What is the best travel resource?

Do you follow a zillion travel blogs for inspiration? Do you prefer the eye appealing Pinspiration? Are you a trip advisor kind of traveller? Or do you prefer trusted guides on paper? Or do you go on full service tours and excursions that take the research out of it?

I’m sure most people, like me, use a mixture of all of the above. I love reading about other people’s trips, and have found real off the beaten path gems on blogs I read. On the other hand, one person’s amazing experience may not be the right one for me, and since generally most travel bloggers don’t have time to visit all the restaurants a city has to offer (or even a decent percentage) there’s no knowing if it’s the best option! Which is where review sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp come in.

I always check the reviews of hotels and restaurants before staying…after all you don’t want to find out about the funky smell/bedbugs/mouldy shower when it’s too late. The problem with starting on Tripadvisor is that it’s just overwhelming. With so many places with 4 and 5 dots…who has time to pore over the reviews? It’s like a black hole of information…where you can spend hours! Which leads me to the next step in my research which is usually travel guides. Fortunately, my local library has a wealth of them, most reasonably recent.

I’m a fan of Rough Guides, Lonely Planet and Rick Steves… I like Lonely Planet’s city guides, I find them easy to use and filled with pertinent information but not much fluff.  The draw back I’ve found is that they’re often optimistic about the merits of some sights and museums, which can lead to disappointment and frustration.  The Rick Steves guides are written for an American audience, but I like them because they’re brutally honest about what is worth seeing and what isn’t. I’m not always a fan of the hotel choices though…I’m not of the mind that quaint is always better. Travel research is a process, fortunately a fun one!

Where do you find your travel info? What is your best travel resource?

10 Comments Add yours

  1. angharadeyre says:

    I do like Lonely Planet. I have also planned trips around some fairly random google searches for list articles about the best places to visit near X, the best abandoned towns in America – that sort of thing. Have found some gems that way!


  2. Always using tripadvisor for restaurant and hotel advice but I’ve recently been using it to book excursions directly and have been very impressed each time.

    I’ll also pop to the library (old school) to pick up a DK Eyewitness travel guide to learn about history and culture in a simple listy kind of format.

    Still looking for that ultimate travel guide; I’ve recently downloaded Google Trips which I’d recommend- it’s half way to being essential so given time to develop it may be a serious contender for best travel app! 🙂



    1. I’ve booked hotels occasionally on tripadvisor (but now generally use hotels.com for the rewards) but never an excursion, I’ll have to compare their prices.

      I’m a big fan of the library too for preliminary trip research before committing to buying guidebooks. I#ll have to check out google trips! Sounds helpful!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kiersten says:

    I could not resist commenting. Well written!


  4. Like you, I’m also a big fan of rough guide and lovely planet guidebooks. It’s a great start for planning a trip

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed- are so helpful with narrowing down neighbourhoods and accommodations.


  5. I love Lonely Planet’s city guides, too, Amanda!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They’re so handy and efficient, especially if you’re only going to one city!


  6. I like Rick Steves and usually start with his books to get a general understanding of a destination, then scour over blogs, tourism websites, Instagram and other online resources to find more hidden gems. Only use TripAdvisor to look at “real” photos of hotels and restaurants. I also prefer hotels.com because of their rewards program or I book directly with the property if the rate is better. I also use Viator (recently purchased by TripAdvisor) to get ideas as to what daytrips are possible and sometimes book through them or plan on my own. Such an interesting blog topic, thanks for posing the question!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I also really like hotels.com’s rewards, usually their rates are good and it’s like a bonus 10 percent off! I didn’t realise that Viator was now owned by tripadvisor, that will make looking at excursions really easy.


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