We live in an amazing age of information and technology. Meaning we also have invaluable resources to use to make or lives easier. The trick is knowing where to turn to create the best plans.
Ten years ago I started planning and saving for my first international adventure. Still in high school and rather ignorant on what was online, I turned to the age old classic. Something that centuries of explorers have used.
Good, old-fashioned books…because they work, and people work to make them accurate. And mostly (MOSTLY) they are more accurate than false.
So I gathered some books from the library. Then I began narrowing down what I wanted. I got maps and looked up stuff. Paper maps. Then I would consult Google maps to see what could be found. Google maps was a little vague at the time for places outside of the USA, but it served a purpose.
I would organize my routes and activities with notes and colored sticky notes. I didn’t even do things this thorough in school. But for travel- everything was organized.
I still do this for places that are unfamiliar and not as well covered online, such as India and China (more rural areas over big cities). However, we now have much more at our fingertips, including the phone I am writing this on.
Here are my go to places for the best information and the best way to plan an adventure.
- Plan your routing via plane, train, automobile…ferry, donkey….. okay you get the idea
- Google Maps
- learn areas, proximity, features and more. As it is always updating, there is always something else to discover
- Lonely Planet
- possibly the best online tool for getting started, explore little details as you flesh out ideas, then pick up a book to get the full story
- Trip Advisor
- read reviews, get pictures, and learn about hidden gems. While it’s user generated, that doesn’t mean it lacks insight
- Narrow down hotel options in areas, find hidden gems, and get great deals!