Eight years ago, we took our first resort vacation where I searched online for useful information. At the time, it was impossible to find real information about the resort other than what the hotel wanted you to know. Now, you'd be foolish to plan an expensive vacation without going online for first hand travel tips. You'll find a number of travel sites like Hotels.com, Expedia.com or Orbitz but don't look to them for the real 411. Look for user sites created by vacationers who love a location and provide real tips on how to get around. Before my first trip to Disney
I found a great user site called Deb's Unofficial Walt Disney World Information Guide
. Deb has added a few ads but her advice and user reviews beat anything from Birnbaum. When we decided to go to Aruba in 2001, I found trip reports at the family run, Aruba Bound
. After that experience I even created our own Aruba web site
with the hundreds of photos taken over the course of three visits. My trip reports were essentially Blogging before I knew what a Blog was. Click on photo for larger version
Now when I travel I always try to report on our experiences in hopes it will help others. When I get a chance I'll write more about our experiences this month at the Hyatt Dorado in Puerto Rico. The nice part is if you write enough like I've been able to do
and post a lot of photos, it can really pay off. The hotels are usually happy, and your readers can make better use of their short vacation time.