TIS THE SEASON: Even though we’re still in the throes of an epic winter, spring and summer surfaris are on the minds of many. Puerto, JBay, Indo Fiji, Costa Rica, etc., etc.: All of us can rationalize the need for a summertime foray to one of these fine spots.
Luckily, the internet and the travel industry are a near-perfect fit. From great air fares and hotel deals at websites such as travelocity.com and Hotwire.com, to informative internet travel sites such as the Center for Disease Control’s Traveler’s Health bulletin or Fodors.com. The internet has all that and a hell of a lot more. The World Wide Web really lives up to its name when it comes to travel.
Niche travel, which is the category we vagabond surfers fall under, is available online too. And in fact, this type of stuff is why the internet is worthwhile (besides Surf-A-Palooza of course–and the odd Anna Kournikouva picture). From wide ranging surf travel experts such as Sean Murphy’s Waterways, Henry Morales’ Wavehunters.com or Quiksilver’s travel arm, the people that now about world wide destinations are readily available to help you. At the very least, these websites will create a little puddle of saliva near your keyboard. A drool napkin is advised.
There are some great ‘destination specific’ travel sites out there as well. If you’re dialed in on the Mentawais, you should go check out Sariana Koat Mentawai. The folks at SKM’s website created a “virtual trip” for you. From Lax and back again you can experience what your trip will be like when you take this photographic journey. Also check out Greatbreaks.com for info on the Mentawais. I personally think it sucks that they’re building camps at some of the spots. But I’m probably ignorant to the benefits. However, it seems to me that the Mentawai culture has been westernized enough with boat visits. Let’s leave the land to the locals. For a very interesting read check out Steve Barilotti’s exceptional article on the Mentawai struggle.
You may be lucky enough to come across a direct link to a specific boat you want to voyage on. I’ll be traveling later this year on the Seimoa. These yacht specific websites are a good way to get a better feel for the boat and its crew.
Of course if you’re going to other regions of the world, info on these locales is only a Google search away. The web is crawling with surf travel information on Panama, Costa Rica, South Africa, the list goes on. Log on and get away. I need to warn you though, some of these websites may be a bit sketchy. It’s probably best to go with the big boys. It’s simply not worth risking your hard-earned dinero on some sketchy website offer. As a general rule, when looking at travel websites, look at the quality of the website. If the site looks professional, it probably is. If it looks like a high school HTML project, beware.
Unfortunately you need money to travel. These trips can be a bit…uh…dear. But, if your lucky, maybe your trip will be free. There’s an unconfirmed rumor milling about the Surfer office that a dream trip giveaway promotion is in the works. Where would you like to go? A recent Surfermag.com poll suggests that Indonesia and Tavarua are neck and neck. Maybe we will give away a trip to dreamland. I’ll see what I can do. No promises though.