THE MOST USEFUL TRAVEL PLANNING RESOURCES
I used to avoid planning.
It was stressful. People were always saying, "don't script your trip too much, or you won't be flexible."
But, after a few trips now, I have determined my travel style works best with some meticulous planning and research before I go. I feel much more relaxed with a budget and a plan than improvising as I go.
And, now that I know how, planning is no longer a burden. Instead it gets me even more excited to go on my trip!
There are certain resources I go back to every time I begin my plans, no matter the destination. If you're starting to plan, browse a few of these resources to get some ideas!
Adioso is a flight search tool that, unlike most flight search engines, not only compares prices from websites like Cheapoair and Expedia, but it also allows you to search with more flexibility than any flight search I have found previously. From choosing only a beginning point with no destination to browsing departing flights for entire months, Adioso is the most flexible flight search tool available. I don't stop there though, I always cross check with Kayak and SkyScanner as the prices are almost always cheaper than Adioso.
These websites not only offer iconic experiences for their country, but also give suggestions on how to get around and other important knowledge. And, because they are government run, they generally offer unbiased information and suggestions.
A few official tourism websites:
These books have become the ultimate guide to travel due to their extremely detailed and specific information. Each one has a vast wealth of up to date knowledge for any style of travel. I use their country destination guides religiously.
Blogs offer real reviews and travel ideas from both locals and outsiders. There is constantly new material and new perspectives for almost anywhere you want to go. Learn from their mistakes and their successes, and use it to craft your own travel plans.
A few of my favorites:
Although well known, Tripadvisor makes this list not for their travel ideas and ratings, but instead for their travel forum. Posting a potential itinerary with your preferred travel style and time frame gives you critiques from locals and travellers alike. And who better to tell you about a specific place than those who have been there or even lived there?
What resources can't you do without?