series will make youwant to leave for a permanent vacation. Watch Anthony Bourdain eatlocal delicacies or live vicariously through Samantha Brown as shetreks around the globe. Behind-the-scenes footage of restaurants,stores and tourist attractions are designed to give even the mostdiscriminating traveler a few destination ideas. And while you arewatching TV, be sure to check out innovativelanguage.com’s Word ofthe Day application for satellite TVproviders, which can start teaching you a new language everytime you turn on your TV.

* National Register of Historic Places: Pinpoint the type ofhistoric sites you’d like to see, and locate them using theofficial U.S. government registry of historic places and nationalparks. Find lesser-known sites close to home and along youralready-planned vacation route. Official documentation and photosare available online to help you determine what best fits yourinterests and schedule.

* American Association of Museums: Use the database ofwww.aam-us.org as a starting point for finding interesting museumsby city, state or even exhibit type. This can be a great way to getyour family interested in culture, and you’ll never regret exposingyour kids (or yourself) to something new. Remember the searchfunction only covers member institutions, so be sure to check otherresources if the museum you want isn’t showing up. Try a local orregional visitor’s bureau for a comprehensive search of museums ina specific area.

* Old vacation photos: If all else fails, consider revisitingpast destinations. Perhaps there were a few sites or attractionsyour budget and schedule didn’t previously allow for that you cannow explore. Narrow down what you’d like to do and make room forsome relaxation time. There’s nothing better than being familiarenough with a location to leave your worries behind. Talk withfamily members or anyone else who will come along again to find outwhat they liked and could stand to skip this time around. Also besure to check out any attractions that have opened or changed sinceyour last visit.

Courtesy of ARAcontent