My love of lists is not something I have kept a secret here, so it should come as no surprise that preparing for a vacation is an incredibly obsessive task for me. Lists of restaurants, lists of sights to see, lists for packing, and lists for the house/cat sitter. The collecting of information is an integral part of a vacation for me. Some resources have been particularly helpful to me in getting ready for the trips we've taken.
- Live Search Maps-I like to use this to create a personalized map of locations I want to remember. I find this most helpful for mapping out restaurants we'd like to try. It makes it easy to know what food we'll be close to when visiting certain attractions or parts of town.
- Trip Advisor- Trip Advisor is great for hotel, restaurant and sightseeing ideas, and you can create trip profiles to save all the great info you find. Travelers post reviews and share photos from their trips, which can help you decide if that hotel's claims really are too good to be true.
- Local online publications- In the case of our upcoming trip it's theWashingtonian. Local newspapers aren't written expressly for tourists, which is why they can really help you get a feel for where you are visiting. You can get restaurant reviews and the skinny on events that might be occurring while you'll be in town. But some do have tips expressly for visitor's, like the Washingtonian's Visitor's Guide. For our Santa Fe trip I utilized the local alternative publication, the Santa Fe Reporter.
- National Park Services- Not just for Yosemite or Yellowstone. Although it did help us plan our outdoor excursions in New Mexico, it also helped us plan our visits to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island for our NYC trip. I think it's always worth a visit to see if there is anything amazing you might have overlooked.
Photo from Real Simple