I love exploring new places. One thing that I struggle with sometimes is where to find what interests me at my destination and knowing how much I can fit in to my trip and be sure not to miss the best location has to offer. Here are some of the ways I commonly research my vacation destinations.
Whether they are in your everyday life or your Facebook life, your friends love to share their travel experiences with you. It is likely the more people you are connected to, the larger the variety of travel stories you will find. Send a status update on Facebook asking for information or advice or send an email to those you know travel frequently for pleasure.
Don’t know anyone that travels? That’s no excuse with the breadth of information available online these days. Travel bloggers, either professional or hobbyists, write about their personal knowledge of travel destinations, accommodations, travel gear and more. One of my favorite is VacationGals.com which sources three travel bloggers from across the U.S., including local Minnesotan, Beth Blair. Read our blog on Best Travel Blogs for more of my favorite travel bloggers.
Know where your are going but not what to do when you get there. Visit the location’s tourism website for tried and trusted tourist sites that are typically friendly and safe to even the novice traveler. Many of them also offer to send you electronic or paper brochures regarding the destination. A simple Google search using “tourism + ‘destination name’” should help you easily find the right website.
If you want a very specific experience when you travel, often a Travel Agent is the right resource for you. Many agencies specialize in location-specific tours. They can save you time and money, plus get you perks that you would normally have access to yourself. Our blog on Travel Agents, will help you see the value in their service.
Other Travel Websites
Online travel agencies (OTA) like Kayak.com can help you research and compare airline fares and prices for rental cars and hotels. Read reviews from non-paid travelers on sites like TripAdvisor.com and you can even contribute to the travel community by becoming an adviser.
Remember that there is an abundance of information out there and you can get ‘paralysis of analysis’. Don’t let information overload take over your travel planning. Armed with some basic criteria, such as budget, timeline, and interests, you will be able to efficiently research your next vacation. Researching airport parking is easy, choose a low cost offsite lot, like EZ Air Park, that offers guaranteed parking so you don’t need to fuss with even MORE reservations.