Pre-Trip Research: Expert Tips and TricksOctober 31, 2018
Going on an exciting trip is always the easy part. The challenges lie in determining the right destination to visit, finding out more about the attractions and activities to try on that destination, and figuring out other details about the trip. Ask any experienced traveler and they will tell you that research is a big part of traveling.
Pre-trip research is that important. The more information you have about a place or a destination, the better you can prepare for the trip, and the more pleasant the actual travel experience will be. To help you do pre-trip research like a pro, here are some of the tips and tricks to help you.
Turn to Travel Blogs
Researching a destination is easy thanks to the wealth of travel resources available online. You have sites like TripAdvisor granting you access to curated lists, millions of user reviews, and a lot of information about any destination in the world.
For genuine information about a destination – written by fellow travelers who have been there – travel blogs are the sites you want to visit. With the help of Google, you can find hundreds of real stories from real people about a destination.
Duration, Duration, Duration
Pre-trip research is meant to help make creating a detailed itinerary easier. Before you can have that detailed itinerary, you need to make a list of the places you want to visit and activities you want to try. While making that list, always keep the duration of your trip in mind.
Knowing how much time you have is only the beginning. You need to determine the pace of the trip too. A packed trip allows you to visit three to four attractions in one day, but the schedule of that day will be fast-paced.
Write It Down
From years of planning trips researching destinations, I find the best way to do your pre-trip research is by writing down the information you get. You can use bookmarks to mark the sources of every detail you gather, but writing small notes and pointers is far more effective.
At the very least, you always know what you have collected by looking at the notes. You can also add information such as URLs and your personal thoughts about the attraction or other pieces of information as you write down details in your own words.
We tend to turn to popular opinions and stick with attractions that are widely known when doing pre-trip research; don’t worry, this was a habit that got to me too. You can actually find more places to visit and even more exciting adventures to go on by digging deeper.
When comparing North Carolina holiday rentals on Airbnb, for instance, you can take it a step further and find out more about your host before deciding to book the room or apartment. You now have tools such as the NC White Pages you can access via Intelius to do that.
One last tip to remember about pre-trip research and planning is to stay objective. Don’t be too excited about visiting a new place, because that excessive excitement could lead to loss of focus and bad research.
Do it right, however, and you will have plenty of insights and details to work with. Planning the perfect trip based on what you really enjoy from a vacation is certainly easier to do with the right information in hand.