To travel is great. You discover a lot of new things, get to know great people and cultures and visit places that will be remembered forever. But then you come home and realize “damn, there and there I was not!” or “Crap, I did not even see that, so I must have run past it!” etc, etc … Do you know these moments too? At any rate, we know them only too well.
Over the years, we have developed a system for us that helps us to never miss a Must See or hidden gem again. It is time consuming – but rewarding.
Here we want to briefly introduce our system. It is practically applicable to every individual travel and can be applied before or during the trip.
Have you already decided on a destination, a country or even the whole region? Great 🙂
The next steps are: INSPIRATION & INFORMATION.
Pick out all the beautiful places you want to see and experience at your destination. The best platforms for this are:
Instagram, Pinterest & Google (Images). Simply enter your destination into the search function and browse through the masses of photos and articles. Save everything you like (as a screenshot or with the memory function of each app).
Often we discover a picture of a stunning place, but it lacks any description or location. If you still want to find the place, it takes a little time. If you find the picture on Instagram, go through the used hashtags – sometimes you will find a clue that limits the region at least a little (eg “northspain“). Also, browse the comments below the picture – often the name of the place is mentioned by other users.
Other sources that you can use for your inspiration are:
Travel Guides: here you will find a list of all the sights and must-sees of a country – bundled, filtered and simply displayed. Guidebooks are probably THE best source of information and inspiration at all and should not be missing in any travel planning. In the guide, a place is beautifully described, but you do not know exactly whether it meets your expectations or whether it pays to visit it – especially when time is limited. Google it. Or search on Instagram for pictures of this place. Then you will immediately see if the place really interests you or not.
Facebook or Facebook groups: on Facebook there is a group for everything – and that’s a good thing! Are you planning, for example a trip to Australia? Search in Facebook for groups that deal with the topic and join them. In these groups you will meet like-minded people, people who are planning the same trip and/or who can report on their previous trips to Australia. You can ask questions, click through the posts and conversely help other travelers. These Facebook groups are often a great source to discover hidden gems and sights off the beaten path.
(Travel)Blogs are another great way to get inspiration and, above all, information about a certain place/country.
Youtube, TV and magazines/newspapers (like the Lonely Planet or National Geographic magazines) can also be very helpful.
Also use apps like Maps.me or Wikicamps (for Australia & New Zealand also: Campermate) etc. At your destination they are not only extremely useful for navigation, but also to find hidden gems and attractions off the beaten track. All these apps have the function “Sights” to register – so if you are currently on the South Island of New Zealand on the road, you can check if there are any attractions in your area (waterfalls, viewpoints with panoramic views …). Even with city trips apps like Maps.me are incredibly helpful. Just check what’s in your environment. Often you come across great cafes, shops and attractions that you might otherwise have run past.
From time to time, enter the name of the place you are currently searching for in the search function of Instragram, Pinterest and Google. Often you come across events that are currently taking place.
Inform yourself as well as possible about the places you would like to visit. Means: inform yourself about opening hours and prices (some attractions are for example locked in the low season or only limited accessible and/or so crowded during the high season that the number of visitors are limited). Remote hidden gems are often accessible only with your own vehicle – or even at the end of an off-road runway. Some places should only be visited during a certain time of the day (eg beaches that are only accessible at low tide). In some places, there is a dress code (eg at temples) etc, etc. … The better you inform yourself in advance, the less nasty surprises you will experience.
One tool that always helps us a lot are maps. Before and during your trip, draw all the places and sights that you would like to visit on the map. You can use a paper map or apps for that. Especially on road trips such a visual aid is ideal, but also on a city trip maps can be practical. This is how you make sure that you do not pass by any Must See.
We hope this guide is a little help for your next trip 🙂
Do you have any other ideas for travel planning or tips so you do not miss any Must See’s and hidden gems? Write us!