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Why information overload can ruin your next trip

I  just got a notification from Hopper (We can have an entire conversation on why Hopper is te best plane ticket app but just trust me on this one), telling me that my next trip to Playa del Carmen near Cancun is almost here. Then Google Trips app picks this up and suddenly starts showing me all the stuff that I can do. Before I realized I’m deep into the internet and I’m getting suggestions on places to eat, whee I should go out dancing and drinking, day itineraries, attractions, best beaches.

I’m scrolling down a blog post with what is allegedly the best places to eat, but, how could they possibly know. I don’t even like the same things as my sister and we are family. How can a blog post assume I’m going to like the local food, without knowing who I am. Besides,  1,000 allegedly best places to eat. How am I supposed to know what’s true?

I was so overwhelmed I closed my laptop, and I had a very weird feeling. Turns out I had just experienced information overload.

What the heck is that?

Information overload is what happens when you have thousands and thousands of pieces of content being written every day. Hundreds of reviews and countless ads trying to get you to go somewhere or do something. This induces anxiety and stress into what should be filled with excitement and anticipation. 

The problem with information overload

Having too much information at hand can set unrealistic expectations about what your trip will look like, according to the internet. You might be thinking you’ll have an amazing experience because of the pictures you saw on someone’s blog or Instagram. Destination pictures almost always represent the exotic, savory side of life in a particular city, sadly, in the,  almost always turns out to be what you’ve built up in your mind. You can end up extremely disappointed of what was supposed to be an awesome trip.

When you are over-informed about your destination, the opportunity for spontaneous happy accidents is diminished. Those how-did-this-happen moments that take you out of your routine and turn into memories and then anecdotes that you tell everyone when you return home. Most of the best travel experiences are random, unplanned, and are usually linked with local life and discovery you made. It can be a flavor, an ingredient, a,  even a monument. This thrilling discoveries often can be the highlight of your trip.

This is where it gets worse. Sometimes by doing too much,  are reliving someone else complete travel experience, before even giving yourself the chance of making your own. It’s like following someone else’s recipe or purchasing a book with someone else sidenotes. You will end up living the exact same experience as someone else who already wrote about it. And you will never be absolutely sure if your thoughts and impressions are really your own. 

Research can help, it’s not bad

Wow, this got very deep very quickly, let’s lighten up again. I can’t say that there isn’t an argument for doing research. Maybe if you are going somewhere where you can’t even communicate because of a language barrier. Or you are going on a very routine-y vacation. Heck, even if you are a solo traveler, I think it is important to understand where you are going and what you are getting into. If you travel alone, many of your interactions will be with local people, it’s important to know about customs and mannerisms as well as some political stances to make sure you don’t get into trouble. 

So turns out this, too, is all about balance. You can choose to go with an all-inclusive resort that you hardly have to leave or a travel agency that has everything done for you and you just hop in for a ride. You can also choose to do your own research and hop between towns and destinations. You can also hire a travel consultant that will help you out with problems that may arise. The thing is that all this is expensive when you travel on a budget it can get hard. 

Find balance and have a great time

This is where we come in, Noua offers the possibility of matching with a Nouer (learn who they are here) they will lend a helping hand and navigate with you the information overflow that currently exists. Get actual must-sees. Learn how a local stay’s safe but still, parties all night. Where you can eat a delicious meal and get insider tips to avoid overly touristy places. All done through our app, and remotely. You are always in control.

Stay clear of all the fake news and irrelevant blog posts. Welcome to the next generation of travel, where we travel with people. Not websites. 

Stay safe out there.