How to Decide Where to Travel Next | The Step by Step Guide
The big wide world is full of inspirational wonders, and it can sometimes be impossible to choose where to travel to next! Whether you’re a seasoned traveller on the lookout for something new and exciting or are simply someone who is overwhelmed by the options, this list will hopefully help you narrow the world’s destinations down to help you start planning your next adventure.
Each and every one of us is completely unique and has our own idea of what makes a perfect vacation. For some, it will be coasting down fresh powder in some of the world’s best ski resorts, while others will think nothing is better than relaxing on a beach with a cocktail in hand. That is why we need to make our own minds up as to what is best for us.
Whether you’re looking for inspiration, planning tips, or ideas to help fine-tune your upcoming holiday, we’ve got you covered! Read on to find out how to decide where to travel next…
Inspiration For Where To Travel Next:
If you’re at the beginning stages of deciding where to travel to next, you may just want to create a long list of inspirational destinations before narrowing it down to a final choice. This is where the research stage comes into play. The following tips will help you seek out information about intriguing worldwide destinations to help you plan your next trip.
Speak To Other Travellers
One of the best ways to find out about new destinations is to speak to other travellers. This can be family, friends, or even random people you bump in everyday life. If you ask the question, people are often more than happy to tell you all about their recent adventures or where they are planning on travelling next. Speaking to somebody who has been there, done that, can allow you some insider tips that you may not get from reading a holiday brochure or website!
This can be especially good when you are travelling or backpacking as people may have just come from a city or destination you were planning on going to, and they may have tips on what they loved or what to avoid. Of course, each traveller is different so you will want to take people’s advice with a pinch of salt, but if you trust their opinion, then their tips may save you some valuable time or give you the chance to have an experience of a lifetime that you may otherwise have missed.
Use Social Media
Another good tool for deciding where to travel to next is social media. Pinterest and Instagram are filled with stunning visual content that will make you want to simply dive into the image and experience the beach/city/jungle/mountain that you see on the screen. Not only are these images inspiring, but they often come with a first-hand account of someone’s experience or a link to a blog of all the best things to do!
It’s crazy to think that you could go from seeing an image to planning a whole trip in just a matter of minutes, but it really can be as easy as that!
Twitter and Facebook also have their place when planning where to travel to next as you can find out about events in the destination, read about local news, ask questions from tourism boards, bloggers and travel companies and follow people sharing inspirational content.
Keep An Eye Out For Destinations On Film/TV/Books
Thanks to our friend Google, we now have the world at our fingertips and can find out all we want to about a destination in seconds. This is an incredible source that we can use to our advantage to help plan where we want to travel to next.
If you are watching something on TV/the internet/the cinema and think “Wow, I wonder where that is?!”, you can find out at the touch of a button. You can then travel to relive your movie fantasies.
This can be the same for destinations in books that really capture your imagination. Instead of simply visualising a place, you can walk in the footsteps of your favourite characters, stepping into their lives and being surrounded by the place they call home.
Here is a list of the best travel movies.
Follow Your Stomach
If you’re anything like me, then food will play a big role in your travels. Whether it’s trying an authentic version of something I know and love from home, or tasting something totally new to my palette, travel gives me the opportunity to dine out on delicacies around the world. Many of my travels have been fuelled by the hunger in my stomach, and they did not disappoint!
When you’re stuck for ideas about where to travel to next, think about what food you would love to try and plan your trip from there. From delicious Thai dishes at rock-bottom prices to spectacular sushi, tasty tacos or authentically-Italian pizza, food is always a good place to start.
You can even create a whole trip centred around seeking out the very best dishes in every destination, or join a foodie tour to encounter local artisans and chefs honing their craft.
Create a Bucket List
Sometimes it can be difficult to decide on a specific destination, but you may have activities and adventures that you know you want to experience in life. This is where creating a bucket list can help you decide where to travel next. Rather than focusing on a country or city, think about what you want to see, do, or experience.
Perhaps you want to see orangutans in the wild or go sky-diving in an epic location. Maybe you want to scuba dive, go skiing, eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant or fly in a hot air balloon. Whatever your desires, creating a list can help you plan and prioritise. You can then figure out where in the world, it is possible to achieve these dreams, and start planning a trip to encompass your bucket list adventures.
