How To Write A Travel Guide: '48 Hours In'


Travelling to lớn a foreign country is exhilarating – và a little bit intimidating too. You are venturing somewhere completely new and you really don’t know what things will be like there when you arrive sầu. It’s always a massive learning curve sầu when you leap into lớn the unknown (which is why it’s important to research a travel destination before you go.)

When you are planning your trip you’ll have so many questions. What will the climate be like? What kind of clothing is appropriate lớn wear? Will people speak English? What is the food like? What is the public transport like? How much will things cost? What local customs should I be aware of? How difficult will it be to lớn meet people & make friends? These are so many important things to figure out before you board that plane.

Montverde, Costa Rica

This information is all out there, but the key is knowing where to lớn find it. The good news is that these days there are so many ways to retìm kiếm a travel destination before you go. The guide book isn’t the only source of info- in fact Lee và I never use paper guidebooks as we prefer other methods.

Table of Contents

1 đôi mươi Ways to Retìm kiếm a Travel Destination Before You Go
20 Ways to lớn Retìm kiếm a Travel Destination Before You Go

Here are đôi mươi ways that you can research a travel destination before you go & find out everything you need lớn know. Find the ways that work best for you – you’ll likely kết thúc up using several methods in order khổng lồ cover everything. This can be one of the fun parts of travel – you’ll learn something new, ease your apprehension by feeling more prepared and the more you read about your destination the more you will build excitement.

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1. Wikitravel Articles

Whenever Lee và I are heading somewhere new, we often lượt thích khổng lồ look at the Wikitravel page first. It can sometimes be a little outdated (including prices), but most of the time it has a lot of very useful information in an organised & laid out format. For example, the Wikitravel page for a country is where I look first when I want to know how long the tourist visa lasts, whether or not I will need lớn apply for it & how the process works.

Wikitravel posts also contain information about things lớn vị, places khổng lồ stay, safety tips, ideas for day trips & much more. It works lượt thích Wikipedia in the sense that it can be edited by anyone. So (if you feel like it) after your trip you could contribute something you discovered khổng lồ the guide và make it even more informative for the people who visit after you.

Montanita, Ecuador

2. Read Posts By Travel Bloggers Who Have sầu Been There

Travel blogs can be a great way to research a travel destination before you go! There are so many out there, so it only takes a quiông chồng Google search lớn find a blogger who has been to lớn your destination. I like reading travel blog posts, because they offer a first hvà perspective sầu on the destination.

It helps khổng lồ find a blogger who has a similar travel style, budget and interests as you vày, as their recommendations will be more useful. It’s not very helpful to lớn read about a blogger’s experience at a high over luxury resort when you will be seeking out budget accommodation on your trip. (Also, be sure khổng lồ take the nhận xét on some travel blogs with a grain of salt, as they might be sponsored posts.)

3. Email Travel Bloggers

So you’ve sầu found a great travel blogger who has written nội dung about your destination, but they didn’t quite answer your specific question? Why not try emailing them? If they are not too busy, they might take the time lớn answer your question or point you to lớn somewhere that has the information.

As a travel blogger there have been a few readers gmail me with more specific questions related to lớn something they read on the blog và if possible I always vì my best to help them. You can’t guarantee that the travel blogger will write baông xã lớn you, but if they do respond it can be a very valuable way to research a travel destination before you go. 

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

4. Watch Videos on Youtube

Watching a đoạn Clip about your destination can be a way to learn things about it that are hard to express via the written word. You can see what the landscapes look like, listen to lớn what the accents sound like and actually see footage of the attractions that you might want to visit on your trip.

There is an incredible wealth of travel nội dung on Youtube, from travel vlogs to lớn documentaries khổng lồ footage of tours lớn videos from official travel brands and much more. Make yourself a cup of coffee, get comfortable, sit bachồng và research a travel destination before you go – via Clip.

5. Ask About it On Reddit

Cheông chồng out forums such as /r/travel on Reddit lớn ask questions and retìm kiếm a travel destination before you go. These forums are used by a lot of passionate travellers và they often have sầu plenty of experience to lớn chia sẻ with you. Before you start your own thread, search through to see if your question has been asked before.

