before thailand, holidays revolved around romantic breaks in different locations. then around theme park or beach for kids. then no kids, and around scuba diving, warm water. since living here, and diving is mediocre at best, have plenty of time to research the country, whether local forums, or google. google being essential, as offering different opinions from different sources. accommodation reviews from booking sites, sawadee and forums are good to have. teakdoor is a good reference site for things in thailand, as many post trip reports.
fairly independent and experienced, so only ask on forums if really stuck and need info. take 2 long holidays a year here, school breaks, and check out what festivals are going on, then plan around beach and weather. historical sites and thai history. can even search shopping expos, and on ticketmaster mailing list for upcoming show. EC was excellent, and gave me a chance to check out a new area, nonthaburi.
usually go on the fly, self drive and do a certain area, north / west border, the northeast. or straight to bkk, then along the gulf coast toward phuket. if conditions good, don't make it phuket, if so so, end up in phuket.
always something new or i haven't seen in bkk. as i change and the kid gets older now, we pick different venues and activities.
used to stick with plans fairly good, fly or drive to destination, stay there, short outing, then return. now retired, take it slow and more thorough holidays of any area i'm in. especially here, it a pretty small country, and a lot is 'same same but different' do find some interesting things at times, others, it's just R & R and food....LOL
we rarely travel at high season, so any changes are easy and accommodations available.