You never know, you may find a destination where you can tick off a number of your experiences in one go, making it a real trip of a lifetime!
This website has has a bucket list of almost 2000 experiences you can have at home or abroad. You could maybe start on the travel list, or the article “51 Bucket List Ideas for Travel“.
If you log-in/register you can keep a list of everything you want to experience in life.
Planning Where To Travel Next:
After being overloaded with inspiration, tips, and advice, you need to narrow down your options to decide which will be your next adventure. This is where the planning comes in as you need to weigh up your time, budget, and travel style to choose what will work for your upcoming vacation. Work your way through the following pointers to get closer to deciding where to travel next.
Solo, Group, Couple, or Family Travel?
This is probably the first thing to figure out as it will have an effect on how you travel. Do you want to take a solo trip? Would you prefer to travel as part of an organised group? Are you going away on honeymoon or for a romantic break with your partner? Or are you planning a vacation for you and your family?
Once you’ve figured this out, you can decide whether you want to create the trip of a lifetime yourself or whether you want a travel agent or tour operator to do the work for you.
Whichever option you choose you’ll still want to ask yourself the following questions to help narrow down your destination.
Choose Your Vacation Style
Choosing what you want from your vacation will allow you to narrow down the destination. You might simply want to sit on a beach and unplug from the world, or you might prefer to visit a bustling city full of culture, cafes and cosmopolitan bars. Alternatively, you could be seeking spirituality, adventure, education, or lush landscapes. The choice is yours.
If you create a checklist of things that you want from your next vacation destination, you can discount places that don’t fit the bill. You can’t swim in the sea in Austria for example, or see lions in the wild in Australia, and if you’re seeking sunbathing, Canada in winter isn’t going to be the one!
You’ll then be left with a much shorter list of countries that offer everything you want and more. From here, you can narrow it down further by asking yourself about the weather, time of year, and your budget…
Pick What Weather You Want
For some people, escaping the weather of their home town is one of the biggest factors when planning a trip. Therefore, you’ll want to take into account the climate when trying to figure out where to travel next.
Even if you want to stick to your own country or continent, there can be other destinations that receive much better weather than you have at home. While nature is ever-changing and no weather can be guaranteed, you can still try to seek out somewhere with a bit more sun or perhaps snow, to offer you a different experience during your vacation.
Want to simply follow the sun? Work your way around the globe following the summer as it moves from southern to northern hemisphere!
Decide When You Want To Travel
This one depends on whether you have total flexibility or whether you are tied to travelling at certain times of the year. You may have work ties or children that stipulate when you can travel, and this may then affect where is best to visit.
If you have complete freedom, you can choose your travel style and the experiences you want to have, and then plan a trip that works around that. For example, if you want to go whale watching or see migratory birds, you’ll need to figure out the best time of year for the arrival of the species to have the best opportunity. Similarly, if you want to ski in the northern hemisphere, you’ll only have the option of travelling between October and April.
On the other hand, if you are stuck to certain weeks or months, you’ll need to work out which destinations offer the best bang for your buck and are best for travelling to at that time. Even if you only have a few days of vacation time, don’t discount going abroad. With great bargain flight deals, you can tack a few days onto a weekend and give yourself a five-day adventure somewhere new!
Accuweather.com has a handy setting where you can select the 90 day forcast. Obvously this isn’t very accurate, but will still give you some idea about what the weather may be like for when you are travelling.
Choose Your Country or Continent
If you’ve narrowed down when and why you want to travel, the next question is: where? This will depend on what it is you are seeking, as obviously some experiences are only offered in select destinations.
However, if you decide you want to have a beach holiday in March, for example, you may have a whole host of options to choose from. Mexico, Costa Rica, the Caribbean, Egypt, Thailand, India, and even Australia could all be on the cards!
Even if you decide you want to stick to your own country, the US for example, you’ll still have plenty of options to weigh up, especially if you’re seeking a city break, National Park trip, theme park adventure or foodie experience!
You then might want to ask yourself some more questions about safety, budget, and flight deals to whittle it down to a final choice.
Enquire About Safety
Depending on where in the world you want to travel to, the question of travel safety may be of importance. Of course, you don’t want to be talked out of travelling somewhere because of media scaremongering, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
While it might not be the case that travel to certain destinations is completely off the cards, you may have to take extra precautions or travel with a guide for added security.
