Making travel plans: where to start?
If you ask me, nothing beats making your own travel plans, figuring out where to go and when, how to get there, what to see and do. Scary? No, exciting! Making travel plans is part of the fun!
Hoewever, if you are a first time traveler, or if you are new to making your own arrangements, you may feel like you don’t know where to start. How do I book a flight? How to find accommodation? Where do I get my information from? And when it’s time to go: what should I pack? So many things to think about…
No worries! Traveling Dutchie provides you with practical tips you can use to create your own custom-made Do It Yourself trips. Just browse the topics below. Your journey starts here, at Traveling Dutchie!
In the age of the Internet, I still like to use travel guides. The paper ones that is. I know, e-books are easier to carry around then traveling, especially if you want to pack light. But they don’t really fill your bookcase. And how cool is it to sit on your couch looking at a well-stocked bookcase full of travel guides of the places you have visited? 🙂
Anyway, whether paper or digital, in my opinion travel guides are an essential introduction to your destination. They provide useful information about sights, accommodation, transportation, restaurants and excursions. But also basic information like custom regulations, medical information, what kind of electrical plugs you need, and so on.
Personally I prefer The Rough Guide and Lonely Planet, because they are both well researched and reliable. New editions are being published every couple of years, so make sure you have the most recently updated one.
The downside of travel guides is that they are not always 100% up-to-date and 100% comprehensive. So some information you are looking for you may not find in a travel guide. But hey, like I said, we live in the age of the Internet, so do some additional online research as well.
Of course you start your journey here, at Traveling Dutchie 🙂 Unfortunately though, a one-stop website or travel blog that provides you with everything you need, does not exist. So shop around. The local tourist board website is often a great resource. (Just Google “visit___” to find it; more and more tourist boards have websites that simply called e.g. ‘visitsevilla’ or ‘visitnorway’.) For independent information, make sure you actually land on the tourist board website and not one of a local company trying to sell you stuff.
You may also want to browse some websites of companies that offer organized tours. Not necessarily because you want to book with them, but for inspiration. Their itinerary and the places they go to might give you some ideas. If you want to include one or two organized day trips in your travel plans, you may want to check Tripadvisor for reviews of the companies that offer tours to the place you want to visit. Don’t blindly follow what you read on Tripadvisor though; the reviews are not always objective and reliable (some people just write reviews to complain and vent negative experiences).
Be aware that a lot of the popular travel blogs are not as independent as they may seem. Especially the ones that end on top of your Google search results. Many of those travel blogs are full of advertisements and affiliate links, which means the blogger gets paid a commission every time you click on one of them. That’s how they sustain their website. It’s highly unlikely they will write anything negative about the companies that advertise on their blogs or the websites they’re affiliated with.
The same goes for many of the popular travel bloggers who are making a living from blogging. They often cooperate with companies that offer everything from tours to accommodation, and get paid for writing about the things and places those companies make money from. Traveling Dutchie doesn’t work that way. This is an independent website: Not for profit. Ad-free. Affiliate-free. Cookie-free. That said, just browse some travel blogs that turn up in your quest for information and see which ones you like. Other travelers sharing their passion and experiences can be a great resource for tips and inspiration.