This question plagues me, and many other travellers. I am sure it’s been bugging you as well.
Back in our heyday, we sought advice from the likes of Lonely Planet, DK and Frommers. We also sought advice from visiting travel agencies. We sought advice from our family and friends.
Social media have now become a large part of our lives, and we are slowly starting to ditch the old school guidebooks. Don’t get me wrong – they’re still handy at times, and of course, they do make my bookcase look pretty 😉
Travel blogs have boomed in the last decade, and they are filled to the brim with fabulous advice for every traveller under the sun. Budget, backpackers, disabilities, luxury – you name it, and there’s bound to be heaps of advice for you on the Internet.
Facebook is also fantastic for getting travel advice – you’ll be surprised at the number of people in your friend list who have travelled to numerous countries. They’re filled with fantastic advice, and will be able to help you out whenever needed. It’s also useful for when you’re travelling and need to contact someone urgently.
Numerous travellers and bloggers use Twitter. I’ve found this to be extremely useful, especially with the use of hashtags such as #travel #ttot #insertcountrynamehere
You can also tweet airlines, travel agencies, etc – you’re bound to get an instant reply most of the time, which is really useful when you’re on the move – provided that you have access to WiFi.
Media such as SMH, news.com.au, The Guardian, Huffington Post, etc have their own travel section. There’s news, advice, reviews and whatnot. However, they often blow it out of proportion – ie; terrorism and drugs in Bali.
A couple of weeks before I went to Bali in February 2012, I had people telling me to be cautious about the security there. They were telling me not to bring drugs and bombs. Really? That’s just far-fetched, considering I don’t have any association with those. It goes to show how much one listens to media. Instead, I ignored their advice and made sure my luggage was secure. I also made sure I had no drugs of any sort – albeit the bottle of wine I bought at the duty-free shop in Brisbane. I didn’t work in a bomb factory, so I was pretty much safe. Upon arrival in Bali, I was surprised to find the security at the airport to be quite calm, not as strict as others made it to be.
But WHO do we listen to?
I reckon it’s a grey area. There’s no perfect place for us to obtain travel advice. Instead, we go in with an open mind. With all advice collected from guidebooks, travel blogs, social media, family and friends, we travel AND turn it into a learning experience.
If in doubt, Google it 😉
I would love to read your thoughts about this!
Over and out,
PS: I can be found on various social media platforms – just search for isigniwander 🙂