There are lots of reasons to travel abroad. Some people like to go to broaden their horizons. Some like the weather, while others favor exotic cuisine or locations. But wherever you go, make sure you are clued up on the best things to do and in that area. Or you could travel all that way only to miss out in the best bits!
Traditionally the best gift you could get for anyone going on holiday was a travel guide. These are books that are dedicated to breaking down the history and best places to visit in a particular area. They can be as broad as on the whole of China or as specific as an individual city like Venice.
In these books, you will find safety advice, places to stay and how much they cost as well as suggestions for different types of food. They are helpful for those on a budget as they can highlight where the most economical options are available, saving you lots of money.
However, there are some disadvantages of using a travel guide in book format. Firstly they can be cumbersome. Travel guides tend to be printed on thin paper, and the text is a small as possible to be readable. But even so, you can image that a book on the whole of China is quite hefty to carry around!
The second issue is that carrying and using a book like this in public marks you out immediately as a tourist in an unfamiliar place. This could elicit some help from the kind strangers around you. Or it could let pickpockets and others with unsavory intents know too, making you very vulnerable.
Now most people have access to the internet on their smartphones. This means a lot more people tend to favor researching their travel destination via websites and apps. Some of the larger travel guide companies like Lonely Planet have put the information in the book available online.
Also, there have also been new businesses spring up like TripAdvisor. Companies like them collate information and reviews all into one place for the user’s convenience.
These sites can be particularly useful when beginning to plan a trip. This is because you can see what is in the immediate area and whether you will need to travel to get to certain places of interest.
There is also some website that is set up to offer a more alternative experience to travels. See Atlas Obscura and Roadtrippers. Atlas Obscura caters to a modern hipster crowd and has a suggestion for the cool and unusual thing to do in most of the major world cities.
Roadtripper is an American site which allows you to plan a road trip around some of the more wild and wacky sites that are along the more famous routes. Never again will you miss the world’s largest coffee machine or the Spam Museum, because you went aware of their resistance.
When researching their travel destinations online, some people forget to check websites run for the locals. These are a great wealth of information. Detailing everything from free local festivals to road work problems that could affect your stay.
With local websites, travelers can make sure of the information easily, with access to the internet. So there is no excuse not to be on the ball regarding what is on in the cities and towns you are visiting.
If all that research sounds like a nightmare, then there is an easier way to make sure you see all the best bits that a place has to offer. That is escorted touring.
Escorted tours are organized and delivered by travel companies. The idea is that they take you to places of significant interest like on Safari in Africa or around the amazing sites of India like the Taj Mahal. Then they take you from place to place, so you get to see all the best bits that that location has to offer. But you don’t have to worry that you are missing out on anything or worry about how you will travel from place to place in an unfamiliar country.
Stay With Locals
Lastly is you want to get into the swing of the place you are visiting, why not trying staying with the locals in their homes? This way you won’t miss out of the reality of how people in that location live their day to day lives. You’ll also get to see the place in a more authentic way.