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Surfing the wonders of our world through StumbleUpon on your computer or smartphone you can see some of the best intriguing destinations without ever stepping on a plane or hopping in a car (although StumbleUpon is helping our users take their adventures offline in a fun travel sweepstakes running right now!).

The number of interesting photographs, articles and top-10 lists of different places to visit you can Stumble on to is almost overwhelming. I decided to use StumbleUpon’s awesome recommendation algorithm to plan my own summer travel and I found myself sucked into a vortex of useful Stumbles. I had to play favorites so here are some of the best travel Stumbles I discovered.

Inspiration
When planning your vacation it’s easy to choose typical tourist spots like New York, London, Paris, or Rome as your final destination. The beauty of StumbleUpon, however, is that it introduces you to places you never knew existed.

Plan a trip out of the ordinary by choosing somewhere from one of these 10 Beautiful Places You’ve Never Heard Of, 30 Best Earth Pictures or 9 Unique and Unusual Travel Destinations. Pick a new city to visit from 6 Best Cities to Get Lost In or by browsing breathtaking panoramas of cities you’d like to see in person on 360 Cities.

Focus your trip around your passions with one of the 8 Best Foodie Getaways Around the World, 10 Best Cities for Music Lovers or by staying at one of these 14 Quirky and Unique Hotels Across the Globe.

For something truly out of this world find your travel dream from 10 Places of Myth and Legend, Amazing Ruins of the World, or one of the top 100 Wonders of the World

An inspiring travel destination Stumble, the Son Doong cave in Vietnam has a large fast-flowing underground river inside.

Travel Guides and Communities
StumbleUpon can help prep you to take your virtual travels offline as well. I found so many useful guides curated by unique groups of travel enthusiasts. The Around the World Travel Community for Indie Travel posts advice on different adventures, hostels, flights and more. Wanderfly’s community helps you plan your trip by discovering and sharing personalized travel recommendations.

Time Out Worldwide provides a great guide to the best things to do in major cities around the world. If you know you are heading to Europe check out Eupedia for various guides, facts, forums, history and more.

For a great index of some of the best websites for planning your travel check out these 20 Best Travel Websites on the Internet. Besides your regular hotel and airline deal aggregators, recommendations include a forum that connects you with other travelers to split travel costs, a community for user-uploaded travel films and even a site that tells you the best places to sleep in airports!

Tips and Advice
Get insider tips on the The Perrin Post with articles like 10 Ways to Stretch Your Dollar In Europe this Summer. Make sure to pack smart and bring only the essentials on this travel packing list and leave the 18 Things You Don’t Need on Your Packing List at home.


Make sure to pack only the necessities and travel light!

I picked up some random fun tips like 7 Tricks To Take Awesome Travel Pictures and this infographic on tipping etiquette around the world. This general 10 Tips For First-Time Travelers makes some great points about using maps, public transportation and getting to know the locals.

Budget Travel
Your dream vacation is no doubt full of lavish luxuries, but most of us need to save a pretty penny and pick our splurges carefully. StumbleUpon showcases a number of money saving tips that can help you get the most travel for your dollar.

Get started with an overall cheaper trip by picking one of these top 10 value destinations for 2012. Next make sure to get the best airfare deals with these tricks to getting the best airline prices or through MileWise to help you get the most out of your rewards plans. You can also cut some of your airfare travel costs by backpacking across a country – but make sure you know how to choose a backpack to meet your travel needs!

Need a place to stay? Look at one of these top 10 Hotels Under $19 or book a hostel through Hostels Worldwide to cut back on hotel expenses. Forgo your typical vacation travel and find a new way to see the world through this article on 6 Ways to Travel Endlessly with suggestions like housesitting, couchsurfing, teaching English and more.

If these Stumbles haven’t fully inspired a whirlwind of intriguing, exotic and dream-like travel plans, I don’t know what will. Use them as resources to plan your ideal summer (..or fall or winter or spring..) travel that matches all your requirements and dreams. And don’t forget to enter our StumbleUpon Stumble, Tweet, and Travel Sweepstakes running right now for a chance to win an airline voucher, luggage, and guidebooks to visit the place of you dreams.

Cheers to a summer of discovery, exploration and fantastic memories!

PS. And when you get to your travel destination make sure to send us a note on your travels too – we’d love to hear about your adventures.

/Sarah profile picture