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Travel Tip Tuesday – Planning

When the travel industry began, people relied heavily on experts to help them plan a trip or vacation. Details were meticulously planned and executed, and we followed well-engineered vacation plans. I remember being a kid and driving by the local AAA Travel office and gazing at the shiny posters of Disneyland and beaches from around the world. It always put me into a state of wonder, and I half believe this is the root of my desire to travel.

Fast forward a few decades, and the travel agent has all but disappeared completely. There is still a market for them, as they now cater to an older generation and people with more resources than time. Most travel agents, however, have been replaced by the mighty internet since it has become very easy to investigate and plan your own trip. A simple Google search of any place on Earth will bring you hundreds of travel options. Where to stay, how to get there, and what to do are matched by reviews of other people that have done it before you. The internet and reviews have become the virtual travel agents of the 21st century.

Nowadays, in just about an hour, you can find out enough about anyone location to decide if you want to go there, what time of year is best to visit, and what kind of budget is reasonable. Online resources like Booking.com and discount airfare companies can get you where you are going fast and inexpensively. What to do when you are there is where our tip comes in today.

People have many different travel styles. For some, the rigidity of an organized tour and having everything planned out for them is the equivalent of a baby blanket. It makes them feel warm and fuzzy, allowing them to relax and just show up in the hotel lobby on time each morning for the day’s adventures.  There are other people who are on the exact opposite end that just show up and wing it completely. They may arrive and not even have a place to stay the whole time, as they like the adventure of getting lost and figuring it out. We are somewhere in the middle, leaning towards the latter.


We like to have a basic plan laid out, including the lodging, but we like to do our research and rely on other travelers for our activities. There are any number of groups on social media that talk about specific areas. During our time in Vietnam, we communicated heavily with a few of these groups and learned a lot from their collective experiences.We figured out that we would save a huge amount booking tours and outings once we arrived at a destination over pre-booking online. We also learned how to avoid scams, what taxis and transportation to use, where to stay, and even who had the best mojitos in each town and what to pay!

The travel tip for today is all about community. Meet some new people and tap into the knowledge and passion that they share for a destination that also interests you. Real advice from people with boots-on-the-ground experience will save you time, money, and help you customize your own adventure.

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Comments (2)

  • Michael Perry 4 years ago Reply

    I wrote a few posts on the resources I use for trip planning. For travel in Asia. I really like 12go. You can book combination trips including air, rail, and bus or just book the single type of transportation you need. Also Giant Ibis is an excellent bus transport company that covers Vietnam and Cambodia. . Finally for rail travel around the world I have not find anything that beats the Man in Seat 61 as a reference guide. For hotels, I primarily use agoda and booking.com but there are some excellent longer stay apartment rentals/leases for Cambodia I’ve found as well i will be meeting up with an agent in September when I get there to look at some apartments. A decent reference guide for all things ex-part is expat.com.

  • Roger 4 years ago Reply

    Solid Resources, all of them Michael!

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