The internet is designed to help us meet, mingle, and get tangled up with one another; hence, its coining of the phrase: the World Wide Web. Just as you plan to connect with friendly Costa Rican people and the country’s inviting and natural environment through the act of travel, Costa Rica longs to connect with you. Here are a number of ways the internet can be used as an interactive and interaction-encouraging tool to improve your travel experience:
- To make new online tour, hotel, or transfer service reservations, or make changes to existing reservations
- To ensure you are aware of any applicable and last-minute reservation changes
- To ensure you are aware of any roadblocks (literal and figurative ones) that could disrupt your travel plans, such as highway closures, street protests, transfer service departure delays, or weather concerns.
- To stay informed of local Costa Rican news reports (many websites, such as the Tico Times, offer news reports in English)
- To connect and trade comments/advice with other travellers in online travel forums
- To provide reviews/ratings/feedback regarding your travel experience on evaluative social media pages (such as the review section of a Facebook page or Google+ profile)
- Costa Rican businesses can fall anywhere along the technological-advances scale. Some companies’ websites utilize new, modern, and interactive website templates, widgets, and forms, and others look as sad and as static as my first-ever website created in the 1990s: a GeoCities masterpiece featuring Backstreet Boys clipart, scrolling text, and flashy, html code-inserted .gif files. Of the companies that have adopted a more progressive approach to website design and operation, most utilize progressive methods of communicating as well. It is not uncommon for these companies to offer travellers their Skype and/or WhatsApp account details in addition to a toll-free phone number and email address as means of establishing contact. As a visitor to a foreign country, you’re likely a happy, squeaky-clean sponge, and eager to soak up knowledge. Fortunately, connecting with others who can offer insightful and meaningful information, answers, and recommendations is an option that is widely available and more convenient than ever before.