I seem to have adopted the role of tour guide when I go on holiday. My family took this to the extreme last year on our family holiday to Disney. They bought me a clip board and whistle! 🙂
I do like to make the most of my trips and not miss out on anything. This means doing lots of research and planning before hand. Since going travelling when I was 21, I have always used guide books to help prepare for my trips. Nowadays though there are so many resources available on the internet that it is possible to find out so much about a place before getting there. I like to find out the best places to eat and drink and the best things to see and do in each place I visit. This is how I research and prepare for my trips and holidays.
How to research for a holiday
Get a guide book
I always buy the latest lonely planet guide a few months before I go on holiday. My favourite version at the moment is their pocket guides. These are a smaller version of their main guide book so they don’t go into as much detail however I love them as they fit into my handbag. Perfect to take on an evening out (yes I always have my guide book with me!) Guide books are great for finding out the top attractions to visit and has recommendations for restaurants and bars to suit all budgets.
I tend to fill my guide books with post it notes so I can easily find the attractions and restaurants that I want to visit. There are lots of different guide books available but I find Lonely planet the easiest to use.
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Use a map
Guide books often come with a map included. I find this a great resource for planning my trips. When I find places I want to visit or restaurants and bars I want to try I will use a post it note to mark their location on the map. This is very useful while travelling as when you are out and about sight seeing and need a break to refuel you can see on the map what is nearby.
I rely on my maps a lot while away. So much so that they often need taping back together when I get home. This may seem a bit old fashioned with all the technology that’s available to us but at least you don’t have to rely on having internet connection!
There are so many blogs available out there to help find out lots of information about almost anywhere. Blogs are where I do most of my research and get some great ideas on the places I visit. Its also one of the reasons I wanted to start my blog and pass on my knowledge. Blogs are great as they are written by people who have visited or live at the place you are researching. They are also very good for finding hidden gems or places that are off the beaten track. I have found many great local restaurants by reading peoples blogs.
Blogs are also great for working out the best itinerary for your trip. There are also lots of ideas for travelling to a place for a short weekend break. This then allows you to know how much you can see and do in a couple of days.
Please take a look at some of my posts for some travel inspiration.
- Best bars in Amsterdam – 5 great bars to try
- Things to do in New York – 3 recommendations that I’m really glad we did!
- Where to stay in Barcelona
I am a big fan of Pinterest and have boards for all the different places I visit. This is where I will search and find the blogs I want to read and save. Its a great resource for information on a huge number of destinations. Please check out my Pinterest account here were you can follow my boards.
Make use of TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor is a great tool for reading reviews on attractions, restaurants and accommodation. When I read about a great place to visit or a nice restaurant to try I will always check it out on TripAdvisor to see what others thought. You do have to read a few reviews to get a good idea about a place. The downside to TripAdvisor is that the reviews can sometimes be misleading. What I am looking for in a good restaurant may not be the same as someone else.
It is a great way of getting a list of the top places to visit or the best rated restaurants. I like to read the reviews when searching for accommodation as it gives you an idea of the location, the types of facilities available and what people thought of their stay.
Speak to friends and family
There is nothing better than having a chat with friends and family that have visited the place you are travelling too. Its always nice to get recommendations from people you know. Equally as important they may tell you things to avoid so you don’t waste your time. You could also make use of their guide books and maps, sharing is caring 🙂
For me researching and preparing for a holiday is all part of the fun of a holiday (maybe that’s just me!). I can’t wait to get guide books for my trips to Prague and Vienna next year and start planning! Thank you for taking the time to read my post and I hope its been of use.
Don’t forget to Pin for later …..
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