This article of „How to find good travel tips“ is something we were thinking about a lot. Preparing your travel can be super time consuming. Especially as more and more content is created every day (such as this article!), finding relevant and good travel recommendations shouldn’t be that hard, right?! Typing some phrases into Google or any other search engine and the job is done.
Well: Unfortunately not!
So many websites, so many apps, so many articles and blogs to read – where to start? And yes, there are still dozens of useful offline solution to find good travel tips. We at Hostelgeeks know how to find great Hostels. But we were very curious how other travelers actually do their research for finding tips and travel recommendations.
Which resources do they use? Do they only follow the gut, a specific app? Did they even develop their own technique?
Asking Travel Bloggers, the Ninjas and Yodas of Travels
Who would be the perfect type of person we could ask? Right: Travel bloggers! The ninjas of travel, the yodas of backpacking, the…well, you see where this is going.
We talked to 11 of our fellow bloggers and creatives, and picked their brain about how to find good travel tips. Every travel blog we mention here is itself a great resource, and we use these websites by our own for our research. The responses we got from the travel bloggers range from super clever, old school and to surprisingly simple to go with the flow. Read this post till the end to get all unique tips for finding good travel tips.
“It’s the people you meet during your trips who make your experience unique” – Caspar
1. Find the record store and go for it!
FIND THE RECORD STORE! Before visiting a new place, I’ll often do a quick Google Maps search for record stores in the city. Once you find the place where people get their vinyls, you’ll often find yourself in an interesting neighborhood. All those cool kids who collect vinyl records are often the same types to drink espresso, to wear beards and those that shop for trendy sneakers.
It might sound like stereotyping, but once you’re in a record store, you can usually orient yourself to other similar places—plus, if you’ve got a bit of a passion for music, you’ll find record store employees often eager to make local DJ recommendations.
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Adam is a good friend of Anna&Matt, and he is the famous blogger at Travelsofadam.com. Travels of Adam is a guide to the coolest things to do and see around the world, a lifestyle blog for men and other stylish travelers.
2. The Power of Instagram and Huntgram
When traveling I find it most interesting to hear from the locals or people who actually live in the region than reviews from other visitors. I have found Instagram and Huntgram to be a great way to connect with local influencers when traveling to get an insider point of view.
With Instagram’s search feature, I look up who I find interesting before visiting a destination. From their Instagram page, I scout locations where I’d like to take photos, and sometimes connect with other like minded individuals who may show me around their favorites spots in their city.
This is the same with Huntgram, an App store application that has brought together some of the most influential Instagrammers in their region. Using this tool, it simplifies finding influencers and using their Instagram page to discover some unique locations that I would not have known otherwise.
The best way to use these both is to follow large influencers and see who Instagram then recommends you to follow who may not be as large. They will be more likely to meet up and give you tips. Either it be food, a hostel/ hotel, or an amazing photo location. Instagram and Huntgram allow finding valuable tips that are worth the extra work searching and email for some tips that aren’t found so easily online.
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3. First Idea of a place, local book store and Hashtags
It depends a lot on the upcoming trip which sources I use to find good advice beforehand. Will it be more individually, a country that is known for strange customs, a place I’ve dreamed about visiting ever since I started traveling?
I generally browse through the internet, visit blogs to get an idea of a place. Then I love to go to a local book store and browse through their guide books and if available books with stories about the destination. Getting to know a destination or the idea about a destination this way is one of my most favourite and rewarding.
If I know that friends have traveled to a certain place I try to get some insights from them as well – of course in exchange for a cup of coffee or tea.
Another place to find great places and tips is through social media. By searching certain hashtags such as #Go2Israel or even #ViennaCoffee many travellers and also locals share their tips for free and available for everyone.
Although sometimes the best tips are found by accident – by exploring and getting lost, asking random people on the streets for their favourite coffee place or park or favourite spot!
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Viky is the traveling dirndl at Chronic-Wanderlust.com. Viky self-diagnosed herself with chronic wanderlust in 2009 when she went on exchange to Venezuela. Thereafter she couldn’t resist travelling in her classic dirndl all over the globe.
