It’s no secret that I enjoy going on journeys both across Australia and overseas. During the next two months, I am off to Wellington, New Zealand in February and then Bali, Indonesia in March.

I was speaking to a few people the other day, about what each of us do for planning. Here are the five main websites I use to discover the area I am visiting, before I get there.

This is a great site, which is literally a wiki overlay to Google Maps. You can select areas and tag them and write short descriptions, and then others can explore a city or area from above. Here’s the Wellington, New Zealand wikimapia section.

Trip Advisor
This is a great review site, and a very active forums community as well. I’ve reviewed a few places on there in last 12 months, and even have my own travel map, showing where I have been (fairly limited, I know!). Here’s their Bali, Indonesia section as an example.

This may sound like an odd choice, but you can find out a lot about a city by the photographs of it on this great photo sharing site. The easiest way to search is by keyword, such as ‘Wellington, New Zealand‘. You can see my photos here.

This is another wiki-based website, with succinct articles about thousands of locations around the world. They tend to be written by people who have vast experience in the area, and I’ve used their recommendations on previous trips. Here is the Wikitravel page for Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Social book-marking pioneer website, Delicious, is a great place to see hat others are bookmarking and tagging by the destination name. Here’s an example of people tagging websites with ‘Sanur‘, one of the places I am staying in Bali.

What sites do you use to research travel destinations before you leave?

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