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First, be a virtual tourist

April 16th, 2010 by The JetSetter Team | Comments Off on First, be a virtual tourist

travel destinationsIn the old days before Al Gore saved the world by inventing the internet, travelers had no real way to find honest-to-goodness feedback about travel destinations. Yes, they could grab a travel guide but sometimes it seems like those are written by robots and not real people. You want to be able to put your finger on the pulse of a place before you go. Since you can’t try all the hotels, restaurants, and attractions, it would be nice to access honest feedback from those who have been there before.

Voila! Introducing the internet.

With Google Earth, it’s like you don’t even need to really leave your couch to feel as if you’ve been. This free program allows you to zoom down to street level almost anywhere in the world and have a look around. Welcome to virtual tourism. It’s a great way to get a glance at where you’re going. Other handy websites are places like TripAdvisor.com which allows travelers to post reviews and make recommendations (both pro and con) regarding what’s great or not at the travel destination of their choice.

As with everything that introduces the human element, take extremely positive or negative reviews with a grain of salt – after all, anyone can write anything on these websites – but use them as part of your trip planning toolbox. For example, if you’re looking for seafood in Melbourne, Florida, a place called Squid Lips is listed #9 out of 88 ranked restaurants overall. Not bad. Click on some reviews to find out what people liked about it.

And so on and so forth. If you haven’t incorporated the internet into your vacation planning, now would be a great time to do so.

The Jetsetter Team

Flickr / infomatique