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When I want to see what a place really looks like, unphotoshopped, I search for photos of it on Flickr. Flickr.com I especially do this for beach destinations. If I’m planning on traveling in say, February, I look for pics posted in around March since beach water that’s calm and glassy blue in some months

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My favorite tool for planning trips is Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree message board. You can ask a question about virtually anywhere in the world and someone will answer it. You’ll need to register but its completely free. A couple of etiquette tips: 1. Make sure you search first to see if your question has already