Reflections and advice based on personal experience.

Planning Resources: Suggested Reading

I don’t read guidebooks cover to cover. It’s too much information when you haven’t been to a country. I find it confuses me. I have favorite sources: for books,  Lonely Planet, and Moon Guide. On line resources, Trip Advisor, Lonely Planet’s Thorne Tree Travel Forum, and as secondary sources, Frommers and Fodors. I also google the cities I want to visit to see what I can find.  I type in as many approaches as I can—Yucatan Penninsula, Yucatan travel, traveling in Mexico, trips Yucatan, touring Yucatan, etc. Keep trying.  In researching the Yucatan, I discovered a wonderful resource, Yucatan Today, a monthly tourist magazine that you can read online (or free from hotels stands once you’re there). Many of the articles are written by expats living there and each issue contains restaurant reviews, both in depth and short descriptions listed by city, house and apartment rentals, monthly special events, archaeological sites and much more. Google is your friend. Try different searches such as travel in Yucatan, Yucatan travel, eastern Mexico, etc. Keep trying.

Where to start reading: 

  Start with recommended itineraries. You can’t go everywhere. What does the book suggest?  Do you want an active vacation with hiking, biking, and rafting?  Are you more interested in culture such as museums, theaters, and historical sites?  You can find itineraries set up this way. You can also find them organized by location such as coastal, northern, inland. I like a little of everything so I look at several itineraries, and then  at a map. I try to figure out my basic itinerary. Don’t forget to consider transportation. Where are you flying to?  Do you want to fly out of the same place?  Many airlines will give you flexibility. For instance, on a trip to Ecuador, I started my trip in Quito, the capital. After traveling to Quito and several other locations in Ecuador I flew to the Galapagos islands. My final leg out of Quayaquil was my return flight to the U. S. The USA—Quito—Quayaquil—USA cost me no more than if I’d flown into and out of Quito. (For information on flights, see my section on the mileage whore).

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