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Old 12-18-2009, 11:03 AM
Location: Olympus Mons, Mars
5,725 posts, read 8,629,694 times
Reputation: 5827


I usually do all my planning, i.e. what to see do etc. solely from research on the internet referencing various websites including Tripadvisor. I do not buy travel books on a destination as I've thought of them as wading through voluminous amounts of information that can be overwhelming. However, I recently read one of the Lonely Planet guides and was pretty impressed with how well it was put together with multiple suggested itineraries etc. The writing style was also excellent.

Example:http://www.lonelyplanet.com/shop_*****ndmix/free_chapters/spain-7-getting-started.pdf (broken link)

(Check the itineraries page...replace the *** with p i c k a, not sure why it is filtering that word)

For my next trip I am considering getting a Lonely Planet guide and using that to plan my trip.

I'd like to hear how you guys plan your trip itineraries...
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:30 PM
Location: Eastern NC
19,561 posts, read 17,809,660 times
Reputation: 17365
I am currently planning a trip to alaska this coming summer and am researching using tripadvisor. That said after much research I have concluded that all hotels in my budget are crap and have decided to use B&B's instead.
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:34 PM
1,592 posts, read 3,094,101 times
Reputation: 1152
I use the internet to get ideas of what hotel to stay at or tourist attractions to visit. That said, I am leary of any hotel reviews or tourist attraction reviews that only has one reviewer b/c my guess is that that may have been written by someone with a financial stake in the place. 10 or more reviews, I suppose they are pretty reliable but I make sure to carefully read them. If they sound like a rehashed press release in bad English, I get suspicious.
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Old 12-19-2009, 11:59 AM
Location: San Diego
5,027 posts, read 13,437,341 times
Reputation: 4849
I go on local boards to ask locals for suggestions. Guide books and travel boards are filled with tourist recs and we are not into touristy things when we travel. Really, there's no good reason to go to Times Square when in NYC and that's what most tourists on travel boards suggest, while the locals have much better, off the beaten path suggestions.
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:54 PM
Location: SW MO
1,238 posts, read 4,044,225 times
Reputation: 987
For our upcoming trip to Loreto, Mexico
1. Internet search for places to snorkel in Mexico brought up link to Loreto.
2. Official website for Loreto showed many interesting things to do.
3. Tripadvisor to read about lodging, activities and food from people who had been there. Chose our hotel.
4. Bought the Best Guide to Loreto, which also has a website. Checking back frequently for updates.
5. E-mailed the owner of the hotel (Coco Cabanas) with a few specific questions.
6. Posted more questions on the Tripadvisor Forum.
7. Followed all links I could find including temp., water temp, whale migration, cruise ship dates, maps of town, prices of vendors, etc.
8. Going to e-mail our travel agent this week to book the airline (limited flights to Loreto).
9. Pacing restlessly for the next 4 months till we leave.
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Old 12-19-2009, 11:33 PM
Location: Spring/The Woodlands area
228 posts, read 886,255 times
Reputation: 143
Depends on what type vacation Im taking..but dont cruise without CruiseCritic and Trip Advisor. They have never let me down!

MAK802, I LOVE Times Square! Ive only been there twice, so I still havent gotten to see and do everything. We went there last July before cruising to Bermuda, and stayed in TS, before and after our cruise, and we loved every minute of it. Guess thats why there are so many vacation destinations! Something for everyone.
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Old 12-20-2009, 05:50 AM
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,956,094 times
Reputation: 13245
I do all my own planning and reach from a variety of sources.

If it is an international trip I like to get a guidebook.
Guidebooks are not manuals but I do like to read them.
Rick Steves is a nice guy but I prefer not to join his herd if I can avoid it.
I like Let's Go but also use Rough Guide and Lonely Planet.
LP is sometimes not updated enough for my taste, but they've steered me to some fun off the beaten path spots on the past.
We brought a France Let's Go on our trip last spring and referred to it constantly. Our kid (who lives there) generally approved of its content.