4. First things first: good food, then forums and FourSquare
Since I basically travel on the whims of my stomach, whenever I arrive in a new city, one of my priorities is finding good food. I do this in two ways: the first is to ask for advice on social media, and comb through blogs for a list of must-eat dishes or restaurants. You can also ask around in forums like CouchSurfing or reddit, ones that are full of locals.
The second is to use Foursquare. I’ll take the research I found from step one, and create a bookmarked list of saved restaurants. Once I’m in the city, I can see which ones are near my current location; or, I can simply pull up the app to see what’s good (with user photos and tips!) nearby. Foursquare can also recommend places for you based on your tastes and saved places. I use this trick not only when I’m traveling, but also to discover new restaurants in cities where I live
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Edna is the fun girl of ExpatEdna, living the dream of exploring the world’s finest cuisine one croissant at a time!
5. Browsing travel blogs with my SmartPhone
Nowadays, technology is so advanced and internet access so widely available that finding information you need is always at your fingertips. Even on the road, it’s becoming hard to find a place in the world where there’s just no way to get online. Therefore, I’m getting most of the travel info, including travel tips, online using my smart phone.
Add to this being a travel blogger and you may guess where I go for all the important info – my fellow travel blogger! With travel blogs in abundance, and most of them reliable, I prefer to read other people’s experiences and tips as I know they have done it themselves and are a much better source than the companies that try to sell some tours.
Moreover, the sheer number of blog posts written daily means that whatever you look for, you’ll always find an article written very recently! It almost makes paper travel guides obsolete (not entirely because there are moments when I run out of battery on my phone and still need to use the traditional book format to find my way around different countries or situations). To sum up, I mostly look for good travel posts by fellow bloggers for the travel tips, and I recommend the same to others.
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Agness is one of the two adventurous at etramping.com, a helpful website where Agness and Cez share their tricks to travel the world cheaply. After all they travel around the world on budget since 2011.
6. 100% Offline! Only recommendations by people!
As The Social Traveler I travel by following 2 rules. I can’t use guidebooks or search engines. Everything I do on my travels is influenced by people and this social. When I travel to a place I ask friends and followers on social media where I should stay and what I should do there.
This resulted in me staying at a huge variety of places. From hostels (e.g. 5 Star Hostels) over Airbnb to 5 star hotels or even at people’s homes. I rarely get disappointed since I get recommended to stay at places that people absolutely love. I highly recommend you try it ;-)
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Bjorn puts the social into travel. He is The Social Traveler and good friend of us here at Hostelgeeks. Be part of the adventure and influence his journey as well on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus.
7. Don’t plan too much!
You’re craving for good tea and a croissant today. Your eyes skim the street for someone that could know. That guy there with the red cap and the earplugs .. hmm, maybe not, you don’t need the best electronic shop in town, at least for now. Maybe that elderly fashionable lady.. What a hit! She tells you that you can have the best tea and croissants just around the corner.
What a cool place, walls full of books, those cool vintage chandelier. You look up from the menu trying to choose form 2 pages teas and.. there the waitress.. wow she’s really cute. She helps you to order the tea you want and indeed your croissant is fabulous. Once at your table again, you decide to ask her what the best place is to go for a drink and maybe dance. “Cocktails or wine, life music or dance?” “actually,“ you say „gin tonic and stand up comedian” you reply. “wow” She says, thats such a coincidence my brother is a stand up comedian and we’re going there tonight with friends.. wanna come with us?”.
This imaginary anecdote is to illustrate how powerful it can be not to plan to much, not to dig too deep into apps and make “to-visit” lists. In the end the beauty of travel is that it’s unpredictable, larded with surprising events. It’s the people you meet during your trips that gives it it’s unique experience. Go beyond you comfort zone and throw yourself in there! Happy travels!
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Caspar is the creative mind and videomaker behind Storytravelers.com. His work has been featured in numerous well-known travel journals. Check out his Portfolio and get impressed by his great story telling videos.
8. A secret weapon and befriended bloggers
To be honest, I don’t do a lot of research before I visit a place – I like to go in with my eyes open and be surprised. My secret weapon is my travel blogging partner and wife Jessica, who blogs at Independent Travel Cats – she tends to do a lot of research both online and offline before we visit a destination – which means I get to see all the cool stuff without having to do too much work myself!
