Monday, May 11, 2009

Research: The Travelers Best Friend

~ I've just finished reading an excellent article on the New York Times website, written by Matt Gross for his regular column, The Frugal Traveler. In this entry, Research: The Traveler’s Best Friend, Matt shares in detail the many steps he goes through when researching flights, hotels, and other information before he embarks on one of his journeys. Here are the opening paragraphs.

"My key research tools: books and a long list of websites.

As the Frugal Traveler, I’m on the road three to six months out of the year, and all that wandering takes not just stamina but organization as well. From researching destinations to booking flights and hotels to actually figuring out what to do when I arrive, I have a long list of Web sites and other resources – some well known, others less so – that I use to learn what’s new, interesting and inexpensive. Since so many are planning their summer vacations, I thought I’d share my tried-and-true process. It’s less about secret Web sites and exotic booking strategies than about sheer thoroughness.

Once my editors and I have decided on a destination, I head straight for an obscure little Web site to do research. It’s called Google, and mastering its nooks and crannies is a skill all travelers should develop. One of the first searches I perform is for my destination plus the words “frugal” and “affordable Seriously! When I went to Hawaii’s Big Island in 2007, the search immediately turned up the Pomaikai “Lucky” Farm B&B, an active tropical-fruit farm with comfy rooms for $80 a night – a steal in America’s most expensive vacation spot."

Highly recommended. You can read the rest of Matt’s article here...

IMAGE: Courtesy of the New York Times Online

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