GeoBeats and Tripfilms
In this digital age, the prospect of setting out to experience strange lands is far less daunting than it was just 20 years ago. Planning a trip to Europe? Going to San Francisco for the weekend? Dial in Google Maps’ street view and you can not only walk up to the front door of a potential hotel and inspect its condition, you can get a “street-view” look at nearly every single point on your itinerary long before you leave home. Despite the dangers of ruining the surprise of discovery, the technology is addictive, especially with the on-the-ground video sites that can offer valuable firsthand recommendations. There are a ton to be found, all featuring videos from destinations all over the world: Travelistic.com, Turnhere.travel, Tripfilms.com, Geobeats.com. I prefer the latter two, partly because of the high-quality videos, but mostly because of the personality of some of their guides/narrators. At GeoBeats, join Parisian Sophie de Ratuld for a colorful tour of Paris’ Bastille Market, then flip over to Trip Films and follow the Amelie-looking American in Paris Elena as she brings you along for a day in her life in the City of Lights. Whether you’re planning a trip or stuck at home, each site offers snack-sized international and domestic treats to inspire and sate your wanderlust.