Of course, that’s not to say I don’t do any research at all. As a photographer, I’m generally keen to find the best spots for photography – particularly if I’m in a location for a short time and don’t have time to just wander myself to find the right spots. In those instances, I tend to hit up the social media accounts of some of my favourite travel photographers, and see if they’ve visited the locations I’ve been to. Then I’ll often just contact them directly for ideas and tips on where to shoot and if they have any thoughts for me.
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Laurence is the guy behind the camera of Findingtheuniverse.com. He is a traveller, photographer and writer slowly exploring the world together with Jess from Independent Travel Cats.
9. Offline, Online, Everything
I like to research a lot before we visit a destination, especially as I know that if I leave it to Laurence all we would be doing is taking photos!
I love to learn about a place and its culture, and will read up on it, both online (travel blogs and general google research), as well as offline. I’m a big fan of reading travel books, both narrative and fact based, to get an idea of where I’m going and what I’m going to want to do.
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Jess and Laurence write as well on their travel blog Independent Travel Cats about their travels around the world. On their blog they share travel advice, tips, and stories. Handy and useful!
10. Slow Travel! House Sitting and Happy Cow
So my worldly travels are mainly based on where my next house sit is. I use a few different websites but I like Trusted House Sitters the best. I like to choose gigs based on cities or countries I’ve never been before, or ones that I really like to go back to and experience more.
House sits can be anywhere from a few days to a few months. The longer you stay, the more you get to live like a local and experience the authentic culture of the place. During my gaps between gigs, then I usually like to spend a few days or a few weeks exploring a new area on the way to the next one. When I do that, I usually just go on gut instinct of what appeals to me.
I do keep up with travel blogs on Facebook and sometimes certain articles jump out at me as a place I definitely want to explore. And, I always check Happy Cow, since I’m constantly on the lookout for vegan food and vegan-friendly restaurants where ever I am. My all-time favorite food to discover is vegan burgers.
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Amanda is a perpetual traveler and writer at Burgerabroad.com. She is a full-time house sitter, vegan & minimalist. She slowly wanders around the world, one house sitting at a time.
11. Using small travel blogs and Tinder
Since I’ve been traveling, I’ve run the gamut to find travel tips. I’ve gone to the big sites and blogs and I’ve combed the small blogs. But my favorite is simply getting the data from locals who know the ropes. I meet them on buses and trains. I take the free walking tour as my first action in a new city and pump the guide for information. I connect up on meeting sites like Facebook events, Couchsurfing.com and Tinder (yup, you can use that for other things than sex!).
Sometimes I have to start from scratch and not follow the beaten path. With everyone else doing Research (stet), I search myself for the best deals, compare timetables at train stations and play with the algorithms of Skyscanner.com. Recently I saved $200 (33% off) on a flight by waiting a week for the price to drop. The flight was less than two weeks away and during the holiday season. I was told by other bloggers it wouldn’t drop, but I gambled on my previous experience and won.
Most of the time bloggers do have the best information, having done their own searches and sharing them. I prefer the smaller bloggers who have been to a location recently and have accurate, up-to-date information over sources like Lonely Planet.
I don’t always get the best information, and sometimes I just give up and wing it. The trick is to keep it simple, have a goal in your search and don’t sacrifice your adventure to plan.
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Skye from Skyetravels.com is not a traveler, but adventurer. His travel blog will help you travel to the places Skye visited on a budget, learn travel tips and follow your dreams.
Summary How To Find Good Travel Tips:
These different perspectives to finding good travel tips are a great inspiration. It really gives you an idea of the different ways to travel. Whether it is an application used for its original purpose or turning a dating app into a travel app to find good travel tips. The local book store is always a good starting point, and last but not least travel blogs usually know what they are talking about.
However, it seems like there is one secret weapon everybody loves: personalized recommendations! In Fact, this is the reason why we at Hostelgeeks started with Geeky Guides. We wanted to share with you all our secret tips we receive from our users, local friends, befriended bloggers and more. Handy and simple, put together as 5 unique recommendations.
How do you find good travel tips? Let us know and leave a comment below!
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