There are too many places to go and things to read when it comes to research. Where to go, how to get there, what should you prioritise etc. you can research till the cows come out and still there is a mountain of options and opinions out there. Personally I think I spent to much time on research, from clothing to batteries. It would be foolish to just go to a country without knowing a thing or two whether it be security or vaccinations so I’m don’t think anyone should be too gung ho! Research thoroughly but not until your motivation is dead, plan well and succinctly but always be open to change as even the best of plans don’t always work out……quite often that when you experience the best of life.
Blogs – If you expect to find one site that will match your exact requirements then you may be disappointed or at the very least likely to be searching for a very long time. I’ve found a few that are good overall but none that match the type of travelling I want to do or traveller I want to be, that doesn’t mean I exclude them, on the contrary I still refer/check them regularly. My theory is to keep an eye open all the time and explore anywhere, anything or article that seems interesting and take out of it what is meaningful or relevant to me. Take a look at www.nomadicmatt.com, to me the best independent travel blog in my opinion.
If you’re looking for impartial and independent thoughts then simple explore independent travel writer/bloggers/sites in the very least (in most cases) you’ll get an opinion of someone who has actually travelled and experienced things first hand and not trying to sell you a holiday, subscription etc. etc.
Travel Sites – by far the easiest as there are so many of them is using Facebook, easy to manage by following travellers, bloggers, National Geographic even friends and family’s holidays.
Travel Guides – I’m prone to avoid these, just not my cup of tea but they do have their place and shouldn’t be shunned. The best of them, has been for many years and still is, is Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com/). My thoughts on their guides is if you’re going to one country and even continent and don’t want to use the internet/mobile or have access to it, then a guide may be your best option. I don’t like carrying books with me because of their weight, this isn’t a problem for everyone if you are based in one or just a few hotels etc. They obviously do have electronic versions, but like I said not everyone wants to use the internet, has access to it or wants to carry a tablet, mobile or device around with them. Lonely Planet offers by far the most comprehensive guides you can get, in my opinion their information is brilliant but in many cases offers to much information e.g. they have over 30 guides on Spain alone.