I just spent two hours talking with my friend about Scandinavia.  I'm planning a trip there this summer and asked if she would give me suggestions for places to see and things to do.  She was happy to comply.  She even brought her laptop to the restaurant, connected to the internet and showed me different maps and photos of places she recommends.  I took a bunch of notes on my iPhone and will now forward those links to my sister who I'll be traveling with.  These notes will be in addition to the page of links that my sister e-mailed me about possible destinations.  She got her information from sites like TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet, Rick Steves, and the different countries' tourism boards.

My friend just posted on Facebook, asking what people think of Disney cruises.  My other friend just booked a trip online using her frequent flier miles.  A neighbor used YouTube videos to find some of the hot spots in the Mediterranean.

Did you notice how technology played a role in all of these trips?  Social media, crowd sourcing, wireless internet, and website links allow us to easily get information about far away places.  How did travelers manage before the internet?  I guess there were more actual travel agents then.

I know Ocean County still has some travel experts in business, helping business travelers and vacationers but I'm curious what your favorite resources are for planning a trip.  Do you rely on friends? Tourism websites?  Blogs from travel writers like Rick Steves?  Review sites such as TripAdvisor or Yelp?

And speaking of websites, if you're looking for day trip ideas or you want to make it easy for your friends or family to visit you this summer, here's the Ocean County Tourism website.

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