I’m the “list” mom, I know this, my kids know this and my poor husband certainly knows this. I feel I can accomplish any task that once I have written it down on paper. That’s why I came up with this list of 10 ways to research your next travel destination. If you’re like me and need it written out on paper, then never fear, I have included a handy printable (look for it at the end of this post) for you to enjoy!
Here are things I have on the list and why:
Create a Pinterest board –
This is my most favorite way to plan my next trip. I might have a small addiction to Pinterest, my husband would disagree with the small part (don’t be fooled he has an account too). I love creating a board for my desired location and pinning lots of great ideas to it, places to see, things to do, and most importantly, foods to eat. I have found some of the best information that I might never have discovered otherwise. Pinterest is a great tool for travelers so jump on board and use it! Be sure to follow us on Pinterest to see our favorites pins!
Read Travel Blogs –
Of course, I had to mention this one! There are some incredible travel bloggers out there that specialize in many different types of travel. They work really hard to share their own experiences in an effort to educate you on new travel locations. They provide excellent resources and are able to give you a firsthand account of what travel to certain areas will be like. I highly recommend reading blogs that fit your travel interests. We are a community with a LOUD voice in the travel world.
Utilize Websites Like TripAdvisor –
When it comes to travel research, I’m a huge fan of TripAdvisor and sites like them. The reviews, details, and photos make it easy to get the information I need when making decisions. A hotel might look great from its pictures online but the reviews could provide a more honest description. Nothing is worse than thinking you struck gold only to discover you came away with bed bugs instead.
Check The Weather –
There are many places online to see what the weather will be like when you arrive. Always research this ahead of time, I cannot stress this enough! I have packed the wrong types of clothes and scheduled the wrong activities because I didn’t check the weather forecast. For oversea travels, you will want to find out what the weather is like during certain times of the year. You may not want to visit Costa Rica during the rainy season or take a cruise during hurricane season, so be prepared!
Look Up Hashtags On Instagram –
Social media is a great way to see others experiences in your desired travel location. Perhaps I’m planning a trip to San Francisco this summer. A great way to do some further research is to look up the hashtag #SanFrancisco in Instagram. I might find fun things to do or new places to eat. Give it a try and see what you discover!
Find Events During Your Stay –
There are ways to make our travel experiences more unique. Catching an event while visiting somewhere is a very exciting way to do this. When you plan your next trip to Texas try to come when the Texas State Fair is going on. What about visiting National Parks during National Parks Week for entrances fee-free days!
Have you ever used Groupon? If you haven’t, your really missing out on a great way to save money. I always check Groupon for my travel destinations, the savings can make a big difference in what you chose to do and see while you are there. They have deals for restaurants, retailers, and service providers. Download the app for a handy savings tool!
Ask Around –
The old-fashioned “ask around” method can be as useful as the internet. The next time you’re traveling to somewhere new, ask others if they have been there, get their opinions and recommendations. You might get some firsthand ideas that will enhance your travel experience.
Don’t Forget Surrounding Areas or Stops Along The Way –
Half the fun of road trips are the stops you make along the way. Check out cool things to do in route to your final destination. What about looking into surrounding areas where you will be staying. Driving to the next town over for the “best ice cream ever” might be worth the trip! Once, on our way home from a trip to Arkansas, we stopped at Crater of Diamonds State Park. It’s the only diamond-bearing site accessible to the public. If you find a diamond it’s yours to keep! This was such a fun family-friendly activity to enjoy on our way home.
Explore, Try and See For Yourself –
Like I said before, I’m a “list maker”, it helps me stay organized and assists me in planning ahead. One thing that I have learned though, sometimes you have to put down the phone, laptop, pen, and paper and just get out there and explore for yourself. Look at each location as a blank page in your travel book. You get to decide what goes on that page. Sometimes the unknown brings us the greatest travel memories. Don’t over-do the researching and embrace the experience.
Feel free to download the printable research travel printable.
Here are a few more ideas to further research your next travel destination:
Historical and Cultural Significance of the Area
Educational Activities (great for homeschoolers)