To me, half the fun of traveling is the travel prep. I’m not going to lie, a big part of travel prep makes me stressed and gives me a huge head ache. Finding the cheapest ticket and the best place to stay are painful, long processes for me but once the purely practical stuff is arranged the REAL fun can start; finding out what I want to do and see. We are currently in Portugal and I thought it might be fun and helpful to share our travel prep for this trip!
The Mr. and I have been talking about a trip to Lisbon and Porto for a couple of years already. its just one of those things that never happened till now and I’m SO excited. We just have a couple of days but I have huge bucket list ready to make most of our trip. Our favourtie sources to find out what to do in both Lisbon and Porto:
1. Lonely Planet Pocketbooks
We love Lonely Planet and decided to get two little pocket books instead of the big Portugal Guidebook because we only had a couple of days and a limited amount of luggage space (saving money by traveling with carry-on’s only here!). The guides are super useful and to the point. We spent a Sunday morning brunch reading through the guides and made a list of things that interested us. The guides also have a little map and pictures to give you an idea of what to expect. You can get the guides on amazon.com but also through the Lonely Planet site where you can get 3 for the price of 2 books, I’d say thats a win win situation ;) you can find the Lisbon Guide here! and the Porto Pocket Book here!
2. Trip Advisor
This is one of my favorite sites to look up what others have said about certain attractions or places to eat. I really do value other travelers opinions and experiences, not that you should follow them blindly but its a great place to find some references and double check what you read elsewhere. Find the site for Lisbon here! and Porto here!
Since we are serious foodies Yelp is our lifesaver when we are looking for something specific like coffee or vegetarian lunch or tapas. I always feel like tourist traps are so easy to fall into and I don’t want to miss out on great food because I chose for convenience. If you have data its even more perfect because you can choose the option to find something near you, how practical is that? If you don’t have data while traveling just do your prep before you leave and mark your map with a lot of options (also useful to check what the opening hours are, believe me, standing in front of a closed door is quite the disappointment, especially when you are “hangry” hah.) You find the site HERE!
I have to admit that reddit is not my favorite site but it is one of the Mr.’s favorites and he knows how to get most out of it. There are many sub-reddits about almost every topic you can imagine and even about a lot of countries/cities. You can look for tips and tricks there or even ask for people’s advice if you need some specific info and people are always very willing to help. Find Portugal’s sub reddit here!
5. Locals & Other travelers
I think we’ve gotten a book’s worth of advice on where to go, what to eat and what to do from our friends who’ve been to Portugal before or people who have lived there. Its always a bit difficult to start deciding which of the recommendations work best for you when you get a lot of them but I think personal recommendations are the most fun because you get to hear a lot of stories and if bloggers like anything its stories right? So besides the friends and colleagues that were kind enough to share their tips and tricks there’s a couple of bloggers that certainly inspired our trip like: Carrie (WishWishWish.net), Brooke (www.worldofwanderlust.com) & Sophie (www.sophieagnes.com). Of course there are plenty, plenty more but there are just a couple that I loved! Also, when we got to Portugal some of the best tips we got were from our Uber driver and the host of our AirBnB (I know it isn’t really prep but still a very valuable source of knowledge!)
I can’t wait to share more from our trip with you guys because this country has got a little spell on us, we LOVE it here! Will check in again soon, in the mean time you can follow the whole journey on Instagram and even more on Snapchat @yaramiora !
What are your favorite sources for travel prep? Please do let me know in the comments section below, because all tips and tricks are greatly appreciated!
Can’t wait to share this adventure with you!