Do you want to travel but don’t know where you should go? Are you looking for a little clarity and inspiration to get your trip planning started? You’re in the right place! This post has the questions you should ask yourself.
You want your trip to be a success and that starts with a right-fit destination. But, choosing your travel destination feels overwhelming. No worries. This can happen whether you’re planning your first trip or you’re a seasoned traveler. Break the process down into smaller pieces to sort out the practicalities and uncover your motivation to travel.
Choose your Travel Destination: Start with the Basics
How much time do you have?
Are you thinking about a long weekend getaway, a 2-week trip, extended travel, or something in between? Depending on where you live and the amount of time you have to travel, certain destinations will make more sense than others. Regardless of whether you want to relax or have an active adventure, traveling too far or cramming in too much can make for a rushed, ungratifying trip.
Who are you traveling with?
Are you traveling as a couple, with children, for a girl’s/guy’s trip, or solo? The people you travel with or the lack thereof might make specific places and experiences more practical than others. What kind of destination would be enjoyable for everyone traveling?
If you’re traveling solo, is it your first time or have you been on your own before? Are you looking for an experience out of your comfort zone? Or would you prefer to keep things easy for yourself by taking a tour?
What kind of weather suits your travel style?
Do you want to sightsee when it’s warm or work on your tan? Do you prefer cooler temperatures or want to see that perfect winter white landscape? Obviously, your weather preference can help narrow down possible travel destinations based on when you intend to travel. Keep in mind that traveling during peak seasons comes with higher prices.
Would you be ok traveling during a shoulder season in order to save money? Oftentimes, the weather is pleasant, but may not be for what you were ideally looking. On the upside, fewer people visit during these times, which means you’ll be less affected by crowds.
What is your budget?
You certainly don’t need tons of money to travel, but you also want to feel comfortable with the destination you choose, the seat class you fly in and your accommodations.
- Are you a budget traveler or a luxury traveler?
- Will you fly coach or only in business or first class?
- Will you stay in a hotel like this or like that?
- Do you prefer B&B’s? Or will you stay in an Airbnb?
- Will your destination require specific travel gear?
If you participate in airline or hotel loyalty programs, can you use miles and/or points to offset some or all of the costs? Consider, too, the currency exchange rates. Do you know which countries are more affordable with a favorable exchange rate?
A financially savvy traveler knows the answers to these questions and plans accordingly.
With the above questions asked and answered, you’ve finished the practical first steps to choosing your travel destination. The next step is my favorite part, though. It’s where you can put your right brain to work and envision the kind of destination that matches the experience for which you’re hoping.
What kind of journey or travel experience do you want?
Certainly, you need to decide if you prefer mountains or beaches, city sightseeing or an outdoor adventure, a foodie holiday or a historical visit to famous cultural sights.
Beyond this, though, travel planning is about crafting a journey or experience for you and your travel companions.
What do you hope to gain from your travels? What will your travel companions gain from the trip?
What experiences do you want to have with your travel companions, or if solo, on your own?
How do you want to remember this trip? Is there a lasting impact you’re hoping for?
If your answer is having downtime and spending time together, perhaps a beachside or mountain retreat is the right fit. Maybe you’re traveling with children and want the travel to be educational in some way. Consider, then, sightseeing, age-appropriate museums, and cultural experiences. If you want an adventure as a couple, it might be the right time to finally make that epic hike or learn how to scuba dive.
Understanding the type of journey or experience you want is the essence of choosing the right destination and making your trip a success. Too often, people are heard saying “I need a vacation from my vacation.”
It doesn’t have to be this way. Travel can be so fulfilling if you take the time to plan a meaningful getaway that meets the needs, hopes, and wants of you and your travel companions. When you choose your travel destination because it’s where you think you should take your kids or where everyone else you know goes, your trip can end up feeling lackluster and not worth your time and money.