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There are many resources for travel information available for people who wish to plan trips or learn more about certain destinations. A travel agent is an excellent avenue for travel information, and can help customers completely plan a trip, though this generally carries an additional fee. Guidebooks that include country guides or city guides are excellent sources of information, and are often updated yearly to reflect new things to do in the area. Informative web sites and discussion forums that can be accessed for free online also provide a great deal of information, as well as personal experiences, photos, and recommendations from others who have taken similar trips.
Travel agents or travel advisors are often some of the best sources for travel information. They can help clients to decide where they want to go, what they want to do when they get there, and can then find good deals and book the entire trip. Even though there is often a fee associated with planning a trip with the assistance of a travel agent, many people feel it is worth it because they save additional money, and are reassured that the trip is carefully planned and will go smoothly. Otherwise, there are a few less expensive options for travel information.
Guidebooks contain a lot of great information and can be taken along on the trip as well. New editions for countries, cities, or regions are often produced yearly, and it is important to get the most recent version to be sure the travel information is still current. These will typically include maps, hotel recommendations, and reviews for the best attractions in the area. Precautions or special warnings are included in these guidebooks as well, in addition to important information such as cultural customs, currency exchange information, or requirements for travel documents such as visas.
In addition, for a great deal of free travel information, searching online and reading discussion forums can be a great method. This information is especially beneficial because it comes from people who have personally experienced areas or attractions, and it can be a good way to avoid things that may sound great in advertisements, but which do not live up to the hype. Of course, it is important to verify any information that is found online, since it is not usually regulated in any way and may change over time. Becoming as informed as possible before taking a trip will help to ensure that it goes smoothly.
My favorite travel information website is the forum hosted by the Lonely Planet guidebooks, called Thorntree. There are so many dedicated travelers on there, you only have to ask a question about a place, no matter how obscure, and someone will have the answer. In fact, often the question has already been asked and you can just investigate what people have already said about it.
I had to take a trip to Tonga recently, which seems like the kind of place that's slightly off the beaten track, but I was able to find all kinds of relevant information about the various resorts and so forth from people who had been there and knew what they were talking about.
Plus, if you browse, you might find information you never would have thought to ask about.
I love how much information is available on the internet. You can look up the weather where you are going, how much pollen is going to be in the air, how many tourists are expected to be around, how expensive everything is (and what's on the menus) and so forth.
And there are so many good travel deals as well! The last minute hotel and flight deals are my favorites. It seems like almost every airline has a website for daily deals and you can get some really good ones, particularly with domestic airlines.
It makes the world that much cosier to know that if I felt like it, I could go somewhere completely random for the weekend.
One of my favorite ways of finding out information about a trip to a particular place is by reading armchair travel novels about it before I go. There's nothing like it to get you excited about your destination, but they also provide information about the nitty gritty of what things are actually like.
Most travel agents and guides aren't going to be able to tell you what's worth going to see, because they are catering to a wide range of travelers and have to be fair and equal.
But, if you know your taste is similar to a particular travel writer, you can rely on them to be frank about what is worth it, and what isn't.
Often they'll be
full of facts that you'll want to know as well, and be able to explore that in just the right amount of depth, as opposed to travel guides which can only skim the top.
Plus, they are just fun to read.
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