"" Writer's Wanderings: Where in the world. . .?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Where in the world. . .?

Everything is a lot easier in life with some sort of a plan. That is especially true when you travel. Unless of course you are twenty-something, just graduated and have some money in your pocket and a backpack of worldly goods hanging from your shoulders. But even those who fit that description have some sort of a goal in mind and a path to follow.

About a year and a half ago, we began to plan our Australian adventure. The first question we asked ourselves was "where do we want to go?" Visiting Australia is like visiting the United States. There is no way you are going to see it all on a two week vacation. We began to list the areas/cities we wanted to visit and determine the places we wanted to spend the most time.

Once that was determined, we had a skeletal outline of a trip and needed to consult a map to see how we would route it. Google maps was an excellent source for this.

Over the next few months, we spent many evenings searching the internet for interesting sights to explore in the regions we planned to visit. The easiest way to do that is to search the names of towns and/or parks you see on the map. Most places with anything of interest to see will have a website. Start a file in your Favorites list for you trip and begin adding those sites to it. If you don't, you won't remember where it was you saw that really neat boat trip up the beautiful river. Trust me.

Several travel guides are online. They are not comprehensive (of course, they want you to buy their books) but they do give you some help in choosing places to see. Try Frommers.com and Fodors.com. (Rick Steves is a good source for Europe but I find his books more helpful than his website.)If you do decide to purchase one of their guides, you want to wait until you can get the most up-to-date one. Otherwise some of the transportation, hotel, and hours of operation information may not be as current.

One other helpful site for planning is Tripadvisor.com where you can find reviews on places to see. We'll use this site extensively later when making reservations.

Why not stop reading here and dream a little? If you've always wanted to plan a trip to that dream destination, take the time now to jot down the places where you might want to stop and the things you might want to see. Then spend a little time exploring online. Save your work in a file. You never know when the opportunity might arise and you'll be prepared to start your adventure.

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