How to Plan the Ultimate Travel Adventure. Luxury or Otherwise.
While there is something to be said for slow travel and the luxury of being able to take each day as it comes – that’s not something a lot of us can afford to do. More importantly – it’s not something one may even want to do. There is a term called “ FOMO “ which is an acronym for “Fear of Missing Out “- which we are pretty familiar with. And hence for us, the ultimate travel adventure means thorough research in order to have the very best and most unique experiences possible while travelling
Here’s a checklist of our favourite resources for finding the best places to stay and the coolest things to do.
The Lonely Planet Guides
Tried and tested. All you need to do is pick up the version for your destination and do a deep dive to plan your itinerary. Especially if you have decided how much time you want to spend at that particular place. It offers suggestions on your itinerary based on your time. Be it a day or a week. It also allows you to tailor trips to your specific interests – say food for instance. You can also plan around other interests such as shopping, family travel, beaches or festivals. Lonely Planet is also a great resource for general information such as key phrases, transport options, currency and medical care. This is certainly one thing you can’t go wrong with.
We love the way information in www.wikitravel.com is structured around a particular destination in a standard easy to use format. All information is detailed out on a long, endlessly scrolling web page. But well structured. You can actually copy paste relevant sections and save them as a note on your mobile device. Or even print the pages out if you aren’t that smartphone savvy.
Niche Travel Planners & Travel Agencies
Another great way of planning your itinerary is to check out niche travel agents’ websites and niche travel planners. Their pre-created itineraries are great options if you want to go off the beaten track and immerse yourself in wine, craft or even large events. And the best part is that they will even custom create stuff depending upon what you are interested in.
Now that’s a great way to find travel ideas and destinations. Inspiration at its best and especially useful if you are looking to make destination decisions. It’s a cool way to search and save ideas – in your destination board which in turn can link you up to useful websites and blogs.
If you’re looking for luxury hotels, it’s best to look online. The Lonely Planet won’t necessarily list the very exclusive places, and even if it does there’s no customer rating for each hotel. There are also websites that aggregate luxury properties with details and ratings which can be searched for. The website includes honest feedback from hotel guests as well as reviews from a secret hotel inspector – so you can be sure what you’re seeing is authentic.
Travel Publications & Influencers
The gold standard – Conde Nast Traveller, Forbes, Vogue, Travel + Leisure plus a host of other options are great in their recommendations, most of which are pretty authentic. Or you could follow people who travel and are socially influential for their travel experiences.
Yes – we know it’s a maze out there – but the content is mostly authentic and pretty detailed. It covers everything from flights to hotels to activities to services and with enough links to the necessary websites to make your bookings. Reviews are completely honest and independent, do read ‘Excellent’ reviews as well as the ‘Terrible’ ones as what works for one may not work for another. It’s also very important to check the Traveller’s Photos on TripAdvisor as this really will give you a true picture of the place and a hotel without all the gloss !
A quick Google search can throw up bloggers living at your destination who may be happy to help with information and share secrets about their city. And you may end up making some great friends along the way. Of course – time and patience are of the essence.
So that’s our list of travel research and planning resources. If you have your own options – do share in the comment below ? We’d all benefit and it would earn you good karma ! One that allows you to travel even more perhaps !