Travel: Preparing for your next holiday

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Travel: Dave Deruytter marks your card for – finally! – a well-deserved holiday.

We all know that there is great fun to be had preparing for your next holiday. Many exciting questions come to mind immediately. Which country to go to, whereabouts in that country, how to get there, what to do once you arrived?

Back in the day, a good travel guide book was the typical thing to buy, or to borrow from the library, to get really started. Although that may still be a good idea, in order to get a good overview of the many things to know concerning a possible country or city of destination, a vast variety of online options are available these days just by a few touches on your Smartphone screen.

Wiki-travel is there for sure, but also many of the guide books, such as Lonely Planet for example, offer some free information online. Of course, all of those ‘free’ online offers have a business model to survive or to thrive. A bit like the airline and hotel websites or their apps that are suggest complete touring packages, including hotels, visits and transportation. All of which are bookable online, with a few clicks only, and are offered by themselves or via partners who give them a commission per click or sale.

The likes of Google Maps and YouTube have also added to the ease with which you can go about the task of preparing your next trip. Just move on the map of the world randomly until a country, mountain ridge, coast or island draws your attention, then zoom in. If nothing interesting presents itself, zoom out again and keep on scrolling over the blue planet until you see pictures of an interesting place to be or to visit and hotels to stay in or attractions to enjoy.

On YouTube, just type something like ‘visit’ plus the name of a city, a country, a beach or a mountain resort. A wealth of options will announce themselves to you. Recently, I ended up in Kyoto in Japan, a place I thought I know pretty well. Still, the city has not only changed, there is so much more to see than I was aware of, so much so that I took note of enough places of interest I hadn’t seen before to immediately go back again.

Repeat holidays have the disadvantage of the ‘been there, done that’ syndrome, but at the same time they give the possibility to dig deeper the second time around by moving away from the big tourist attractions to go to the places the locals go to and learn more about their culture and originality.