Also, if you speak the language & you can find the subreddit for that country you could ask questions there. For example, if you are heading to Canadomain authority and you want khổng lồ know what lớn expect you could make a post on /r/Canadomain authority and it will likely be answered by plenty of knowledgeable locals. Also, just reading the posts & content shared on that country-specific subreddit will give you a lot of insight into Canada.

Vang Vieng, Laos

6. TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is another great way lớn retìm kiếm a travel destination before you go. It’s not just for hotels – you can also read Reviews of restaurants, tour companies và local attractions. If you see a restaurant, attraction or a hotel mentioned while you are doing research somewhere else you can head over lớn TripAdvisor lớn see what people are saying about it. Also, you can search in TripAdvisor for the top restaurants, hotels or attractions in order to get ideas on what to bởi vì, where to lớn stay và what to eat while you are there.

We have sầu also found that TripAdvisor is great for choosing tour companies. If you are headed somewhere lượt thích the Amazon rainforest, you will need khổng lồ hire a tour guide lớn take you into the jungle as you cannot visit on your own. It’s hard khổng lồ find the right tour company when you are searching on their websites, as each company is going to say that they offer the best service. When you look at the review you will get an honest picture of what the tour was like, written by people who have actually experienced it.

A tip for using TripAdvisor: try khổng lồ get the overall vibe of the Đánh Giá rather than taking very positive sầu or negative sầu nhận xét too seriously. Sometimes it’s important to lớn take the Đánh Giá with a grain of salt, as they might be written by someone who is easily pleased or overly negative sầu.

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Taking a tour on the Amazon River

7. Read Local News Sources

If you speak the language, you could start reading local news sources from the country before you get there – such as newspapers, blogs và magazines. They will give you an insight into lớn what is happening in the country, such as events, festivals, politics, popular culture and much more. Also, it will give you some great talking points when you are conversation with the locals, as you will be able to bình luận on current affairs. (although be careful what you say on hot button issues!)

8. Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is an amazing phenomenon. It’s a trang web that brings together travellers with local hosts who offer their spare rooms or couches for không tính tiền. Lee and I used it a lot during our trip across Canada & we stayed for không tính tiền with some incredibly kind & generous people.

However, did you know that even if you don’t want to stay with a local – you can also use Couchsurfing lớn find out more information about your travel destination? You can connect with someone who lives there and ask them questions. Also, many Couchsurfing hosts state on their profile that they are available to lớn meet with you for coffee or a drink & show you around. What better source of insider info can you have than a local who is willing lớn give their time to introduce you khổng lồ their home?

Banff, Alberta, Canada

9. The Staff of Your Hotel

If you have already booked your khách sạn, the staff can be a great source of information. They will be able khổng lồ tell you how lớn get from the airport to the hotel and they can also offer tips on how to get around the thành phố & what khổng lồ vị while you are there. You can even ask them to lớn recommend local tour companies for activities.

10. Read Guide Books

Of course, we can’t forget about the classic guide book. Thumb through a copy of Frommers, Lonely Planet or Rough Guides & you will learn a lot about your destination. These guides usually have sections on the history and culture of the country, as well as safety tips, suggestions on what to vì chưng, information about local holidays, Review of hotels và restaurants and much more.

I personally never use guide books. I find that the information that they contain can be easily found online with a quick Google tìm kiếm. Also, the content in a guidebook is already several months old by the time it goes to print, while more up lớn date information can be accessed online.

However, many travellers I know still use guide books and find them valuable. A guide book never needs WiFi, so even if you can’t get online the information is still there. Also, there’s something about the sensation of holding a physical book in your hvà and flipping through it.

Juayua, El Salvador

11. Read Non-Fiction Books

Travel guides aren’t the only books that can help you to learn about your destination. You can retìm kiếm almost every aspect of the country via non-fiction books. Read about the history of the nation và you’ll have sầu a better understanding of its politics and why things are the way they are. Read about the cuisine of the country, its economy, its environment or any other aspects of it that interest you. Read books or autobiographies of famous people who are from that country or who have sầu spent a lot of time there.

This info might not help you to lớn book a khách sạn or a tour, but it will give you a deeper insight into lớn the country and that understanding will make your travel experience richer và more meaningful.

