So…your next holiday is on the horizon, work (& life in general) is becoming increasingly time consuming and you’re feeling the need to start making a few necessary reservations. This is me: always.
I’ve started to get into a rhythm when researching new destinations and it seems to be working, but the key for me is the right amount of planning. Not one to create a timetable or schedule as such, more, I prefer a loose blueprint of what’s unmissable and what would be nice to see if workable.
Gone are the days where I live through the eyes of a Lonely Planet guide (once it was the only place to go). These days I rely on multiple sources for information. In fact, I use the below five sources. In no particular order.
Seek the advice of friends and family
Nothing beats first hand advice from the people you love. Plus, hindsight is a beautiful thing and some of my best recommendations are what not to do, and where to spend more time. My family are big on food and wine so they’re best to seek the advice on where we’ll be satiating our hunger. Our friends are always super adventurous, so if the destination demands we be active – I’ll go to them first.
I will often seek the advice of travel bloggers, besides everyone’s a blogger these days, even me! I’ll type “Yorke Peninsula blog” or “Things to do in Adelaide blog” into google, trying to be as specific as possible, you can figure out pretty quick whether they’re your type of traveler or not. Also! I recently registered with wordoftravel, they are your one stop site for travel bloggers. You can even filter your travel style, budget and favourite activities. Definitely recommend it!
Ask a local
Visitor and information centers are great to find out what’s hot in their neighbourhood. However (full disclosure) I usually do this to find out where not to go. These are often places with an abundance of people (or worse, children). I know that’s a huge generalisation – but it’s true for most small towns. The highlighted activities are usually visiting a hundred year old lighthouse or going for a short walk – things you would probably have seen or done anyway or that you’re not overly interested in.
Instagram. Yep, I search for all types of specific hashtags and handles like #surfsrilanka or @surfingsrilanka (not a real handle). Like all instagram snooping, before you know it you’re in a rabbit warren of pages and hashies within minutes – but it usually helps to inspire. It’s literally the only reason we went here: because of Instagram.
Map it out
I will make a general blueprint of where we’ll travel, mapping out approximately where we’ll stay and for how many nights roughly, key word: roughly. I don’t enjoy a timetable of events but I do enjoy having a certain purpose to the day, either restorative or adventurous. I’ll usually map it out either in my head, or on paper, which can be somewhat suspicious as I’ve recently discovered.
Aside from those, the next thing I’ll think about is packing! Which I’m sure you have gathered is somewhat of a passion of mine. Clothing aside I’ll start to think about whether we’ll need reusable items (like water bottles, keep-cups, straws etc), then onto whether water purifiers or specialty gear are required (like hiking boots) and lastly whether any sporting equipment will be joining. They help to define the limitations on clothing.
Next week we’re off to South Australia, so these last few days have been a mesh of all the above points to find the key places to visit. It also happens to be my birthday ~ Woohoo! Any advice?
Have a lovely rest of weekend, until next time.