I’ve been doing a lot of thinking around where I’d like to travel to this year. With so many places to visit, it’s a really hard decision! I’ve come up with an initial list of places to go, and I’ve started doing research on things to do, towns to visit, cost, etc. I’ve already read through most of the well-known travel magazines and websites out there (Travel Channel, Condé Nast Traveler, AFAR, etc.) and, of course, I’ve read through some of the great threads here on Insiders, including this one from @derekcrowden:
This got me wondering about the sources you expert travelers use when you’re planning your next trip. Those under-the-radar sites that are not as well-known as the ones I mention above. Maybe there is a blog you follow, an author who writes great stories, an Instagram account you like, a podcast you listen to…Whatever it is, I’d love to hear about it!
One lesser-known website I like is Follow the Vista. The photography is gorgeous, and there are amazing travel guides, stories, interviews and videos. I have used this as a tool for past travels, and will continue in the future!
Look forward to hearing what others have to share!
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He has great info and tips. Everything Airports, Credit cards for Travel and alternate airports.
Great question lindseyh!
For travel trips in addition to Marriott Insiders I frequent the following travel blogs for tips:
For destination reviews and photographs I frequent the following websites:
Great topic, lindseyh! I love all the suggestions here and I frequent many of the pages listed here. This may be a little unconventional, but I like to follow travel bloggers on Instagram for ideas. These are usually in off beat locations and really get the creative travel ideas flowing.
and now, @the_vista (thanks to lindseyh!)
My first source to check is usually Trip Advisor. I used to look carefully at Marriott's reviews of its hotels, but since Marriott started self selecting who can review a hotel, I treat all reviews on the Marriott web site, as suspect.
I'm also a big fan of Frommer's, and Rick Steves' guides.
Trip Advisor is my go to site! I used to get good reviews on Insiders, until the Powers that Be, decided that we are not to be trusted for fair reviews. Marriott severely diminished the value of Insiders when they did away with reviews on this site. In the past year I have gotten to review only a single hotel with Marriott. It makes no sense to restrict Marriott's most loyal customers from reviewing its properties!
Yes Ma'am. You would tag a hotel for review and then write it. The problem became the hotel reviews completely took over the main page and you would have to search for threads such as this almost every time you'd log on to Insiders. Many of us just wanted them to be funneled into another spot where we could read them if we wanted or write a review of a recent stay. They were so valuable.
Yes, and now we are left to be at the mercy of some Smotel review company or who ever determines who gets a review or not AND then if it will even get published. I think I received three review opportunities in the last year and only one of them got published on the hotel site.
That reminds me, got a review from the Cabo JW so I need to go see if it made the cut.
My JW Cabo review made it to the resort review site, unbelievable!
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Reviews here would be great... funneled to the appropriate place that is. I would take the words of the people here more serious than on TripAdvisor. People here are more likely to mention the name of someone at the hotel, that always helps. On TripAdvisor I take note when someone says they are a rewards member.
Congrats on your review posting!
I peruse bejacob's content. I mean, after all, he's already seen more than half of the U.S., up close and personal, logging some 17,000 miles a year.
Hey, BE, need a ghost writer for those autobiographical travel guides, The Insight Diaries? I'm gonna have some free time on my hands come this summer and beyond.
I am a huge fan of Tripadvisor and post reviews and helpful information on a regular basis. I also use Lonely Planet as my go to guidebook and DkWitness as a small traveller.
I have also found helpful and insightful information right here among the widely travelled group that make up The Insiders.
I find it interesting that nobody (except lindseyh) really mentioned any of the traditional travel magazines. Are they becoming obsolete? Or just for casual reading not planning?
I love AFAR, Outside, T&L and, surprisingly, many of the food-focused magazines like Saveur and Food & Wine. They offer great travel insight with a tasty angle. Sourcing ideas from friends on Facebook has also served me well. TripAdvisor actually has a feature where it tells you which of your Facebook friends have been to the city you are searching.
We all know Insiders is the best though, right?
I subscribe to T&L - I do enjoy the magazine, but I don't think it gets down to the nitty gritty. It only goes so far in depth and I can't ask a magazine questions like I can here or on TripAdvisor. BUT it is very useful for places I haven't heard of/don't know much about. I use it more like a springboard and then take it to the internet.
I feel like a trip idea usually starts out as a suggestion from a family member or a friend and then I research it more from there. Insiders is usually my next go-to play to see what kinds of experiences different Insiders had in the destination I am considering. Also, I have to say, I do get inspiration from photos that people post of their travels on Instagram and Facebook!