As the holiday season nears, many people are no doubt planning for their trip away from the city, and the Internet and Search Engines are often the first port of the call when people start to research and plan their trip. It’s no secret that the Internet is a fantastic resources to search for cheap airfares, holidays ideas and accommodation recommendations. The mix of extensive commercial contents and user supplied material means that as long as you know where to look and how to find the right information, you can really leave nothing to chances when it comes to planning for your next trip.
Here are a few tips that I have used over the years to help me take trip planning to the next level and help me plan for the perfect trip by leveraging the power of the Internet and Search Engines!
- Bing Travel Search
If you live in the USA or are traveling to and from USA, the Bing Travel search engines have some cool features to help you sort our your airfares. Whilst many website allow you to search for the cheapest flight tickets, one of the big feature of Bing Travel search is the ability to predict flight fares going forward and recommend you to buy it today or wait for it to get cheaper.
It also offer the ability to fine tune your search and when you click on the flight will take you directly to the address where you can buy the fare from the vendor.
I must admit, I don’t live in the USA but from what I can see, the features seems comprehensive and I would certainly use it if I were to travel within the USA and hope Bing bring the same search engines to other countries.
- Research the location
Got an address of your hotel? If you do, there are a whole lot that you can do today before you leave home to find out about your destination. Firstly, Google Map can show you where the hotel is on the map, what the front gate looks like, what the surrounding environments are like, all highly useful information when you are staying at a brand new hotel, particularly ones that you are offered very cheap rate! For example, here is a satellite view and front gate view of the Versace hotel up in the Gold Coast in Australia.
Secondly, want to know if you can get a decent Pizza near your hotel? A quick search on Google map, once again reveals where to go for a late night feed when you get there!
- Use forums for reviews
When you do come across various web sites about your destination or accommodations, chances are its filled with pretty pictures and descriptions of how exciting and wonderful the place, such is the nature of commercial contents, they WANT TO SELL YOU SOMETHING.
But If you are like me and are interested in finding out what real people who have visited the place really think about a place or hotel, online forums offers a fantastic venue where people often debate passionately about their favorite (or most hated!) destination. Google now offers you the ability to search within forum via advanced options or you can use any of the specialist forum search engines to dig through people’s experiences and discussions about a holiday destination.
- What is going on today?
Whilst forums are great for finding past experience from people, Twitter search comes into its own when you need to find out the latest about a particular destinations. Latest discussions, sales or promotions, events, or even celebrity sightings! One of the coolest thing about search through twitter is the fact that you never know what you are going to find, so it’s always worth checking out the twitterspehere about your destination!
There you have it, the time you spend on researching and planning for your trip is definitely worth it, as you can leave the thinking at home!