There is a lot that goes in to planning an international vacation,. and I was surprised that during my research on Sicily, there weren’t as many resources as I had expected.
Since I’m tagging along on Sam’s family vacation, I am leaving all the decision making up to them. They have a much deeper understanding and knowledge of the island, so I trust their opinion and know that they will plan a great trip.
Sam is really the mastermind behind this trip. He has gotten pretty into the planning on this trip and its fun to listen and look at all the places we plan on stopping. There are some really great Italy vacation planning resources out there.
We downloaded the Tripomatic app and it has been so helpful! You can custom create your itineraries, save spots that you want to visit and add it to a timeline over the course of the trip. It will pop up famous landmarks in the cities you plan on visiting, and provide you with the hours or contact information if you want to buy tickets in advance. It also has a nice map feature so you can scroll around and see what is nearby that looks interesting. And then you can share your itinerary with the other travelers so everyone has the most up to date version.
Since I’m starting to get really excited about the trip, I’ve been searching around for more information about the sights he’s got on the itinerary and learning about the towns and stops we will be making.
- This trip advisor forum was a huge help for starting to understand the timing and order that we should check things out. It’s nice to hear real people talk about what worked for them and what didn’t.
- I also loved Best of Sicily’s top 12 list, because it helps sum up all the spots that you can’t miss with easy to navigate links (although the appearance of the website leaves little to be desired). And since we’re there for 2 full weeks, we’ve got the time to stop at every one!
- I really enjoyed reading through Hostel Booker’s Sicily suggestions and Reids Italy because both included sights to see, but also beautiful hotels in the towns and restaurant recommendations.
One of my favorite ways to research upcoming trips is reading other traveler’s blogs. I love being able to connect their pictures, personal stories & reviews with a location, and blogs are such a great way to do that. Even though it’s only one person’s perspective, it’s often a more detailed and personal account of a location. Here are a few of the ones I’ve been using to help in the research:
- Fathom Away provided this great post with a day by day listing of hotels, food and sight recommendations with beautiful photos.
- My favorite post (especially for inspiring my appetite!) was by Roads & Kingdoms. It is a beautifully designed sight with a Top 16 list all about Sicily. I love the quirky and incredibly real suggestions he provides to enjoy the real Sicily.
- My mouth was also watering just reading through all the food that is authentic to Sicily on Walks of Italy. I can hardly wait to try it all!
- And taking a look a the New York Times Travel section is always a must. Having powerful and professional writers discussing Sicily is so inspiring.
The foodies that we are, Sam & I were also really set on visiting a winery while we were in Sicily. Although we’re not super knowledgeable about wine, tasting it straight from the source is a great experience. Plus maybe we’d learn some new things about it. This was one of the few areas I did research on, and thankfully, wine tourist is a growing industry so there was more resource than I expected!
- Europe Up Close had a complete guide to wine tasting in the region, and made it easy to navigate all the different options.
- For a more culinary or foodie take, I appreciated Food & Wine’s rundown of the best vineyards & wineries available. Plus beautiful images never hurt.
- Wine Words & Wisdom gave a much more poetic and informative take, and I appreciated reading this once I was there since I had more context on the tour.