Write A Travel Guide About A Place You Know


Travelling to lớn a foreign country is exhilarating – & a little bit intimidating too. You are venturing somewhere completely new and you really don’t know what things will be lượt thích there when you arrive. It’s always a massive learning curve when you leap into the unknown (which is why it’s important to lớn research a travel destination before you go.)

When you are planning your trip you’ll have so many questions. What will the climate be like? What kind of clothing is appropriate to lớn wear? Will people speak English? What is the food like? What is the public transport like? How much will things cost? What local customs should I be aware of? How difficult will it be to lớn meet people và make friends? These are so many important things to figure out before you board that plane.

Montverde, Costa Rica

This information is all out there, but the key is knowing where to lớn find it. The good news is that these days there are so many ways lớn research a travel destination before you go. The guide book isn’t the only source of info- in fact Lee và I never use paper guidebooks as we prefer other methods.

Table of Contents

1 đôi mươi Ways to Research a Travel Destination Before You Go
20 Ways khổng lồ Research a Travel Destination Before You Go

Here are 20 ways that you can research a travel destination before you go & find out everything you need lớn know. Find the ways that work best for you – you’ll likely over up using several methods in order lớn cover everything. This can be one of the fun parts of travel – you’ll learn something new, ease your apprehension by feeling more prepared và the more you read about your destination the more you will build excitement.

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1. Wikitravel Articles

Whenever Lee and I are heading somewhere new, we often like to look at the Wikitravel page first. It can sometimes be a little outdated (including prices), but most of the time it has a lot of very useful information in an organised & laid out format. For example, the Wikitravel page for a country is where I look first when I want lớn know how long the tourist visa lasts, whether or not I will need khổng lồ apply for it và how the process works.

Wikitravel posts also contain information about things to lớn do, places lớn stay, safety tips, ideas for day trips and much more. It works like Wikipedia in the sense that it can be edited by anyone. So (if you feel lượt thích it) after your trip you could contribute something you discovered lớn the guide & make it even more informative for the people who visit after you.

Montanita, Ecuador

2. Read Posts By Travel Bloggers Who Have Been There

Travel blogs can be a great way to research a travel destination before you go! There are so many out there, so it only takes a quick Google tìm kiếm to find a blogger who has been to lớn your destination. I like reading travel blog posts, because they offer a first hand perspective on the destination.

It helps to find a blogger who has a similar travel style, budget & interests as you do, as their recommendations will be more useful. It’s not very helpful to lớn read about a blogger’s experience at a high kết thúc luxury resort when you will be seeking out budget accommodation on your trip. (Also, be sure khổng lồ take the đánh giá on some travel blogs with a grain of salt, as they might be sponsored posts.)

3. Thư điện tử Travel Bloggers

So you’ve found a great travel blogger who has written content about your destination, but they didn’t quite answer your specific question? Why not try emailing them? If they are not too busy, they might take the time to answer your question or point you lớn somewhere that has the information.

As a travel blogger there have been a few readers email me with more specific questions related to something they read on the blog & if possible I always vày my best lớn help them. You can’t guarantee that the travel blogger will write back to you, but if they vì respond it can be a very valuable way to lớn research a travel destination before you go. 

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

4. Watch Videos on Youtube

Watching a clip about your destination can be a way to learn things about it that are hard to lớn express via the written word. You can see what the landscapes look like, listen to lớn what the accents sound like and actually see footage of the attractions that you might want lớn visit on your trip.

There is an incredible wealth of travel nội dung on Youtube, from travel vlogs to documentaries to lớn footage of tours to videos from official travel brands and much more. Make yourself a cup of coffee, get comfortable, sit back và research a travel destination before you go – via video.

5. Ask About it On Reddit

Check out forums such as /r/travel on Reddit khổng lồ ask questions & research a travel destination before you go. These forums are used by a lot of passionate travellers & they often have plenty of experience to nói qua with you. Before you start your own thread, tìm kiếm through to see if your question has been asked before.

