It’s always nice to go somewhere new, different and off the beaten track. But it may not be as easy as just booking a flight and going. Before I travel anywhere, I always do some research. I look where to stay, where to eat, what to do, and see what other peoples experiences have been. Most backpackers I’ve come across have said things like “you can research too much,” “it’s better to just wing it”. But personally, I’ve found I’ve always got more from my travels doing a little research first, and there’s no such thing as too much research. There’s no downside to being better informed! You’ll find places along the way anyway, that you didn’t know about or expect to come across, and doing research doesn’t mean coming up with a step by step itinerary for your travels! One thing I always get asked from friends, is how did you hear about that?! And it’s all down to just a little bit of research.
I was told about Pinterest from a lecturer at university, and I’ve been addicted since. It’s great for exploring and finding out about new places to travel to, and probably is the site I use most for my research. I’ve always found that Pinterest has some different things on there compared to google, so you’re bound to find something you didn’t already know about. It’s a great app to have on your phone, and I’ve found out about some great places that I’ve visited, that I wouldn’t have found out about in your typical travel guide.
Instagram is a great tool for finding out about places. Just type in the hashtag of the place you’re going, and bam, you’ve got access to thousands of people’s holiday photos. Just scroll through, and see where you fancy!
One of the main reasons I guess you’re already here. People like to moan that everyone is a blogger these days, but I think it’s great to find out real information, and what people really think of places. People don’t tend to lie on blogs, it’s what they really think, the good, the bad and the ugly, so is a great source if you’re unsure on anything.
DK Travel Guides
Yes, there are other travel guides available, but personally I don’t like to sit through pages and pages of writing, as I’m sure many don’t. If you like to see where you’re going, and what to expect to see, I’ve found the best travel guides are by DK. It’s true what is wrote on the front of their books, they “show you, what others tell you”.
Friends & Family
Listen to your friends and family, they’re great for giving recommendations. Listen to those you meet along the way on your travels, they’ll tell you about places to go see, and if they speak so highly of it, and remember it months later, it’s a good enough reason to go check out the hype.
My best advice, go do what you want to do. If you think it looks good, it’s probably worth a visit, otherwise you’ll end up kicking yourself afterwards when you don’t. I’ve found places online that I thought looked good, then read reviews where people say it’s a waste of time, don’t go. I’ve not listened, gone, and ended up wondering what all the bad reviews are for. Not everyone is the same, so bare in mind what you find interesting, someone else will find terribly boring. I’ve been recommended places, that have so much hype around them, then go there and hated the whole experience. But that’s part of travelling. You’ll go places you’ll fall in love with, and you’ll go places you can’t wait to see the back of. Just don’t let a bad experience put you off from finding the good.