Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Travel Series #1: DO YOUR RESEARCH!

Traveling can be really exciting but also very stressful. The best way to combat the stress, is to do your research!

So after you choose your destination, hit the internet! The internet is your greatest source of information on any destination, so use it wisely. 

Important things to research:

1) Rules and Regulations! Countries may have different laws, visa requirements, travel restrictions and knowing about these well in advance will save you a lot of time, stress, and delays in the long run! You can often find these on official websites.

2) Weather Conditions! Always find out about what the weather is typically like for where you are going and when you are going. This is important not only for packing, but also planning your itinerary! You will want to know if wherever you are visiting has a rainy season, or high humidity, or maybe a regular heat wave. 

3) Transportation! Many major tourist destinations have amazing public transportation, and may offer discounted passes that allow you unlimited travel on public transport as well as discounted admission into attractions, or deals at restaurants. Look for deals like this!! They save you money and you can usually buy them in advance of your trip! If you are going to rent a car, check to see if you need an international drivers license, and study the rules of the road for the country that you are visiting, especially if you are going to be driving in Europe (for North Americans), or North America (for Europeans). You'll be on a different side of the road on the different side of the car and that can be discombobulating! 

You might also want to look for bus tours and travel packs for major destinations. The downside of doing a bus tour is that it limits the amount of time that you get to spend at an attraction, but check you can usually contact the company and ask how long they typically allow you to spend at each stop. 

4) Attractions and Local Hotspots! Tourism website and travel books are great places to check out what is available to do on your holiday! You'll find out everything you'll need to know, including how to get there, how much you can expect to pay, hours of operation and even if there are certain restrictions (some museums limit the size of bag you are allowed to bring in, or some churches might have clothing requirements). These are important to know and respect, so that you don't have to re-plan your days!

Also be sure to check out any blogs and even YouTube videos because some locals might have some hidden gems, or tips and tricks and other recent travellers will have a lot of insight!

And if you can prebook tickets and times to major attractions, DO IT!! You will be very happy that you did, especially if you are traveling with children.

So those are my FOUR major travel research tips! I hope they helped and enjoy your trip!
See you Friday!

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