Travel Travel Tips

How to Stalk Your Next Destination

Do you like to play pretend and plan itineraries for places you haven’t booked in reality? You are not alone! I do it too. I like to think of it as a subconscious way to determine my next destination or just a temporary fix to satisfy my wanderlust.  Here are a few tips for stalking your next destination.

Oyster

No, not the kind that you eat at a seafood restaurant. I’m talking about the kind that you use for scoping out real details about a hotel! Oyster.com is a website that actually sends investigators to hotels around the world who review and take photos of rooms and hotel grounds so future guests can get a true image of what the hotel or resort looks like in comparison to what is advertised. So far, we have not had an issue with fake hotel promo photos at places we’ve stayed and I hope we can keep that good record up!


Google Maps

Another great tool is Google maps. It’s not just for a temporary fix for your wanderlust. Google maps will show you a street view of the prospective hotel’s area so you can see if that “view of the beach” is really a view of a deserted parking lot. We’ve also used Google maps to plan out how far we’d have to walk or take a bus to get to a tourist site. Meshach prints the walk and bus/metro route maps before our trips since we don’t have international data service on our phones (we use free WiFi spots.)

Google maps is a travel lover’s friend! Yes, it is a little weird knowing that there are photos of almost every place in the world – including people’s homes down to the car they drive (too Big Brother-ish). But for those of us who can’t travel as often as we’d like, Google maps is the temporary relief when wanderlust strikes. Not only can you get a street view but Google actually went underwater to take photos!

So next time you’re craving something new to see and you can’t get there for a trip just yet, Google Maps is the next best thing. By the way isn’t this photo of Dubrovnik gorgeous?

Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor is also a really good tool to use. When choosing a place to stay after saving your hard earned money, always research beforehand – it will save you the headache. We use Trip Advisor for scoping out hotel, tourist sites and tour reviews. We also like that the public are can upload real, unedited photos of their hotel rooms so we can see what our room will look like. Word of mouth online and offline is the best way to go. If we see a lot of bad reviews, then obviously we are not going to be confident about spending our time and money at a place. Those who post on Trip Advisor also give helpful insider tips like what metro to take from the hotel or which floor is best.

Now that I’ve passed this knowledge along, go out there and satisfy your wanderlust! Happy travels!

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