Useful websites for planning your travelsVOLUNTEERING & TRAVEL ADVICE / 14 July 2015
When planning your trip abroad, there is a lot to think about. With so many websites offering you help with booking and organising it can get a bit overwhelming. In a effort to help, here is a run down of our top ‘useful links’;
Train travel: www.seat61.com
The ultimate train guide – we love this easy to use website! Train travel worldwide is generally underrated with people often preferring the quicker option of flying, but it is becoming more and more popular as a means of traveling the world. The website describes itself as a ‘practical guide to classic travel’, and this is exactly what it is. The website breaks down the information into handy sections such as train travel in the UK and Ireland, then in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, America and Australasia. We can’t recommend this website more!
Hotels and Restaurants: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk
Tripadvisor, Tripadvisor, Tripadvisor! We would be lost without Tripadvisor. This website allows other customers to record their own feedback of hotels, (as well as other local amenities) around the world. It is an invaluable tool in assessing whether the place you have chosen is indeed as great as it says it is. As a team, we have done a lot of travelling, and Tripadvisor is our perfect ‘go to’. Our favourite thing about this website is that we can ask questions, for example ‘Is this hotel in a nice area of town?" and people who have been to the hotel are able to reply and give us honest feedback. Of course, as with any big website, some of the reviews you have to take with a pinch of salt, but on the whole we have found Tripadvisor.co.uk to be a great tool in weeding out the rubbish hotels and restuarants and leaving us with the good.
Worldwide weather: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/world
The weather plays a huge part of your overall holiday satisfaction. Travelling in monsoon time is a very different experience to travelling during the dry season – both have their merits and their downfalls – but if you have a specific kind of trip planned that the climate which hugely affect, then we recommend the Met Office website for accurate (as they can be!) weather predictions.
Travel advice and security: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
When holiday planning, it is imperative to check your destination for safety. The FCO, the British Foreign Office is what we go by; every country will have it’s own version. This website is a mine of information assessing risks and giving advice as to when and where to travel.
Customs and language: http://www.lonelyplanet.com
How could we do a list of useful links for you and not include the Lonely Planet. World renowned as one of the best and most accurate sources of information about specific countries out there; this website will give you advice on the local customs, clothing and other things important for you to be aware of and potentially observe. When visiting a country it is common sense that if you try to respect local culture and customs, and even try and learn a few words of the language, then you will be able to fit into the society more and find yourself much more accepted; this can lead to all sorts of new friendships and adventures happening that might not otherwise!
Travel guide: http://www.roughguides.com
Similar in content to the Lonely Planet website in many ways and just as valuable. This website will not only tell you where to go but how to get there. It offers useful pointers and tips, and suggests things you might not ever have thought of doing!
The Internet is a wonderful thing and makes our lives so much easier. This being said, nothing beats a good book and the Lonely Planet or Rough Guides travel books are our bibles whilst overseas!