If you’re like me, a large allure of travel is the element of mystery – of heading out into the unknown. Of meeting new people, experiencing new cultures, and challenging myself with new possibilities.

This is at odds with the exponential growth of online travel guides that pull together destination data from multiple sources, such as hotel reviews, attractions, activities, comments, ratings, photos, blogs, guided tours, maps, etc.

Here’s just a few examples: TripBase, Boo, We Just Got Back, Check Point Black, Mapwing, TrackaTrip, Geobeats, IVisitU, Gusto, GeoJoey, TripTie, Unearth Travel, TripUp, TravelVideos, TripConnect, Worlds Revealed, Vcarious, Placeblogger, RealTravel, and Virtual Tourist.

On the one hand, reading about various destinations can help you plan for the trip you want. But do you ever feel like too much information and planning can kill the unique excitement of uncertainty?

It’s true, I co-founded my own community TravelBlogger, but we’ve consciously decided to focus on allowing our members to blog their trips, rather than attempt to catalog every city and country on the globe.

What do you think? Has the explosion of travel portals helped you or do you try to avoid the avalanche of information?