Thursday, July 30, 2009

Around the World Travel Guide Part 4 [Internet Research]

Helpful Tips for Planning a Year Long Trip Around the World Part 4
[Internet Research]

So you have an idea of where you want to go, but Europe doesn’t really narrow anything down. Where will you go in Europe, and what will you do in Europe? Well you may not know – but there are all number of companies that spend hundreds of man hours every year plotting the best trips.

Free Glossy Planners, Delivered Right to Your Door

Who are these people? They are – of course – tour operators. I highly recommend one: Gap Adventures. There is another popular tour company out there called Contiki, and if you’re into a drug and booze filled wild ride, and also under the age of 35 they may be your best choice – but more on that later. Right now you’re getting ideas of where you should go.

Both companies offer fabulous magazines that break down their various tours, and itinerates. With these magazines you can see what countries, what cities, and what points of interest they have decided on. These companies pick only the best an most exciting areas – after all, they are dependant on people telling their friends about all the amazing things they did. So why not check out their tours, and then just recreate it on your own, saving potentially hundreds of dollars as you go?

Gap Adventures: Order free Brochures
Contiki Tours: Order free Brochures

Other Helpful Websites
Lonely Planet
Most travel book companies offer a host of information on their websites. It’s to the point that you question who is buying the hardcopy texts. As a year long traveller, it’s impossible to carry guide books for every location anyway, so these sites are perfect for your planning.

Lonely Planet: Thorn Tree
Thorn Tree is a subsection of the Lonely Planet website, but it is worth its own link. This is the best travel forum on the internet. This information brought to you by the world famous one.year.trip research institute. If you have any question, post it here and the answers will come flowing in. It’s also a message board community where people don’t use 1337 speak, or constantly swear at each other. I know! I was shocked too.

World Travel Guide
Are you going somewhere on planet Earth? Oh you are, are you – well then this site has the information for you. Even if you’ve looked up the city on another site, compare that information with what you find here.

I recommend this site, mostly because I love the interactive map they have. There are fewer easier ways to navigate to the country you want information on than by clicking through this simple index mechanic. Fodor’s is also a travel guide company who has started creating some fabulous full cover texts (a break away from their black and white routes, which Lonely Planet still sticks to.)

Time Out
Yet another travel guide company has created a website to give you information on the cheap (read: free.) While not as comprehensive as the other sites, Time Out offers addresses and information about a lot of local haunts, and worthwhile places to go.

Next Up
We look deeper into the various tour companies, and suggest why you might want to actually drop the cash, and experience the world from a comfortable tour bus. We then also switch gears and look at why you might hate such a constrained experience, and look at the wonderful world of solo travel.

Jump to other Parts
0. Index / Summary
1. Planning Destinations
2. Budget / Culling
3. Hotels vs Hostels
4. Internet Research
5. Tour Groups / Solo Travel
6. Important Travel Gear
7. Packs / Packing
8. Medical Requirements
9. Saying Goodbye / Staying Connected
10. No Fear Travel
Bonus: Overlooked Travel Tips and Tricks

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