In 2017 I was fortunate enough to visit several new places and my new favorite destination. I went to Miami with friends, Cartagena with my family, Barcelona and Paris with my mom and Canton, OH for my friend’s wedding. All of these trips were joyful and fun and in 2018 I hope visit new places and return to the City of Lights. Lattes and good food are something I need no matter where I might be, so after the Airbnb is booked I use Instagram and Google Maps to help me find places that will appeal to me. I’m not a fan of tourists with selfie sticks, maps and unabsorbed sunscreen dotting their faces so I look for places that aren’t right next to tourist attractions.
I open up Google Maps and enter the address of where I’ll be staying and then I zoom in. All food and drink places have either the fork and dish symbol or a cocktail symbol and usually have a rating and If you’re lucky a price rating as well. I then open up Instagram and search for the restaurant/cafe/coffee shop name as a hashtag. I do this because not every establishment has an Instagram page but if they’ve got 4+ star ratings someone will have posted a picture with the hashtag. I then go through the pictures to see if I like the food, the people who go there, and the look and vibe of the place. If I like it, I save it to a collection for that city on Instagram and I add to a list of saved places on Google Maps for the specific city. I do this on both apps for two reasons. When I’m there I’ll have a list of places to go and can use the Instagram picture to quickly decide if I want that specific cuisine and show the person I’m traveling with what to expect if they’re hesitant about an unknown. Since it’s saved in my Google Maps, I don’t have to enter the address to get directions and if I don’t go on that trip I still have the information for future trips.
I plan to do this for all my trips this year and I’m really excited to see what cool places I might find that aren’t in guide books and must see lists! If you have any tips for travel please comment below 🙂