Updated: Jun 3
After a recent rest in Uluwatu, it's now time for Danielle and I to make our way East and North. We can't wait to explore more of North Bali as the rainy season comes to a close! With that in mind, we thought it would be a great chance to share with you all the methods we use to research any new places we plan on visiting, and how we ensure we don't miss anything!
OUR RESEARCH CHECKLIST
HAVE A ROUGH PLAN
Travel is all about being spontaneous, having fun and the freedom to either stay or move on. It's amazing when you find that place you fall in love with and stay as long as you like!
We always try and have a rough guide in mind for what we want to do and see. When we first decided to come to Bali we developed a rough plan of where we would go, and at least start. As so many do, we started in Canggu before moving on to the Nusa Islands. Once we knew where we were starting we could begin researching things to do in those areas.
Narrowing things down, and focusing on specific sections helps to avoid missing lesser-known, but equally amazing places.
GOOGLE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND
Once you know where you are going you can simply start by looking on Google. Check out travel blogs and 'things to do' in that area for starters. Other people's experiences are a great starting point, especially when they give you the good and bad! Honest travel blogs are brilliant for this. Don't always take their word for the bad, as a bad experience for one person can be completely different for someone else. Something as uncontrollable as the weather could affect the experience someone had. Just make note of what they've seen and do more research into it yourself.
ON TO INSTAGRAM
Once you've built a list of things to see, you need to check them out with your own two eyes. I'm not talking about visiting everywhere, but head to Instagram. It's an amazing database of pictures that you can use to see whether something looks worth the trip for you. Once you've narrowed down, or even expanded your list, then you can then start saving them for later.
BACK TO GOOGLE!
As your list of exploration points grows and grows you can head onto google maps and start saving locations. This makes sure you don't forget about them! While you're there you can also zoom in a little and look for icons like these 🌲, 📷 or ⛱. They are symbols which highlight things you can see, and they provide information as well as reviews etc. As your list of saved spots grows you can start to understand a route in your head.
FRIENDS, FAMILIES AND OTHER LIKE-MINDED ADVENTURERS
Use other people's experiences to your benefit and ask anyone you know who has visited your future travel destinations. If you don't know someone whose been there then look to people on social media. Ask a poll of things to do in those areas on your story, and check out some Facebook groups too. You're sure t0 some great responses!
When a billionaire and certified genius like Elon Musk speaks about learning then it's worth paying attention. In a simple tweet back in March 2021, he stated "you can pretty much learn anything on Youtube/Reddit" and I don't disagree with him. As much as we would love to live like an explorer who ventures into a whole new territory and explored previously unseen lands, it's just not feasible today. There is a tonne of people online who have done exactly what you are planning on doing. Listen to them and check out the awesome things they've done.
MAKE A NOTE OF EVERYTHING
Do not wait until later! Go to Google maps, make a physical note or do whatever you need to do...just don't forget what you've seen! You will not come back to it, and it'll haunt you forever. You'll spend the rest of your life trying to figure out what that unbelievable thing was that you just saw. I guarantee you'll never see a trace of it online again!
ASK A LOCAL
All the research you've done in the build-up to arriving doesn't stop there. You don't need to stop every local you see and ask about things to do, just don't miss an opportunity if it arises. A friendly restaurant worker, cafe owner or the person who welcomes you to your home for the next however long. If they look friendly and are willing to help then they'll likely love to tell you about all the amazing things you can see in their hometown! That's in our experience anyway.
There are a bunch of ways you can research any place, and we don't necessarily do all of these every time. After starting you will quickly find your google maps looks like a green pin cushion after all the pins you've dropped. Everything that goes into your trip beforehand is instantly made worthwhile when you're out experiencing it for yourself.