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    Tips for exploring your next holiday destination

    Whether you are looking to arrange a relaxing trip to South Africa or an European experience in Paris, take some time to explore your holiday destination before booking. Here are a few resources to help you.

    Guidebooks - My favourites are the travel advice books of Lonely Planet. Among some titles are ' Best in Travel 2010', '1000 Ultimate Experiences', 'Best Ever Travel Tips'. The pocket city guides are great if you don't have much time to read!

    Guides Online - Wiki guides are free.You can email them with the city in the subject and a PDF guide will be sent to you. National Geographic traveller includes destination guides, insider, maps and walking tours. Guardian Travel has a section called 'Been There' where travellers share tips, photos, experiences around the world.

    Google Maps and Streetview - Google maps are very useful, especially with the Earth feature so you can actually visualize the city. You can find driving distances and time between cities. Streetview helps you to look at the area around a hotel before arrival.

    Reviews - On Tripadvisor and Holiday Watchdog travellers have written thousands of reviews on hotels and holidays around the world. Before booking your hotel read some reviews to make sure you choose the perfect hotel for you.

    Travel Events Recommendation - For events and festivals check out Joobili which offers timely travel inspirations including music festivals, cultural and sporting events. It is a browser plugin where you can drag and drop travel information, photos, video into a folder that you can access as you are researching your holiday.

    iPhone Travel Applications - You can find restaurants and hotels based on name, price, style or quality rankings. Many travel apps can be tailored for any number of worldwide destinations while others are geared only to a particular location. Lonely Planet's guidebooks are fairly easy to read on the iPad or iPhone.

    You can spend hours and hours researching your next holiday destination, but you can't beat going there and witnessing it for yourself.

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