Jules Verne had a love of travel, visiting over a dozen countries during his lifetime. While his means of travel were simple -- train and steamship -- he loved to speculate about new and exciting technologies that could be used to make travel easier and more available.
While he traveled, Verne used his knowledge of foreign language to study local newspapers and speak with individuals. While he filtered everything through his own cultural bias, Verne tried to be as accurate and honest as possible, even in his fiction. For example, the human sacrifice performed by Brahmin priests was accurate only as it appeared to the eyes of an Englishman; in reality, the ritual of human sacrifice was entirely symbolic, but to Phileas Fogg, the hero of the story, it would have seemed quite real. Whether Verne himself knew this or not is uncertain, but he does not portray the Brahmins in a hostile light, instead focusing on Fogg's notions of chivalry and heroism (even if misplaced).
Verne's travels allowed him personal insight into other cultures, and this is reflected in his vivid descriptions. Without the close contact afforded by travel, his writing would likely have been flat and unbelievable; by opening himself to the experiences of travel, Verne gave his works an air of truth.