Research is a very important part of travel. You need to know – the where, when, why, what, which and how of the place. Backpacking requires these aspects to be crossed all the more as it is a budget form of travel. Here are 10 things to help you before you backpack and when you are doing research.
Table of Contents
1. Travel blog research
Because of the internet today, these will be your first source of information when you search the places that you find interesting based on which places you would like to explore. The first-hand experiences of these travel junkies paint a wonderful picture of wanderlust as they write of to-dos and best things in places. While tourism sites tend to gloss the places, these blogs put the microscope on and show the true side of the place. You get a realistic view of the place with none of the frills which helps you make the decision of going to the place or not.
2. Tourism sites
Most places do have their own official websites which list the must-do things while in those place. These sites do over amplify the pros and plays down the cons, but take it with a pinch of salt. These do have the best details especially of the geographical details of places which are otherwise not explored much. They also allow one to get good deals with homestays and the best places to stay. The dos and don’ts of the place are also detailed well on most of these sites.
3. Wikitravel page
Some of the information could be outdated or irrelevant but there is useful information that is nicely organised and in a well laid out format. There are things to do, places to stay, safety tips, ideas for day trips and more which can be edited. If a traveller has something that he or she would like to add from their own trip, they are free to do it. The page for many is the first pop up in search and is often the place were a lot of information can be obtained.
4. YouTube videos
Better than reading is sometimes seeing. This is exactly what YouTube allows you to do. Watch videos of the places you wish to research which would be uploaded by travellers on the social media video-sharing space. It allows one to see the landscapes, listen to the sounds of the places and actually see the attractions in footage that one would like to visit while backpacking.
5. Ask questions on Reddit
The space allows all your queries about the places you are interested in backpacking to, to be answered. It could be a local, a fellow backpacker, traveller or anyone who has been there to aid you with your questions. The space helps you get advise and details which will surely help to make your trip a great success.
6. Local news
A surprising but reliable source like in the good old days when there was no internet. Local news is still the most true and trusted form of news of a place. Follow these for details of what is happening in the country, as well as the events, festivals, politics, popular culture, etc. These could be a great start of point for a conversation with the locals of the area.
7. Guide books
There are many of these easily available in book stores and libraries around which offer more information about places. Some information may be outdated depending on when the book was written, but the amount of research that goes into it is sure to give you some information about the place that was not known. In the pre-internet age these were perhaps the only source of information for travellers and backpackers.
It may surprise you, but books; be it fiction or non-fiction if they speak about a place they have a way of creating a beautiful world. This is true not just in memory but also in the reality. Many books have great details of places with the authors giving nice insights that inspire one to take a trip and experience what his or her favourite character did.
Another source of video details of a place is documentaries. These real life tales of places, peoples and happenings are great fodder for details about a place. The way places are coloured and the life that can be seen in these docus makes for a great trailer to what a place will really be.
Many Bollywood as well as Hollywood films are made which are shot across various locations. The films also sometimes lend their names to the places with many people visiting them as they have become immortalised by the films or serials shot there. While all the glitz and glamour of the places sometimes makes it too touristy – there is no denying the appeal and beauty that it showcases.
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