I'm a student at the university of washington working on a research project this quarter on travel and how the internet has changed how we travel. As a part of the project I will be posting how travelers use the web to research their trips and learn about foreign cultures.
So if any of you are willing to help, please share on one of the following questions:
1)how do you use the internet to research the culture of a place where you wish to travel
2)share an experience where researching the culture of your destination has proved to be helpful
3)share an experience where it would have been helpful to have researched a little more about the culture of a certain destination of yours. (this could be problems you experienced with transportation, food, customs, religion, etc)
Include your name and age if you'd like. The info will be put on a washington.edu website and taken down promptly after the class is finished.
Thanks a bunch and happy travels!
Welcome to Travellerspoint! Sounds like an interesting project. I'd be interested to see the results..
I use the internet a LOT to research and organise travel. In my view there is no better way to directly get in touch with people from different countries and ask for advice from complete strangers about what can be expected in their country, region or even city or town. I am personally planning a trip to Europe at the moment and most of the research has been done on the internet, with a few printed guidebooks to back it up. I take particular interest in personal recommendations by others, but have also spent a lot of time looking through general travel guide sites like the Lonely Planet, where there is a lot of country specific information.
Forums are of course another great way to get information
I hope this helps.
I am planning to travel in a year's time and have done practically ALL of my research on the internet.
It includes the main sites Lonely Planet, GoNomad, Boots'n'all as well as following the travels of others (mainly Kingi and Chopin from Poland who are hitch-hiking around the world).
In answer to your questions:
1. I did searches under the initial destination I wish to start from (Nth America, Arctic) as well as under the type of travel - adventure, low-budget, round the world, independent traveller...I'm trying to avoid all the commercial travel-package sites!
Following this, i have used links from the sites that i have enjoyed the most - the searching just keeps on expanding!!
Have joined a few sites as a member and receive newsletters.
Am just starting to correspond with others - this is my first Forum posting so breaking new ground here!
2. Haven't really researched a specific culture yet - but am researching, i guess, the culture of the traveller/nomad - ie. travelling as a lifestyle rather than as a holiday getaway. This has been useful in finding out other's experiences, how they have done their travel...eg. i know that most people pack too much stuff!!
3. not applicable yet as i haven't gone...but definitely trying to learn as much as i can from other's experiences!
My name is Christine White. I'm 35 years and from New Zealand.
All the best for your work
Definitely a great research you are doing. I am Sam, normally residing in the Netherlands but currently in Norway.
Internet is probably the single and only thing I use when researching a destination (although I don't do much researching when travelling anywhere.... I like to just take the gamble and go; providing I have the time of course!). I am not into guidebooks because I tend to 'wing it' when I get to my destination. This is partly due to the fact that I have great faith in meeting other travellers when I get somewhere and then learning from their experience what to do/what to see etc. Call me lazy, but it saves me sifting through pages of guidebooks
Like Christine, I tend to try and stick away from commercial sites. Actually I hate sites like travelocity that are only trying to sell tickets but that is just my opinion. I really like Lonely Planet because their site is easy to use AND informative. Kind of a lack of those at the moment. In what is maybe some blatant promotion of Travellerspoint, I really like features that allow for interaction between actual travellers and (often) one on one communication about a destination (for example the Travel Help feature but also Travel Forums).
To be honest, I don't use it so much for culture related information and tend to find that paying a lot of attention when arriving somewhere really pays off in that area.
Good luck with your research!
What an interesting research project. I usually go to government sites of the country and also official tourist sites as a start. Then I use travel forums and usually buy a book or two on the country in question.
In Turkey I made sure that I brought a scarf to put on my head before enterting any of the mosques. I am past the age of going sleeveless so that is usually not a problem visiting countries with different cultures.
It wasn't so much about the culture as a language problem when I was in Fernando de Norhona in Brazil, very few people spoke English, Spanish or French and it was very difficult to communicate, they really didn't want to communicate. All the guided tours which were more or less compulsory were conducted in Portugese, the island is very strictly controlled regarding tourism.
Just to follow up on this thread. I was doing a bit of looking into different sites linking to Travellerspoint (can never have enough of those!) and came across the completed paper by misskris and friends.
It can be found in full at; http://students.washington.edu/mjk2/com301/index.html
and is definitely an interesting paper on how travel has changed because of the internet. It seems the paper was published a while ago because there were some good threads in the forums here on some of the things they go into (culture etc.) that weren't used but at least two of the quotations from this thread (Pete and jembe) have been used in full in this paper.
Just thought I would let all of you know....
Sam I Am