I have recently returned from a City break to New York and before I share with you all what I got up to during my stay I thought I would share with you some of things I do when planning a city break.
Trip Advisor is my best friend when it comes to booking a holiday or city break and researching. I have no idea what people did before Trip Advisor was around how did you know if a hotel was really as good as the glossy travel brochures portrayed it.
I use this website to research hotels first and foremost. I love that you can research hotels by ratings and that you can research hotels by different categories. I always go for hotels that have at least 80% positive reviews. Normally that other 20% is people moaning about the most trivial things like not having a soap dispenser yes people really do moan about things like that in reviews.
I do find Trip Advisor a very reliable source of information when booking a holiday. You can also get quotes from Trip Advisor, a lot of companies like booking.com are linked so you can insert your dates once you found a hotel and get a quote without having to move websites.
Click Here for Trip Advisor
Trip Advisor Travel Forums
Each destination has a travel forum and guide on Trip Advisor. You will be surprised how much you can find out from the forums there is always a travel expert for that destination on the forum that will be able to answer any question you put to them. The downside is that you can come across some rude people on there but the majority of people are very friendly and on there to help you plan your holiday not judge you.
I have found the forums so helpful for my city breaks gaining helpful information from how to travel by public transport to my hotel to the most recent scams to look out for on the streets. For popular destinations like New York or Las Vegas there are lots of frequently asked questions so members have put together a post with answers to popular questions which is a great read if you are new to the forum, these will normally be found on the right hand side of the forum page.
One one tip would be to research your question first on the forum the majority of your questions would have previously been answered so it is worth researching the forum first. Some members can get frustrated if a question gets asked repeatedly in a a short period of time.
Another great thing to read on the travel forums is people’s trip reports. A trip report is basically someone’s travel diary of their trip away. Reading these reports can give you lots of ideas and tips for your trip away, some reports can also be really funny. I will always read as many trip reports as I can before travelling to a destination, I am also extremely nosey and like to see what everyone else gets up to.
Click Here to find Trip Advisor’s travel forum page.
Google Maps is great for planning your points of interest and putting together your itinerary. You can make a destination map and plot all the places you want to visit with a star this can be private or you can share it with people that you are travelling with. Once all your points of interest are plotted on the map with little yellow stars you can start to plan an itinerary by grouping your plotted stars by areas. Once your map is saved you can access it on your phone which makes things even easier when you are at your destination. If you can’t access the internet on your phone while you are away you should think about changing your network to 3 😛 or you can download your Google Map to view offline therefore you can still use your map without internet access.
I personally think guide books are a thing of the past now, everything is online these days. However, if you do love a book to flick through head over to Amazon.co.uk they are normally a fair price and you can see the most recently published versions.
Pinterest is another great researching tool for your travels. If you haven’t heard of Pinterest it is basically somewhere you can create mood boards and research whatever you want. In this case I will research the destination I am travelling to and then search through the pins that appear in the results and pin these to my mood board. I currently have one going for New York which you can see here. A lot pins if clicked on will lead to articles or people’s blogs which will then give you more information about your destination you have researched.
These are a few sources I use when researching and planning my city breaks. What do you use to research and plan your travels?