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Top 5 Online tools for travel research

When it comes to travel, whether it’s your first trip, or your 50th, it’s always good to do some research before hand. I recently booked a trip to Copenhagen, so I’m current amidst my research and planning.

When I do my travel research, I like to use a wide range of resources, but if I had to boil it down to just 5 key tools, this would be them.

1. Other travel blogs (obviously)

Travel blogs are, hands down, the best tool for researching anything travel. I won’t go into too much detail over which ones I use as the important thing is you going out and researching blogs for yourself (also I’m saving that for another blog post), but here is a list of some of the travel blogs I check on a regular basis.

The Strange & New / Expert Vagabond / Indie Traveller / The Travel Hack / BackPacker Banter

Pro Tip: A great resource to finding travel blogs is using social media. Pretty much all travel bloggers worth their salt are pushing their blog hard on social media. So use twitter, search for #hashtags, and see what you can find. More often than not, you find a diamond in the rough.

2. Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor is a fantastic tool for researching destinations, hostels, hotels, attractions, restaurants, the lot. With honest reviews from real people, you can normally gauge whether or not it’s up to your standards, or worth braving for only 2$ a night…

Don’t be put off by negative reviews though, especially if the majority are positive. Everyone, at some point, is bound to have a bad experience somewhere, but don’t let that put you off going somewhere, staying somewhere or doing something. We all fixate on the negatives, but if the consensus is overwhelmingly positive, then go, and have fun.

3. Lonely Planet Guides App

Lonely Planet is my favourite company / brand when it comes to everything travel. I live and die by their pocket guides for my city breaks, and this is probably a polarising view, but I honestly feel they produce some of the best guides out there. So when they released their app with offline maps, essential tips and must-see sights, it became one of my go-to’s for research. It’s also crazy useful to have with you on the road!

With over 50 city guides including *(deep breath)*: Amsterdam, Bangkok, Barcelona, Beijing, Berlin, Boston, Budapest, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Chicago, Dubai, Dublin, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Kyoto, London, Madrid, Montréal, Moscow, New Orleans, New York, Paris, Prague, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, San Francisco, Seattle, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, St. Petersburg, Sydney, Tokyo, Vancouver, Venice, Vienna and Washington, DC.

So yeah, pretty substantial list there…

4. YouTube

YouTube is great. YouTube is probably my favourite site on the internet. It’s full of amazing content from some really talented filmmakers telling some fantastic stories.

I’ve recently been working on my YouTube, and I’m trying really hard to make sure that my content in both visually appealing and full of useful information. The video above is a commentary on my High Atlas, Morocco Film documenting my time trekking in Morocco. The original film was visual and emotional, but with this one I wanted to provide a little more information about the trip and what it was like for people considering doing a similar challenge. When it comes to me planning and producing my content, here are the people I look to for inspiration:

JacksGap / Kraig Adams / Josh Cowan / Toby Hart / Hey Nadine

I also want to mention the New York Times 36 Hours In… series, it is amazing. They all contain a lot of great information, interviews with locals, top spots, and they’re visually stunning. There’s also over 60 of them! It’s an fantastic resource for some of the most popular destinations around the world, and a couple obscure.

5. Skyscanner

Skyscanner is the website that I use for pretty much all my flights. I especially love being able to type in ‘Everywhere’ in the destinations box and seeing a full list of flight prices to different locations. If you’re undecided as to where to go, finding some dirt cheap tickets (like what happened with me and Copenhagen) may swing your vote. Not only is it the best price comparison website for flights, it’s also got a pretty comprehensive list of airports, with information such as how best the get there, facilities, and some basic city guides also.

Skyscanner is great at what it does, getting cheap flights, but it’s also nice that they provide useful information on airports also, especially if you’re going to be having a layovers.

There you go! That’s the list! Hope you found some of that information useful. Let me know what your Top 5 online tools for travel research are on Twitter!

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