5 Easy Ways On How To Research Your Next Travel Destination [For Free]

Luke Iles – Uploaded 12.06.2023

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Discover the best travel destinations for your next trip with our easy research travel guide

When it comes to planning your next holiday, it can be difficult to know how to research for your next travel destination however as experienced travellers who have backpacked across the globe, we have learnt the hard way so you don’t have to.

We have gone on trips with minimal planning and research as well as holidays which have been planned to the full extent with detailed travel itineraries and comprehensive plans so that we could have the best time in our travel destination and one thing is for sure, we always had a better time when we had done our research and planned our trip in advance!

Furthermore, doing our research on the travel destination beforehand allowed us to get a full idea of if this was the best destination for our next trip and if the location suited all our preferences. It also played hand in hand with how we chose our holiday destination and allowed us to decide whether that specific location was within our travel budget.

There are so many things that stem from doing effective travel research and just by spending less than an hour understanding the destination you want to visit, you can get a great understanding of the positive and negative factors and whether the place you are choosing to visit is ideal for the type of trip you are planning on experiencing.

By understanding the type of holiday you want to go on, whether that be a family holiday, romantic getaway or party holiday can help you on how to plan your research and look for things that you will want to do in that destination.

Throughout this article, we will provide a breakdown of the top five most effective and easy ways you can research travel destinations in fun and enjoyable ways.

lady sat on boat whilst travelling on water in the sun and cliffs.

The five easiest ways how to research your next travel destination

As experienced travellers who have spent hours and hours planning trips and researching plenty of different destinations, we can’t lie, it can get boring and tedious. However, it does not have to be and instead can be a fun and enjoyable experience that can be done in your own leisurely time.

I frequently research travel destinations by simply watching Youtube videos of a specific travel destination when sitting down to eat food or researching travel destinations by reading travel itineraries on Reddit whilst resting between sets in the gym.

There are plenty of ways you can maximise your time so you are planning and researching specific travel destinations without even sitting down and setting dedicating hours to researching; instead simply incorporating research into your spare time during your spare time can build up to a far better and more enjoyable vacation or holiday.

Discover the five easiest ways to research your next vacation destination so you can be prepared for everything and establish a solid travel plan so you can have a strong idea of the local attractions and local culture that is on offer in this new location you plan on visiting.

The five easiest ways to research your next travel destination include:

  1. Watch Youtube videos
  2. Watch short-form content on TikTok or Instagram
  3. Read travel reviews online
  4. Read travel blogs and travel magazines
  5. Ask questions on online travel forums

1. Watch Youtube Videos

travel vlogger videoing themselves in the middle of a city.

As we always say, if you want to learn something in this day and age you can most likely get a good idea for free. That being said YouTube is an incredible resource that many people do not use to its full potential.

Imagine having a huge collection of free videos full of a wealth of knowledge and experience at your fingertips, well you do and it’s called YouTube!

There are plenty of high-quality travel videos and travel vlogs which can provide you with everything you need in order to research and experience the travel destination you are planning on visiting.

From short-form videos less than 10 seconds long with YouTube shorts to long-form videos which can last hours. There is an array of content of plenty of travel videos on YouTube for you to research to your heart’s content.

We will provide you with some examples that you can search in relation to finding travel videos for a location so that you can research and see if it is the ideal location for your next adventure.

We will use Italy as an example however you can change to any destination.

Some of the videos we find useful for travel research are the following:

  • Best attractions in Italy
  • Best food and drink to try in Italy
  • How to travel in Italy
  • Italy travel itineraries
  • Italy travel vlog

Hopefully, some of these examples have been useful but get creative with it and see what you can find, there is a whole lot of travel content to explore.

We also post our content on YouTube with short clips as well as longer informational travel videos, check out our YouTube channel today!

2. Watch Short-Form Content On TikTok Or Instagram

someone using tiktok on their phone

Short-form content is taking over social media and it seems like every platform is looking to copycat TikTok’s formula however if you are looking for quick and extremely useful bites of information online, there is nothing more useful than short-form videos.

Short-form videos are short bite-size clips, that last for less than 60 seconds. We have found that TikTok and Instagram Reels are the best for this form of content in the travel industry.

You can find exclusive content that you won’t find on YouTube or online that is so unique and beneficial when travelling abroad. These videos can provide recommendations for the best restaurants to visit, travel itineraries, travel reviews and more in less than 60 seconds making it quick and easy to when researching travel destinations.

I have used TikTok countless times to search for the best restaurants, attractions and beaches in certain destinations I am planning a trip to visit and the best thing is it takes less than a minute to do the research.

Instagram is also a great place, particularly for travel with its reel feature. To find specific content on either platform use the explore tab and search for specific phrases such as “best restaurants in Italy” or “2-day itinerary in Italy” to find the perfect videos, you can also follow certain specific content creators and travel vloggers to get more direct travel content.

