Tips for Researching Your Next Adventure!

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Tips for Researching Your Next Adventure!

Million Mile SecretsTips for Researching Your Next Adventure!Million Mile Secrets Team

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Planning a trip takes effort.  But doing a bit of research before you go can save you time.

And because time is precious (especially on short trips!), I put together a guide to show you how to research your trip.  It includes tips on the best travel websites, guidebooks, and online travel communities.  So you don’t miss any “must see” spots!

How To Research A Trip
Planning a Trip? There Are Lots of Resources to Save You Time, So You Can Enjoy Your Vacation

Here are my recommendations for planning your next trip!

How to Research a Trip

It’s important to research your trip before you go, and plan your time wisely.  It’s disappointing when you don’t get to see and do everything you’d hoped!

Because even if you love to wander, you probably want the fun kind of wandering, NOT the “I want to see the Eiffel Tower but I have no idea how to use the Paris metro” kind of wandering. 😉

And even if you collect and use miles & points to get there and stay, you’ll still need to decide what to do at your destination!

Here are some excellent resources to get you started:

What We Use to Plan Our Adventures

Our Trip Reports are useful because you’ll get first-hand accounts and reviews on the places we’ve been, like where we’ve stayed, the restaurants we visited, and more!  Plus, we show you how you can use miles & points to get you there.

How To Research A Trip
With TripAdvisor, You Can Search for Things to Do at Nearly Any Location Around the World

Sites like TripAdvisor are helpful because they have reviews from thousands of travelers all over the world!  And it’s easy to search for reviews on things like attractions, hotels, and restaurants.

Million Mile Secrets team member Scott gets travel inspiration and information from, Anthony Bourdain’s shows, Million Mile Secrets Trip Reports, Instagram, Yelp, and TripAdvisor.

He also uses to check monthly temperatures, hours of sunshine, and precipitation at his destination.  And searches for upcoming festivals and events wherever he’s going before he begins an adventure.

How To Research A Trip
It Helps to Check the Weather Before You Go, So You’ll Know What to Pack

For example, there’s the International Jazz Festival and Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal each summer.  If you’re into that kind of thing, planning a trip during that time of year could be worth it!

Million Mile Secrets team member Meghan uses the Lonely Planet travel guides.  They offer lots of budget-friendly options, and even provide a short history of each destination.

She also likes the easy-to-read maps that come in the guides, even for some small and remote towns!

That said, when she and her husband drove through the UK, they turned to technology and bought a Garmin GPS unit to help navigate.  She claims it’s one of the best travel purchases she has ever made!

It helped them easily navigate the hectic streets of London, and kept them from getting lost amongst miles of farmland in Scotland.  It was a marriage lifesaver.

And don’t forget to check-out my review of, the best offline map app!  I used it to navigate in Djibouti during my trip to East Africa.

How To Research A Trip
Without Wi-Fi or Cellular Internet, I Was Able to Get to Lac Assal in Djibouti Using the App

Plus, you can always ask your friends for suggestions on what to see and do, and what to skip!  Just because a particular tourist spot is popular doesn’t mean it’s worth the hype.  Lots of folks use Facebook and social media for recommendations.

If all else fails, remember to just start walking. 🙂

Bottom Line

Researching a destination before you go can save you lots of time.  Every hour is precious when you’re on vacation!

But you can use guidebooks, travel websites, maps, and apps, to help you plan the perfect trip.  So you don’t miss any important stops along the way.

What tools do you use to research your trips?

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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My husband and I are planning a trip to Australia and New Zealand in Nov, Dec 2018. We can be flexible. We have some Delta, United, Ultimate Rewards, and BOA Travel rewards. What credit cards should we be using to pile on points to get airfare from LAX to AKL or SYD?

Million Mile Secrets

Hi Robyn! Check out this post for ways to used United Airlines miles to visit Australia:

Because you already have United Airlines miles and Chase Ultimate Rewards (that you can transfer to United Airlines miles), that might be a good option for you.

Also, take a look at this post, that explains how to use AMEX Membership Rewards to get to Australia & New Zealand, including flights on Delta:

Agree with Boonie’s comment on TripAdvisor. I have received a lot of help from experts on the TripAdvisor forums. For our most recent trip to Sicily we were renting a car, and the advice I received proved invaluable, saving us from making a few choices that would have caused problems and stress.

I also email places directly when I need more info or accurate, up-to-date information, for example, is it necessary to purchase tickets in advance, is parking available, etc., etc. This can be important if you are visiting at popular times.

Been planning my own travel since the late 80’s/early 90’s (pre-internet) and now it is so much easier to get information/answers.

Million Mile Secrets

Great to hear! And I agree, firsthand reports and advice can definitely be invaluable.

I like that you can ask a question on TripAdvisor and readers will answer. Oyster has pro and con hotel reviews although limited. Some hotel brands have forums such as Marriott that are good to read or destination forums such as Vegas.