Back in the 80’s, when you want to travel, you go to your travel agent to book a flight or avail of a tour package. When you want to learn more about places you want to go to, you go to the library or the embassy, or talk to people you know who’s already been there.
Nowadays, you just have to go online. You book your flight through the carrier’s website, pay via credit card and print out your ticket. If you want to research, you Google your destination and instantly read about stories and advice from people around the world. Instead of being limited by a tour package, you get enough information to get off the beaten track.
So where to go for information? If you find Google overwhelming, here are some links to site I’ve found useful for my research.
- Jetstar Asia – A low-budget airline servicing Asia. Jetstar Asia is based in Singapore and is partially owned by Quantas Airlines
- Tiger Airways – Another no-frills airline based in Singapore.
- Philippine Airlines – The Philippines’ flag carrier. PAL is by no means a budget airline, but they have some pretty good deals in their website.
- Cebu Pacific – They have recently switched from a full-service carrier to a low-budget airline. For their 10th anniversary, they offered Php 10 fares to any of their domestic destinations. After its success, they launched another promo offering Php 1 fares.
- Attitude Travel – A listing of budget airlines in Asia. They also have a list for European countries.
- Hostel Asia and Hostelworld – If you don’t mind roughing it and sharing a bathroom with the other guests, hostels and guesthouses are the cheaper alternatives to hotels. HostelAsia and Hostelworld lets your search for cheap accomodation in your destination. Each profile has a description, pictures, map and direction to the hostel, and reviews by travelers who have stayed there. You can also book your room through their site, with only a 10% deposit and a US$2 service fee.
- Trip Advisor – If you’re undecided on which hotel to stay in, head on to Trip Advisor and read about what their guests have to say about them.
- Tourism Authority of Thailand – The official website of the Tourism Authority of Thailand. This is a great site to get an overview of Thailand and all its provinces
- Visit Singapore – Official tourism site of Singapore. This is where I found this PDF guide for the best hawker stalls in Singapore.
- Travel Fish – A great travel resource site for Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
- Virtual Tourist – Want to know what you can do in your destination? What to bring, where to eat? Head on to Virtual Tourist to see your destination through the eyes of your fellow travellers.
- Boots n All – More than just a forum, Boots n All offers their members access to their huge archive of travel stories and a free travel blog.
- Pinoy Exchange – PEX can be overwhelming for a first timer. However, their Travel & Leisure forum is a gold mine of information.
- Girl Talk Forums – If PEX is too much for you, head on to GT. Males are welcomed too. I think.