Doing research for travel can be a headache. No matter how excited you are to get to where you want to go, there’s always the stressful part that comes before.Nowadays, there are so many research tools on the Internet to help you figure out things quicker and easier. It’s one thing to know the tools; it’s another thing to know how to use them.
Skyscanner allows you to customize your flight search so you can research the cheapest flight to anywhere in the world. You don’t even need to know where you’re going. Just change your departure city to ‘everywhere’, and select ‘cheapest month’ to see what you can find. If you do know where you’re going, you can check out the price graph to see when it’s best to fly. You can also filter by airlines, stopovers, times, etc.
Booking.com is perfect for booking hotels, as they really understand the avid traveler’s needs. Here, you can make a reservation for a hotel, without necessarily having to pay anything until you get there. They have a flexible cancellation policy, and Genius members get perks. They also have a good selection of accommodations, in case you’d prefer a hostel over a mainstream hotel.
Tripit is a great app that organizes all your travel itineraries into one. No need to stress about remembering all the flights or hotels you’re staying at on your long trip. As soon as you book something and the confirmation goes to your e-mail, the app will collect everything for you. You can view it offline, and keep all your travel plans right at your fingertips.
4.) Project Visa
Need to know the visa requirements before traveling to another country? Before looking anywhere else, start at Project Visa. You can easily figure out what you need for countries you’re traveling to, as well information on the embassies in those countries.
5.) Google Maps
Google Maps is the best way to visualize your trip. Get an idea of how long it takes to travel from one place to another, as well as how to navigate your new destination. If you know how to use it, Google Maps also has options to create your own map, which you can edit based on your prospective travel plans.
If you want to find out general information about how the transportation is where you’re going, even in some of the more remote areas of the world, then check out Rome2Rio. Though not everything is always accurate, it’s a good place to start.
Before you even begin planning a trip, head to Wikitravel to see what there is to do, buy, eat, see, shop, stay, and how to stay safe in the place you’re thinking of going to. Wikitravel, like Wikipedia, is typically created by crowdsourcing, so you can be sure a lot of the information is genuine.
Don’t confirm anything without checking Tripadvisor first. Tripadvisor has a collection of reviews written by trusted users, on everything from hotels and sights, to restaurants, experiences, attractions, and overall destinations. Though you should always visit the places you care about, it doesn’t hurt to see what others had to say first.
There are so many travel blogs and videos out there that you can pretty much find answers to travel questions you didn’t even know you had to ask. Just go to Google, type in what you’re looking for, and write “blog” at the end. Same goes for Youtube. You might just be surprised what you discover!
Don’t waste time doing research for travel. Try these tools from the very beginning.
Author’s Bio: Hana LaRock is originally from New York, though has called other places around the world her home for the last two years. She currently lives in South Korea as an English teacher and freelance travel writer. When she’s not working, she enjoys writing, reading, spending time with her dog, and of course, traveling. You can find her at www.hanalarockwriting.com.