Also, if you speak the language và you can find the subreddit for that country you could ask questions there. For example, if you are heading to Canada and you want to lớn know what khổng lồ expect you could make a post on /r/Canada và it will likely be answered by plenty of knowledgeable locals. Also, just reading the posts and nội dung shared on that country-specific subreddit will give you a lot of insight into Canada.

Vang Vieng, Laos

6. TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is another great way khổng lồ research a travel destination before you go. It’s not just for hotels – you can also read reviews of restaurants, tour companies & local attractions. If you see a restaurant, attraction or a khách sạn mentioned while you are doing research somewhere else you can head over lớn TripAdvisor lớn see what people are saying about it. Also, you can search in TripAdvisor for the top restaurants, hotels or attractions in order khổng lồ get ideas on what to lớn do, where to lớn stay and what to lớn eat while you are there.

We have also found that TripAdvisor is great for choosing tour companies. If you are headed somewhere lượt thích the Amazon rainforest, you will need to hire a tour guide khổng lồ take you into the jungle as you cannot visit on your own. It’s hard to lớn find the right tour company when you are searching on their websites, as each company is going lớn say that they offer the best service. When you look at the nhận xét you will get an honest picture of what the tour was like, written by people who have actually experienced it.

A tip for using TripAdvisor: try to lớn get the overall vibe of the reviews rather than taking very positive or negative reviews too seriously. Sometimes it’s important khổng lồ take the nhận xét with a grain of salt, as they might be written by someone who is easily pleased or overly negative.

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Taking a tour on the Amazon River

7. Read Local News Sources

If you speak the language, you could start reading local news sources from the country before you get there – such as newspapers, blogs & magazines. They will give you an insight into what is happening in the country, such as events, festivals, politics, popular culture và much more. Also, it will give you some great talking points when you are conversation with the locals, as you will be able to comment on current affairs. (although be careful what you say on hot button issues!)

8. Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is an amazing phenomenon. It’s a trang web that brings together travellers with local hosts who offer their spare rooms or couches for free. Lee & I used it a lot during our trip across Canada & we stayed for không tính tiền with some incredibly kind & generous people.

However, did you know that even if you don’t want to stay with a local – you can also use Couchsurfing to find out more information about your travel destination? You can connect with someone who lives there and ask them questions. Also, many Couchsurfing hosts state on their profile that they are available khổng lồ meet with you for coffee or a drink & show you around. What better source of insider info can you have than a local who is willing to give their time khổng lồ introduce you to their home?

Banff, Alberta, Canada

9. The Staff of Your Hotel

If you have already booked your hotel, the staff can be a great source of information. They will be able khổng lồ tell you how lớn get from the airport to lớn the khách sạn and they can also offer tips on how to lớn get around the city and what to vị while you are there. You can even ask them lớn recommend local tour companies for activities.

10. Read Guide Books

Of course, we can’t forget about the classic guide book. Thumb through a copy of Frommers, Lonely Planet or Rough Guides & you will learn a lot about your destination. These guides usually have sections on the history and culture of the country, as well as safety tips, suggestions on what lớn do, information about local holidays, review of hotels and restaurants and much more.

I personally never use guide books. I find that the information that they contain can be easily found online with a quick Google search. Also, the nội dung in a guidebook is already several months old by the time it goes to lớn print, while more up lớn date information can be accessed online.

However, many travellers I know still use guide books & find them valuable. A guide book never needs WiFi, so even if you can’t get online the information is still there. Also, there’s something about the sensation of holding a physical book in your hand and flipping through it.

Juayua, El Salvador

11. Read Non-Fiction Books

Travel guides aren’t the only books that can help you lớn learn about your destination. You can research almost every aspect of the country via non-fiction books. Read about the history of the nation và you’ll have a better understanding of its politics và why things are the way they are. Read about the cuisine of the country, its economy, its environment or any other aspects of it that interest you. Read books or autobiographies of famous people who are from that country or who have spent a lot of time there.

