Anytime I book a trip I’m always the one to do the research. My wife loves coming on trips and really never complains about the activities, but she doesn’t do much of the planning. It is “my department.” I really enjoy finding the fun things to do. In our upcoming trip I’ve been doing a lot of searching out activities, it made me think….How does everyone else do the research for their trips?
I’ve been a huge fan of Barnes and Noble bookstores. My wife has almost always had to allow me to spend a minute looking over the books about international travel. My thirst to travel has never quite been quenched. I’m always looking for new places to go and great things to see. They have always been a great stop for me to look at the ideas of things to see and do.
I just recently found out that our public library has TONS of travel books that can be checked out. We found books on Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and more. Some are Fodors, others are DK, Lonely Planet, and more. Our public library allows us to check out up to 50 books at a time. I had no idea that they would allow you to check out so many. I settled for a few books and figured that I would use until I returned these ones to check out more.
They also had a few videos to choose from. You can see that I spotted Rick Steve’s European travels. It came with 12 discs showing some of his travels all across Europe. The activity of the night tonight is to watch the videos that correspond to the locations of our trips. His stops have given me ideas of things to see on my upcoming trip.
Tripadvisor.com is always another great place to research. I almost always prefer the forums over the “things to do.” The forums are nice because they are designed for people like you and I who are going there for the first time. You can ask questions to other travelers who have been there before, or those who are experts on the area. It always inspires me to look at my own town or things that are close to me so I can contribute to others who would like to see my hometown.
I’ve also found Netflix offers a few travel shows that might catch your interest. I watched a show the other night about the island of Venice. It explained that the people who built the city did so to avoid the barbarians who were attacking them so easily on the mainland. They found refuge on the swampy marshes of the Adriatic, but discovered that they could build on the marshes if they were to drive huge spikes down into the silt to secure up a foundation for the buildings. Essentially they built the city by driving these pylons into the ground and then pouring concrete on top of them. Fun fact to learn, and now I can understand why they say that Venice just might be sinking.
Knowing more about your destination can make it much more fun than a surprise sometimes. Especially if you know what kinds of food to order and what sites to see then your trips will be filled with many more experiences than if you try to figure it all out upon arrival. Either way it will be fun, but knowing about your destination can definitely make it more interesting.
What sources do you use to research your trip? Do you watch movies, read books, or search the web? Which do you find most useful? What secrets can you share with us?
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