It may also be the case that some insurance policies are invalid if a country has a travel warning against it, so this is something to take into consideration.
Think About Your Budget
Budget is often a major factor when deciding on where to travel next as it determines where, when, and how we travel. Unfortunately, not all of us have the freedom to flit about all over the planet, so we need to choose our trips wisely and according to our budget at the time.
We might have things on our bucket list that come at a greater cost than we can currently afford so these plans might have to go on the back-burner while cheaper options might come first. But that is ok. Whatever your budget, there is a trip for you!
Spend a little time weighing up the costs of flights, transport, accommodation, and spending money, and you’ll be able to narrow down your options to something that hits the spot. While flights to Asia may be long-haul and relatively expensive, the cost of living there is so low that it may even work out cheaper than a trip within the US or Europe!
Look For a Good Deal
It may even be that after asking all these questions, you are still yet to decide on a destination. In this case, it may be a decent flight offer that clinches the deal. Keep your eyes peeled for points deals, airline sales, travel auctions, and hotel reward schemes as you might find the offer of a lifetime that you simply can’t resist.
This is especially good if you are travelling with a group and everyone has different ideas about what would make the perfect trip. At the end of the day, if you find an amazing deal, everyone will be happy, and it’s travelling together that will really make your trip, even more than the destination!
You might even find that you can afford to go abroad if you find a fantastic deal which may not have even been an option before!
Decide If You Want To Stick To One Spot Or Travel Around
If you’ve finally decided on when, where, and why you’re travelling next, the last thing you have left to think about is how. This can be a case of weighing up whether you want to stick to one spot, for example staying in one hotel for a week and hiring a moped or car to explore, or whether you’ll move around different destinations. Of course, this depends on your travel style, budget, and chosen destination.
In some places, travelling around different locations is easier or more worthwhile than in others. If you’re going all the way to Australia or New Zealand, chances are you’ll want to try to see a number of destinations, whereas if you’re heading to a neighbouring city, beach or island, you might prefer to stick to one spot.
Choosing your travel style will also help you decide if you’ll be travelling with a suitcase or backpack, or whether you’re going all-inclusive or choosing a room-only option so you can eat out locally.
Once You’ve Decided:
Hurrah! You’ve finally figured out where, when, how, and why you’re going to travel next! Well done, that is the hard bit over. Now you have the chance to get excited, count down the days, and pack your bags. You can use the time between now and your vacation to fine tune the details, choosing exactly what you’d like to see and do when you’re there and booking any day trips, car hire or restaurant reservations before you travel.
See If There Are Any Seasonal Attractions Or Festivals On
Once you know when and where you’re travelling to, you can look online to see if there are any festivals or seasonal attractions on at the time you’re going to be there. There might be a food fest, country fair, museum exhibition, or cultural event that will make your trip even more memorable.
Using Facebook, tourism board sites, event websites and sources like Time Out’s What’s On lists can give you loads of information about fun local events.
You might even have booked your trip without realising that it is the perfect time for spotting dolphins out to see, eating the best local crab or seeing wildflowers on walks around your destination!
Here is Wikipedia’s list of world festivals… and it’s huge!
Research The Destination/Area
Aside from local events and attractions, you’ll also just want to research the area to find out if there are must-see monuments, secret coves, quirky museums or unknown but incredible restaurants that are worth a visit! This is where local blogs, articles, and online forums come into play as you might find places that aren’t on Top 10 lists or TripAdvisor.
You’ll then feel as though you’re getting an insider’s version of a destination rather than just being a fly-on-the-wall tourist!
Hopefully, this article has helped you figure out how to decide where to travel next. You could even gather around a computer or print it off and have an evening with family or friends choosing where you want to explore.
Once you’ve picked a country, you might want to get out a map or invest in a guide book to peruse the pages and decide on specifics. It can be fun to outline plans, stick post-its on maps, and start to bookmark pages or places you’re longing to visit.
If you can’t be bothered to work through the questions or simply still can’t decide, why not find an online quiz, use a travel wheel of fortune or blindly stick a pin in a map?!
Personally, I think the planning is half the fun as it allows you to truly get excited about your trip and know you have created what will hopefully be the trip of a lifetime!
Let us know where you think you want to travel to next and what tips or questions helped you come to the decision.
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