NEW AND TECHNICALLY IMPROVED. The 2005 Rand McNally Road Atlas has a high-tech twist. If you purchase the atlas, you'll have free access to online information about road construction throughout the country. The 2005 edition tells you how to register at randmcnally.com to download construction maps. It is now available at book stores and other retailers. Regular features include toll-free phone numbers and Web addresses for hotels and motels, and tourist information phone numbers and Web sites for all 50 states, Canadian provinces and Mexico.
STRESSED OUT? According to a survey by the marketing research firm YPB&R, Americans are feeling a vacation pinch. Families think nine nights is an ideal length of a vacation, but the typical vacation is less than four. What would they do if they could extend their vacation? Sleep, relax or do nothing, said 58 percent of the respondents. The reason for shorter vacations? Thirty-one percent of vacationers believe shorter vacations are more cost effective.
NEW MEMBERS/HISTORIC HOTELS. The National Trust Historic Hotels of America has 17 new members, including the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colo. (above); the Fairmount in San Antonio, Texas; the Davenport Hotel in Spokane, Wash.; and the Ashland Springs Hotel in Ashland, Ore.www.nationaltrust.org
SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE'S CULTUREFEST IN PHOENIX. The five-day festival, Nov. 10-14, will feature special events, lectures, demonstrations, concerts and more throughout the greater Phoenix area. Topics will include Old West lore, the Sonoran desert, Arizona's gems and minerals, Mexican art and culture, jazz, Native American art, and even space exploration. www.culturefest.com; www.azot.com; www.visitphoenix.com
STAYING HEALTHY ON THE ROAD. "The Rough Guide to Travel Health," written and researched by British physician Dr. Nick Jones, covers just about everything a traveler needs to know — in exacting detail. From first aid for a snake bite to how to treat a nose bleed to diagnosing Rocky Mountain spotted fever, you'll find it here. It could even pass for a trusted at-home resource on medical issues. It is, of course, not meant to replace a visit to your family doctor.