12. Watch Documentaries

In a similar vein, documentaries are non-fiction in đoạn Clip form và they can be very interesting sources of information about your travel destination. If you watch a fascinating documentary it can insize you and be a great talking point later in discussions with people you meet on your travels. Chechồng out the documentaries section on Netflix lớn see if there are any films there about your destination.

Basílica del Voto lớn Nacional, Quilớn, Ecuador

13. Watch Films or TV Shows

As well as watching documentaries, what about watching fictional films that are set in your destination? They will allow you to lớn see what the destination looks lượt thích và get a sense of the culture, scenery và other aspects.

For example, City of God is an amazing film & it also gives a glimpse into what life in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro is like. Midnight in Paris is one of my favourite films of all time & it perfectly captures the charm and elegance of the City of Light. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, another one of my favourite movies, is basically a love sầu letter to lớn the city of Chicago. Take a look for films that are set in the location you will be travelling khổng lồ & take some time to watch them before your trip.

14. Read Novels Set in That Country

Another way khổng lồ retìm kiếm a travel destination before you go is khổng lồ read a novel that is mix there. You’ll be able to lớn feel immersed in the local culture và you’ll get a sense of what things are lượt thích. Depending on the novel you might gain some insight into lớn the local customs, the history & the subtler nuances of life in that destination.

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The ceiling of the Blue Mosque, Istanbul

15. Look up Hashtags

Social media can be a great source of travel information and inspiration. Go on Twitter or Instagram and search for hashtags related to lớn your travel destination. On Twitter you will find Tweets khổng lồ articles and blogs about that destination as well as local news và media.

On Instagram you will find gorgeous photos that will fuel your travel daydreams. I lượt thích lớn look at the hashtag for where I am going next on Instagram so that I can get some visual inspiration of what to lớn do while I am there.

16. Talk About it To People

Whenever someone you know asks you what’s new, you can mention the upcoming travel you are planning. When you vì chưng, they might have some suggestions to lớn give you or they might say, “Oh that’s cool, my Aunt/Neighbour/Friend/etc has just been there, I’ll ask them if they have any tips.”

Women in traditional costume near Colca Canyon, Peru

17. Read Magazines

Although magazines are a bit of an old style of truyền thông that you might not read anymore if you get most of your news online – they can still offer helpful content. Take a look for any travel magazines that feature articles about your destination.

18. Ask Someone You Know Who Has Been There

Reach out to lớn your work, school and frikết thúc networks – there is a chance that you already know someone who has been khổng lồ your destination. Whether it is your cousin, your parent’s neighbours or a frikết thúc of a friend, it can be very helpful khổng lồ make a connection with someone who has already been khổng lồ your destination.

You can tin nhắn them a few questions or even offer lớn buy them a coffee in exchange for sitting down with you and talking to lớn you about your trip. First hand experience is so valuable when you want to lớn retìm kiếm a travel destination before you go.

Salar de Uyuni Salternative text Flats, Bolivia

19. Podcasts

If you are a auditory learner and you remember things better if you listen lớn them, podcasts can be a great way to lớn retìm kiếm a travel destination before you go. There are thousands of podcasts out there covering a huge array of topics, so it’s just a matter of finding the right one.

There are podcasts that are about travel in general & you might also find podcasts related to your specific location. Here’s a các mục of đôi mươi Travel Podcasts from OpenCulture lớn get you started.

trăng tròn. Ask Expats Who Live sầu There

Expats are people who have sầu left their home country lớn live sầu abroad somewhere else. The expats who live sầu in the destination you are travelling khổng lồ can be a great source of information, because they know what it’s lượt thích khổng lồ visit that country for the first time. They have lived there for a while so they are very knowledgeable about local life.

Tulum, Mexico

Whether you are visiting Vương Quốc Nụ Cười, Turkey, Tanzania or Texas – these are some great ways to lớn research a travel destination before you go. With so many methods to lớn choose from, you’ll be sure lớn find the info you need lớn prepare for your trip.

If you have any other ways khổng lồ research a travel destination before you go, please feel không lấy phí to share them with us in the comments!