Many times, people dive into vacation plans without doing much more research than sorting through the travel brochures at their local travel agency, or browsing through a few online sources. With the instant availability of information on the internet, many people don’t even bother looking through the well-established travel guides like Frommer’s and Foder’s anymore. However, the problem you may run into with internet travel opinions is that they are just that – the opinions of people who have traveled and made mistakes before.
Looking at travel guides written by people who are trained to observe a vacation destination with a critical eye, really gives you the best overall perspective on the situation. For example, if you want to stay in a small, local hotel while in the Caribbean, but read a horrid review about it online, you probably won’t choose to stay there. However, what charms one person about a hotel – such as open windows, no television, no elevators, individualized rooms, and local décor – can often turn another person off if they’re expecting luxury. Find a travel writer who shares your personal tastes and consider investing in a travel guide written by this person.
Going through this guide book and reading the recommendations will give you a much better feel for exactly what it is you’re signing yourself up for. Some people worry that travel guides are tied to the writer’s pocket books – meaning that they only refer travelers to hotels and travel options that give them the most money – but this isn’t the case. The people writing the articles are just as human as the rest of us, but on the whole those guides are usually objective. While there’s no way to say that what they’re writing isn’t tainted a little by their personal preferences, these guides are extremely helpful and full of information you might not otherwise have to help plan your vacation.
For instance, if you want to take a tour through the Caribbean island you’re visiting, who do you trust? Do you look around for the nearest person espousing themselves as a guide and hop in their car? Most of us are cautious enough not to just hop in someone’s vehicle no matter where we are traveling; but is trusting the advertisements and pamphlets that they hand out at tourist stops and travel agencies any better? The good thing about having read up on where you’re vacationing in a reliable travel guide is that you’ll know more about what businesses are trustworthy and where to look to get the best deal on your vacation activities.
The importance of being able to have both the accommodations you want at a fair and reasonable price is something that can’t be emphasized enough. Too many times tourists who don’t do their homework get taken in by the local market and end up paying too much for nearly everything involved in their vacation package. If you’re trying to visit the Caribbean on a budget, the best thing you can do is to plan ahead with the help of a trusted travel guide.
Also, good travel guides will help you to find out when the best time of year is to travel, what your options are, and whether or not you should try to haggle the prices quoted to you. As with any good research book, a vacation guide can be your key to getting the most out of your vacation. And – even though it may seem like homework – remember that planning ahead for your Caribbean vacation will pay off.