This info might not help you to lớn book a hotel or a tour, but it will give you a deeper insight into the country & that understanding will make your travel experience richer & more meaningful.

12. Watch Documentaries

In a similar vein, documentaries are non-fiction in video form và they can be very interesting sources of information about your travel destination. If you watch a fascinating documentary it can inform you and be a great talking point later in discussions with people you meet on your travels. Check out the documentaries section on Netflix to see if there are any films there about your destination.

Basílica del Voto Nacional, Quito, Ecuador

13. Watch Films or TV Shows

As well as watching documentaries, what about watching fictional films that are set in your destination? They will allow you lớn see what the destination looks lượt thích and get a sense of the culture, scenery và other aspects.

For example, city of God is an amazing film and it also gives a glimpse into what life in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro is like. Midnight in Paris is one of my favourite films of all time và it perfectly captures the charm and elegance of the đô thị of Light. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, another one of my favourite movies, is basically a love letter lớn the city of Chicago. Take a look for films that are mix in the location you will be travelling to and take some time lớn watch them before your trip.

14. Read Novels phối in That Country

Another way lớn research a travel destination before you go is to read a novel that is mix there. You’ll be able khổng lồ feel immersed in the local culture và you’ll get a sense of what things are like. Depending on the novel you might gain some insight into the local customs, the history và the subtler nuances of life in that destination.

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The ceiling of the xanh Mosque, Istanbul

15. Look up Hashtags

Social truyền thông media can be a great source of travel information và inspiration. Go on Twitter or Instagram and search for hashtags related lớn your travel destination. On Twitter you will find Tweets lớn articles & blogs about that destination as well as local news and media.

On Instagram you will find gorgeous photos that will fuel your travel daydreams. I lượt thích to look at the hashtag for where I am going next on Instagram so that I can get some visual inspiration of what to bởi while I am there.

16. Talk About it lớn People

Whenever someone you know asks you what’s new, you can mention the upcoming travel you are planning. When you do, they might have some suggestions lớn give you or they might say, “Oh that’s cool, my Aunt/Neighbour/Friend/etc has just been there, I’ll ask them if they have any tips.”

Women in traditional costume near Colca Canyon, Peru

17. Read Magazines

Although magazines are a bit of an old style of truyền thông that you might not read anymore if you get most of your news online – they can still offer helpful content. Take a look for any travel magazines that feature articles about your destination.

18. Ask Someone You Know Who Has Been There

Reach out khổng lồ your work, school & friend networks – there is a chance that you already know someone who has been khổng lồ your destination. Whether it is your cousin, your parent’s neighbours or a friend of a friend, it can be very helpful to make a connection with someone who has already been to lớn your destination.

You can email them a few questions or even offer khổng lồ buy them a coffee in exchange for sitting down with you & talking lớn you about your trip. First hand experience is so valuable when you want lớn research a travel destination before you go.

Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia

19. Podcasts

If you are a auditory learner and you remember things better if you listen lớn them, podcasts can be a great way khổng lồ research a travel destination before you go. There are thousands of podcasts out there covering a huge array of topics, so it’s just a matter of finding the right one.

There are podcasts that are about travel in general and you might also find podcasts related to your specific location. Here’s a danh sách of đôi mươi Travel Podcasts from OpenCulture to lớn get you started.

20. Ask Expats Who Live There

Expats are people who have left their trang chủ country lớn live abroad somewhere else. The expats who live in the destination you are travelling to can be a great source of information, because they know what it’s lượt thích to visit that country for the first time. They have lived there for a while so they are very knowledgeable about local life.

Tulum, Mexico

Whether you are visiting Thailand, Turkey, Tanzania or Texas – these are some great ways to lớn research a travel destination before you go. With so many methods khổng lồ choose from, you’ll be sure lớn find the info you need to prepare for your trip.

If you have any other ways to lớn research a travel destination before you go, please feel free to mô tả them with us in the comments!