I also use the internet, many sites, from Tripadvisor to Eurotrip.com.

I do not eschew a touristy spot simply because it might be touristy, but I don't go unless it genuinely appeals--not interested in marking a box on a mental checklist.
If I really want to see a place, I make it my business to see it.
But I might travel in shoulder season, or go to San Marco Square or Carcassonne very early in the morning, or talk to a CouchSurfing host about places that the average tourist misses.
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Old 12-21-2009, 10:32 PM
Location: Cottonwood CA
336 posts, read 949,240 times
Reputation: 304
Default Much online

I often use this site-posing questions to locals whereever we're headed. Also research destinations' Visitor and Convention Bureaus and/or Chambers of Commerce for local attractions. I will checkout the state government websites and see their recommendations as well.

I review the "Virtual Tourist" website for advice from others and, when the vacation involves driving-I use Streets and Trips to plot routes, attractions and waypoints. Usually get whatever paper maps I need from AAA.

Oh, for something quirkier, look at "Roadside America" for oddities around the country. That website is really valuable to identify places of interest when you're crossing otherwise "uninteresting" regions.

We generally use Orbitz to reserve airline tickets, and auto rentals, and sometimes to read motel reviews. But we seldom book lodging online; prefer to see them firsthand before committing-at least during non-peak season.

I always spend a lot of time researching vacations-and sometimes "over-analyze"-just ask my wife. But I look at is as somewhat of a hobby-and like to plan ahead.
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Old 12-22-2009, 02:07 AM
Location: New Jersey
4,085 posts, read 7,682,022 times
Reputation: 2648
1. I use the internet to get ideas for what to do/see on the trip. If the source of the idea seems to also have good info (besides just the idea), I use that source for the additional info also.

2. Once I know where I'm going, I figure the times and days of when to do what. I leave it a very rough schedule, to leave a lot of flexibility and a lot of time to go off the beaten path. No strict schedules on my vacations. For example, a day in L.A. would be as simple as "Monday - Hollywood in AM, Griffith Observatory from between 3/4 PM to 8/9 PM". Mostly I try to group activities so that I'm not wasting time and being more efficient.

3. I continue to research until the trip and can change things at any time.

4. I talk to everyone I know about where I'm going and many who have gone before will relate their experiences, and this usually leads to new ideas on what to do or see. For example, talking to someone about El Paso I learned about Cattleman's Ranch Steak House; I probably would have never known about it if he didn't tell me, and it turned out to be one of the best dining experiences of my life.

5. AAA - I go to AAA and get maps and Tourbooks. Yes, I use Googlemaps and Expedia also, but paper maps and books I can (and do) take everywhere and can read them on a bus or wherever. When time comes to go on the trip, I take the maps. Yes, I have GPS, but you should always have paper maps also.

6. I go to Barnes & Noble and read up all the guide books for where I'm headed. If I find one that's extraordinarily good, I buy it, but that's rare.

7. I search flights and hotels (and car rental if necess.) and estimate costs. I make a very conservative cost estimate so that I will have leftover rather than have to spend more than I thought. As time draws near to the trip, I monitor airfare through Expedia, Orbitz, Kayak, etc. and buy at the best price I can before the flights fill up; if the flights aren't filling up, I wait for a lower price a couple weeks before the trip. For hotels, I use Expedia.com, hotels.com, and similar sites to get an idea of general pricing for the city or place I'm visiting. In the end, sometimes Expedia has the best deal and I book thru them, but I will often check the websites of the hotels I'm interested in and try to make a reservation directly with them.

8. All my itineraries are subject to change, so even on a trip, I will listen to locals and change things up.
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Old 12-23-2009, 01:56 AM
2 posts, read 3,987 times
Reputation: 10
Hello Friends

My self Vishal. I suggest to you please go throug with the company the great Indian Adventure. its a good company. you can get every kind of services in India. or Nhewyork. They have good staff & good services quilty. I have used this company for my tour for Himachal in India its was good exp for me & my wife.

They have planed very well & they know the means of timeing.

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