When traveling abroad, the key to a successful trip is knowing your destination. It’s worthwhile to spend time researching your intended destinations to help you prepare for your trip (and any surprises along the way).
Key Things to Research Before Departing
During your destination research, keep these points in mind to help you find all the information you’ll need before you travel:
- Learn as much as you can about the local language– learn key phrases and bring a language guide of some kind.
- Know your itinerary – get a travel guide and figure out what you want to see and do before you get there.
- Figure out travel logistics – once you know what you want to see, you need to decide on how you are traveling to each of your destinations
- It can be helpful to purchase all of the tickets you can before you depart (plane, train, tour and other event tickets) because you may get better deals with an advance purchase.
- Research the cities and landmarks you want to visit – what are the travel risks, the most popular destinations, the favorite local meals, etc. Check the opening hours of the places you want to visit so you won’t be disappointed if something is closed when you arrive.
- Review maps of the region as well as your specific destinations to know where you want to go and how to get there.
- Learn about local customs to be sure you don’t offend the locals by dressing or behaving improperly.
- Be sure you have all visa and immunization details sorted out before you depart.
Travel Research Sources
There are many good resources for destination research. Try and use these three to get the greatest amount of knowledge:
- Travel Guides: There are a variety of travel guides to suit various budgets and interests. Choose the right one for your needs. These are often written in such wonderful detail, you’ll be referencing them again and again.
- The Internet: This is a great and easy way to get a general overview for everything related to your destination, such as history, tourist hot spots, weather reports, and more.
- Another Traveler: If you have a friend or relative who has been to the same destination you’re researching, ask them to get firsthand information you may not find elsewhere. Many of our bloggers would be happy to share travel advice(or already do on their own blogs!)
If you know as much as you can about where you are going before you leave, you are ensuring a good trip with fewer surprises. The best travelers are the ones who do their research.
How do you research for a trip before you leave?