Congratulations! It seemed like it would never happen but you finally finished finding all of the best flight, hotel, and rental car deals for your upcoming vacation (hopefully using the tools we have share with you). The only thing you have left to do is research for your trip and plan your route…
Trip research can be a bit overwhelming. With so many sites and apps to choose from these days, it is easy to fall into the internet rabbit hole. You start off on a travel blog and end up reading reviews on a restaurant 500 miles away from your destination. Worst of all, you don’t even remember how it happened.
Well, I have good news for you! Conducting research for your trip is now easier than ever thanks to the existence of travel forums, groups, and websites that are made for your specific destination. Our favorites include Trip Advisor Forums, Wiki Travel, Nomadic Matt, and Facebook Groups.
Trip Advisor Forums allow you to connect with other travelers to ask questions, learn about the places they visited, and see what activities are going on in the area you are visiting. Reviewers are not paid so you do not have to worry about them having biased opinions on certain places and areas. It is a great way to get honest reviews about where you should and should not go on vacation.
In addition to reading posts from other travelers about questions and topics they want to talk about, you can also look for your own topics of interest using the search feature. For example, if you are visiting Nashville, you can search “good restaurants in Nashville” or “activities in Nashville” and hundreds of results will show up instantaneously. If you searched through all the topics and still didn’t get the answer you were looking for, you can easily ask your own question and get quick answers from trusted users.
Lastly, almost every destination has “destination experts” who can help you out with any additional concerns you may have about your upcoming trip. I cant think of a better way to research for your trip than asking experts who (usually) live in your desired destination or have been there multiple times.
Wiki Travel is a free travel guide that currently has over 116,826 pages for different destinations.
If you search for the destination you are traveling to under where it says “take me to”, Wiki Travel will provide you with an information page about that place including, but not limited to, the…
- Districts of the area
- Ways to get there and get around
- Landmarks, neighborhoods, museums, and parks to visit
- Activities to do
- Restaurants to eat at (it even tells you how expensive they are)
- Places to stay at
- Languages spoken
- Gyms you can workout at
- Grocery stores to shop at
Clearly, this one page gives you all the information you could ever need about your destination. This is easily a “one stop shop” when you plan to research for your trip. It should definitely be one of the first sites you consult.
Nomadic Matt has information on everything that is travel-related. Seriously, this travel site even has an article on what backpack you should buy when going on vacation. Anything you need to know before traveling is pretty much guaranteed to be on this site such as pre-made itineraries, prices of certain trips, and different ways to make your vacation even better. Nomadic Matt caters towards those who want to indulge in in depth detailed research for your trip.
Personally, I always use the travel guides that Nomadic Matt creates. The travel guides provide you with the best places to visit, activities to do, and restaurants to eat at on your upcoming trip. The guides even give you money saving tips so you can stay within your travel budget. More importantly, these travel guides are consistently updated so you do not have to worry about driving all the way to a certain restaurant only to find out that it closed years ago. The fact that they are constantly updated also ensures that you get to visit all the up-and-coming and trendy areas. The days of buying outdated travel guides are over thanks to Nomadic Matt.
As I’m sure you already know, Facebook is good for a lot more than stalking your ex-boyfriends and girlfriends. You can plan events, raise money for charities, play games, and best of all…join groups related to your travel destination!
There are many Facebook travel groups that now exist for specific destinations that you can easily find by typing “*your destination* travel group” into the search bar.
These groups are a great way to chat with both locals and other travelers to get the very best travel tips. The key to joining a useful group is to check out the average engagement of posts prior to joining. Usually, posts with a lot of advertisements does not receive much participation from it’s members, thus, you will never get the answers you need.
I advise joining a travel group made for your destination right after you book your trip so you can plan it based on what other people are talking about and recommending. If you are going to use Facebook (everyday of your life) anyways, might as well use it as a great tool to research for your trip.
In summary, planning a trip no longer has to be a difficult and time-consuming activity. With Trip Advisor Forums, Wiki Travel, Nomadic Matt, and Facebook Groups, you can easily find out everything you need to know about your destination in just a couple of hours.