We also provide unique short snippets of hidden locations, travel tips and travel itineraries on our TikTok and Instagram accounts, why not check us out today?

3. Read Travel Reviews Online

man sat on a rock on a laptop.

Now before you call my old school, travel reviews are still some of the most genuine and best free resources that you can use to research a specific travel destination you are planning on visiting.

By reading travel reviews online on websites such as TripAdvisor and Trust Pilot, you can get a great understanding on the best type of accommodations, attractions, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and cafes to visit.

If you are thinking about looking for a nice expensive meal on your holiday you can use these reviews to identify the best service whilst avoiding places that may be a tourist trap.

To find travel reviews use the websites mentioned and type in a specific term relating to the place you are visiting. For example “Restaurants Italy”, this way you can do more research and identify the best places to add to your travel itinerary whilst avoiding the bad places.

4. Read Travel Blogs & Travel Magazines

lady reading travel blogs on a laptop

You are on a travel blogging website right now, doing travel research so of course we are going to mention travel blogs and travel magazines!

Blog posts provide you with full guides of action-packed knowledge including everything you need to know and do from the best attractions to the best type of food to eat, you can find everything.

By doing a simple search on an online search engine such as Google, you can find answers to all your travel queries and research to your heart’s content with plenty of high-quality travel blogs; like ours!

Local bloggers and travel bloggers who have visited or lived in a particular place for a certain amount of time will also be able to provide you with insider tips and local knowledge which you won’t find anywhere else.

Travel blogs and travel magazines are the best places to find everything from free resources, incredible depths of information about specific travel destinations and plenty of different forms of content from blogs, articles, videos, pictures, comments, guides, tips and more.

5. Ask Questions On Online Travel Forums

travel forum laptop

Online travel forums are full of hidden gems that target that specific question you may be looking for. Not only that but if you can’t find something online you can ask real people who know what they are talking about and they will provide you with an answer.

When it comes to travel research and using travel forums we recommend using apps such as Reddit and getting involved in communities and forums that are designed for travellers to that specific destination you are looking to travel to.

Other useful travel forums online include Lonely Planet, Flyer Talk and Rough Guides.

Travel forums allow you to be interactive with your travel questions, therefore if you require a certain answer to a question about a destination you can ask it or look through previous questions asked in the past.

This is the best form of travel research if you are worried about a niche concern which may have an aspect of seasonality to it. One example could be, “Is the museum still open on a Sunday in December?”. From here you can get answers from the public and plan your trip accordingly.


Once you have done conclusive research and determined the specific travel destination for your next holiday, you can look to find the best travel deals and accommodation prices, so that you can start to book your holiday for the cheapest prices.

You can also look to create a detailed travel itinerary based on your research as well as incorporate a detailed travel budget so that you are prepared for all the expenses that this next vacation will cost you.

Remember that travel research does not have to be difficult, time-consuming, boring or expensive. There are plenty of free travel resources available online from all different accounts including other travellers who have visited beforehand, the travel destination locals as well as people who are currently backpacking around those destinations.

We recommend getting first-hand accounts from a range of different sources as well as using the platforms mentioned such as video and social media accounts as well as online websites, travel blogs, travel magazines and travel forums to build up a reputable account of different experiences so you can determine your own opinion on a travel destination.

Research does not have to be boring or long-winded and as mentioned before can be done during five-minute gaps in your life whether that is on break at work or sitting on the bus, you can simply watch a 10-second itinerary video on TikTok or read reviews whilst browsing the internet; it’s so easy in this day and age.

Although it is important that there is only so much research you can do about a destination before you visit, it is important to gauge important aspects such as prices of travel, accommodation and food as well as the best destinations to stay, local attractions, the local language and other important things that other travellers may mention.

Read Travel Blogs and More

If you enjoyed reading about our travel blog and are looking to read more of our blogs, here at HandL Blogs, we have a selection of articles across a range of categories including fitness, cooking, travel, tech and more. Read our travel blogs today!

Disclosure: Some links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to HandL Blogs at no cost to you if you decide to purchase through these links. These are products we have personally used and stand behind. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy.

Picture of Luke Iles

Luke Iles

Luke is a leading travel writer within the travel niche and is also a co-founder of HandL Blogs one of the UK’s leading travel blogging websites. Luke has a love of all things travel.

Initially becoming friends with his other co-founder, Harry, at the age of four years old, they let their love for travel evolve, making it their mission to visit every country in the world!

Today they want to share their passion and experiences of travelling across the globe with written blogs on topics that are most important to them. From travel, cooking, fitness and tech blogs!

Whether that be trying new food in a new country and sharing it in a cooking blog; visiting a new gym in a certain city and reviewing it in a fitness blog or learning about the newest tech within the travel industry.

Read Luke's Story

 Disclosure: Some links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to HandL Blogs at no cost to you if you decide to purchase through these links. These are products we have personally used and stand behind. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy.

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