How I Research A City
I'll be posting list upon list of recommendations about each city and wanted to briefly explain how I get those. This won't be the most fascinating read but can help if you are interested in creating your own.
Step 1 - What To Do
This is a really tedious task but I obviously start with a quick Google search of 'What to do in whatever city'. I then will open 4-5 articles and figure out which items are consistent and which don't sound all that fun to me. Those are usually things that are common like a cooking class.
I try to make a note of what are the most iconic things in each city and make sure I hit those. You can't go to Paris and not see the Eiffel Tower.
Step 2 - Where To Eat And Drink
Similar to before, I pull up Google to see what are the best places to eat and drink. I'll look through blogs, websites, Yelp or other lists to compile my own. I try to find a good mix of restaurants in terms of locations around the city as I am constantly moving around and at varying price points. I'll probably skip the fanciest of places, but have no problem checking out a moderately priced restaurant but prefer to the local spots if possible.
I try to figure out if there are local dishes to that area that I feel I need to try. You can't go to Poland and not have perogies.
Step 3 - Figuring Out Where To Stay
I'll be creating a post about how I use Google maps but the general jist is I'll find the attraction or restaurant and save, or star, that location on my map. Once I have all the places entered I can see where the majority of the things are and will try to stay in that area.
If the city is big, like a Beijing, Paris, or Rome I'll try and see if there is something out there about the better areas to stay. This can come in handy because sometimes the areas with a lot of things going on can be more loud or busy. In those cities it is also helpful to stay near a subway station for easier travel to get around.
4. Finding Tours
Now that I have figured out what I want to do, where I'll be eating, and where I am staying I need to figure how I'll do the attractions that are farther away. I used tours a lot in Europe and enjoy a free walking in a city if they offer it. I like to get a chance to walk around and learn about the city. For some tours you'll need to venture farther out like going to Ha Long Bay from Hanoi, Vietnam or Milford Sound from Queenstown, New Zealand. Again, I'll look up companies or tours that have positive reviews and used trusted companies like Trip Advisor, Viator or I recently used Klook.
None of this is a groundbreaking process but wanted to at least briefly explain it. If you want to do it on your own I totally understand but it can definitely be a long process.
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HELLO AND WELCOME!
I'm Jake, a dude interested in personal finance and travel creating the life I choose.
In 5 years I went from living in a basement with Craigslist roommates to paying off 90k of debt, backpacking 3 continents, getting a house for myself and 5 rental units.
Read my story in the about me section.
All photos on the blog are from my travels
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