Whether you are deciding where to go next or what to do on your next holiday research is the key. I’m the ultimate planner, whereas Matt likes to travel by the seat of his pants and see what comes around the corner. My levels of anxiety do not allow for too much free-wheeling, so I like to do a little investigating before I even board the plane.
Planning in advance means you can utilise your time wisely and get the most out of your break. I have missed out on visiting Alcatraz Island twice because I didn’t book in advance, there is no way I will be making this mistake again! It also means you can search discounts and free entry days, so you can stick within you budget.
Below are my top tips for researching your next adventure.
- Go old school and read a book
I love reading travel books as they provide a wealth of information in one place without having to scour the depths of the internet. There can be a lot to choose from so I tend to take a trip to my local library and check them out. They tend to be up-to-date and I can save more money for my trip. When I do purchase I usually opt for smaller editions that can easily be packed in my hand luggage. Even better are the ones that come with maps.
- Talk to other people
Talking to people has provided me with great inspiration. Often at work people give me tips on local places to go. Without these recommendations I never would have hiked Deep Cove in North Vancouver and had the best doughnut of my life. I also never would have been to Tofino on Vancouver Island, as I thought it was just for surfers, but it was where I had some of best camping memories. It helps if the people you are talking to are like-minded to yourself and have similar interests. For instance, you’d never find me recommending a beach holiday as I just don’t do them!
- Avoid websites that are review orientated
I know I’ve just said talk to people, but online is different. It’s hard to differentiate what means 3 stars to one person from another. I know that my travel needs are different from my parents for example. Something I might rate 4 out of 5 might only get 3 off someone with a bigger budget. More often than not they are unreliable full of people who have had a bad day. So, save your time and avoid them.
- Go to your local travel agent
You don’t need to be booking through a travel agent to be able to utilise them. I frequently pop into my local branch at home to pick up a few brochures. I’m like a kid in a candy store going home with at least five at a time. One of my favourite things about brochures is that they often have detailed maps in them, that can be great for road trip planning. And whilst I usually can’t afford the hotels in them it does provide some major inspiration. Also, this one is a wonderful way of achieving number 2 as travel agents will always want to talk to you!
This one is my favourite if I’m in a hurry. If you haven’t used Pinterest before its basically mood boarding online, you can find and ‘pin’ (save) things of interest into different ‘boards’ (folders). It’s a very visual way of finding new places to visit and will inspire major wanderlust. You have been warned!
- Read travel blogs
Now you’ve already done this one as you’re on my site, thanks guys! But seriously, they can be a terrific way of getting a genuine opinion off people who love to travel. They are more personal and often very detailed. Plus, there is a blog post for practically everything, so you will never be lost for help and advice on your next trip.
Where are you planning on visiting next? Have your researched or are you going to wait and see what you will find?