Pic above : Taj Mahal, one of the 7 wonders of the world. Pre travel research helped me in locating the hidden gem of destinations around it.
Travelling requires bravery, commitment and a decent budget. My experience has taught me that it’s worth doing your research before setting off. It will help you make the most of what’s sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Ever since my first trip, I have always researched on the destination before stepping foot on it.
So, before you board the plane, consider these reasons for dedicating at least some time to browsing the web for advice:
- You can prioritise
Having a look at where other people have visited, the places the loved and the attractions they hated will help you decide where to prioritise. Travel blogs are a great starting place to get honest opinions from which you can determine whether somewhere will be to your taste or not. It’s better to know these things beforehand, rather than waste your time. I often look up in Instagram to check out how a place actually looks like.
- You’ll save money
Checking discount sites, being able to haggle, choosing the discounted flights, and being able to ditch the travel agent – all are named as top tips for saving money, but require you to do research. You’ll thank yourself, though, as it will pay off in the long run. Before I traveled to Ladakh I did a research which helped me save money. I planned my days in such a way so that waste is minimised.
- You can ensure a safe adventure
Turning up somewhere unprepared and expecting to scuba-dive, trek, bungee jump or take on any other adventure is possible. But it’s not the safest way of doing things. Being able to check out reviews beforehand ensures you have an enjoyable experience, rather than a worrying one. I have been in many dangerous situations. For safety advice for adventure travel, check out these tips for avoiding a Darwin Award.
- You might find unexpected opportunities
Did you know Patagonia isn’t a country – it is a distinct geographical region spanning the lower sections of Argentina and Chile, or that every day in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour there’s a world-famous light and music show? Well, the more you research, the more you’ll find out. For example, I would have missed out on sampling Rhododendron juice on Roopkund trek had I not known about it beforehand. Similarly, researching for my Everest Base Camp trek not only helped me prepare myself mentally and physically but it also made me alert on which things I should not miss eating en route.
- Understanding different cultures
It’s important to be a good traveler, not one who disregards the local customs. By doing bit of research on the social norms, you’ll endear yourself to the locals. Stunning Places give the example of appropriate clothing in the Middle East, but other instances include the importance of tipping in the US and slurping noodles in Japan. When I was in South India, I was clueless how to drink the famed filter coffee. After having committed faux paux, I seeked help from social media and did it right.
The view from my #SoulWindow is alert!
What have you learnt by travelling? Share your experiences with us to help others.
Be a part of my journey on social media. The travel content I create there is different from this blog.
The content produced here is original and its copyright stays with Abhinav Singh. The same can not be reproduced without permission.