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12 ways to research your travel destination before departing

May 24, 2017
Traveler with map

A common complaint among adventure and leisure travelers is a lack of time and money to visit the world’s many great places. So, for most people, one must be discriminating about the choices one makes. And after a location is chosen, the traveler will always get more out of the visit if he or she gets to know the destination. The good news: There is a plethora of information sources to get travelers boned up before the trip.

The following listing is excerpted from an article that appears on the Global Goose website, which tackled the subject. Among its suggestions is that travelers:

  1. 1. Read Wikitravel articles. Among other things, Wikitravel posts also contain information about things to do, places to stay, safety tips, ideas for day trips and much more.
  2. 2. Read posts by travel bloggers who have been there. Travel blogs can be a great way to learn about a destination, and there are so many out there it only takes a quick Google search to find a blogger who has been to your destination.
  3. 3. Watch YouTube videos. There is a wealth of travel content on YouTube, from travel vlogs (video blogs) to documentaries to footage of tours to videos from official travel brands.
  4. 4. Ask about it on Reddit. Check out forums such as /r/travel on Reddit to ask questions and find out more about your destination. These forums are used by a lot of passionate travelers and they often have plenty of experience to share with you.
  5. 5. Review TripAdvisor. This travel site is a ready source of information about travel destinations. In addition to information about hotels, you can also read reviews of restaurants, tour companies and local attractions.
  6. 6. Read local news sources. If you speak the language, you could start reading local news sources from the country before you get there — such as newspapers, blogs and magazines. They will give you an insight into what is happening in the country, such as events, festivals, politics and popular culture and more.
  7. 7. Inquire with the staff of your hotel. If you have already booked your hotel, the staff can be a great source of information. A good hotel staff can offer tips that enhance your visit.
  8. 8. Check out guide books. The classic guide book is still a wealth of information. Thumb through a copy of Frommers, Lonely Planet or Rough Guides, or any number of other travel books. These guides usually have sections on the history and culture of the country, as well as safety tips, suggestions on what to do, information about local holidays, as well as reviews of hotels and restaurants.
  9. 9. Look up hashtags. Social media can be a great source of travel information and inspiration. Go on Twitter or Instagram and search for hashtags related to your travel destination. On Twitter you will find tweets with links to articles and blogs about your destination as well as local news and media. On Instagram you will find terrific photos that will inspire.
  10. 10. Find relevant podcasts. Podcasts are yet another way to learn about your destination, and there are thousands of podcasts covering an array of travel topics.
  11. 11. Ask expatriates who live there. Expatriates (or “expats”) are people who have left their home country to live abroad. The expats who live in the destination you are considering or heading to can be an inspired source of information.
  12. 12. Check with the U.S State Department. If you’re traveling to somewhere exotic or politically unstable, it’s a good idea to check on the travel warnings and alerts on the State Department website. Click here to take a look.

To read the full Global Goose article, click here.

We are interested in how you go about preparing for your travels. Click here to share thoughts and insights.