With a huge wide world just begging to be discovered, choosing your next travel destination can be incredibly exciting. However, with such a vast array of choice it is easy to become overwhelmed and bogged down by the sheer number of places on offer.
Your final choice will ultimately hinge on how much time you have and your level of finances.
To avoid feeling daunted by the whole process it is worthwhile focusing on a few key factors and asking yourself some basic questions which will enable you to make the correct choices for your trip.
Factors To Consider When Choosing a Travel Destination
What Is The Reason For Your Trip?
Whilst a seemingly obvious question at first glance, it is vital for the whole process to decide why you want to go on the trip in the first place. If you don’t know the answer to this question then how are you going to decide on a location that matches the experience you are looking for from your travels.
Really contemplate the “why” of you choosing a certain place. Be inspired by travel programs, brochures and other traveller experiences, but ultimately it is your choice, your travel memory.
Do not be led by the latest list of “must see places” but carve out your own journey and experience.
Jot down all your ideas onto a sheet of paper.
Are you looking for a relaxing beach stay? Are you a history buff wanting great museums? Are you a foodie looking to take a cooking class and sampling local cuisine? Or are you looking for a fly drive holiday or wanting to visit some of the world’s natural wonders?
What Do You Want to See and Do?
Deciding what you want to see and do on your trip will help you to narrow your choice of destination further and ensure that you find the right “fit” for yourself.
If you would love the idea of staying the entire time at a beach resort, sunbathing, swimming, reading and generally relaxing then that is the right choice for you.
If however your idea of bliss would be to spend the entire time experiencing adrenalin fueled activities then go for it.
Below are some ideas to consider when making your choices :
- City, Beach or Resort?
- Relaxation, Hiking or Skiing?
- Museums, Shopping or Culture?
- Natural wonders or Ancient Wonders?
- Great Train Journeys, River Cruises or Flydrive?
How Much Time Do You Have?
The amount of time you have for your trip will have a bearing on your destination choice. For example, there is no point planning a trip to Australia from the UK if you only have 7 days to spare as you will use up too much time travelling to and from Australia, leaving little time for anything else.
It is well worth checking flight times to any destinations you may be considering and also the travel times between any places within your destination. The last thing you want is to feel as though you have spent your entire time on planes, trains, buses and in cars.
As a rule of thumb if you only have a week then try and stay in one location. With 2 weeks you are able to move around different areas within your chosen region but be mindful not to try and cover too much ground and not to try and fit in too many activities if you still want to return home feeling rested.
With 3 weeks and longer, you have the time to factor in moving between locations and visiting multiple regions and more than 1 country. The bonus of having this amount of time is that your itinerary can be more flexible and open to change to account for inclement weather etc.
How Much Money Do You Have?
Probably the biggest ball breaker and constraint on your destination choice is your budget and the amount of money you have to spend.
How much your trip will cost is dependent on several factors, namely :
- Transport to Get Around
These costs can vary greatly depending on the standard of trip that you want, ie, budget, mid-range or luxury. For example, if you fly business class, take taxis, stay in 4 star hotels, eat in fine dining restaurants, take expensive tours and shop till you drop then your budget will be considerably higher than someone who fly’s economy, uses public transport, stays in apartments, cooks their own food, only does one tour and doesn’t make any shopping purchases.
It pays to be brutally honest with yourself and the type of trip that you really want to choose. Is there any point stretching your budget to afford the flight to some far flung destination if when you get there you have no money to do what you want to do, or experience the activities that are essential to your enjoyment?
Would it make more sense this time around to choose a destination nearer home so that the flight cost doesn’t eat up most of your budget meaning you are able to stay in nicer accommodation and have the funds for several activities?
Only you can answer those questions and decide the correct “fit” for you and the experience and memories you end up having.
Who Are You Travelling With?
If you are travelling solo then you can pretty much please yourself when making all decisions which is a great place to be.
However, if you are travelling as a couple, with family or friends it is vital that everyone is happy and on board with the chosen travel plans. Remember that everyone wants to have an enjoyable time and return home with great memories, so it is important to compromise and take everyone’s opinions and individual wishes/desires into consideration.
Happy Travel Companions = Happy Holiday Experience
Sit down together and find out what you are all looking for in a trip. What does each person want to do, see, experience? Then try and find a balance which gives everyone something they want from their list.
Be clear about any final choices before going ahead and making a booking. Involving everyone in the whole process will avoid upset further down the road and ensure that all opinions are taken into account.
When Do You Want To Travel?
The time of year you want to travel can impact on your destination choice. Not everyone is lucky enough to have the flexibility when choosing which week/s to travel.
Having to travel during peak seasons normally results in paying higher prices, for example during school holidays, at Christmas/New Year or Easter and over bank holidays.
It is important to do your homework with regards weather patterns in certain countries as you certainly do not want to visit during monsoon season.
Best Time to Visit Particular Countries :
- New England : September-October for fall foliage.
- Maldives : November-April
- Namibia : June-September
- Cambodia : November-February
- Cuba : November-April
- Russia : June-Mid September
- New Zealand : October,November,March,April
Tips To Overcome Restraints of Time And Money
#1 Avoid peak periods and travel outside of high season.
#2 Take a weekend city break for 3 or 4 nights.
#3 Travel locally and save on airfare and travelling time.
#4 Choose a destination where your own currency is strong so your money goes further.
#5 Instead of a capital city, consider a second alternative city which will be a cheaper option.
#6 Choose less-developed countries such as Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.
#7 Steer clear of capitals and big cities which will be expensive.
#8 Find where the cheap air fares are being offered.
Not everyone has the option of being able to book flights at the drop of a hat and are more often than not either confined to a particular 1-2 weeks or to school term times.
Not everyone can afford faraway destinations either, but it is important that you remember that travel is simply going somewhere different and experiencing all that place has to offer. A great strategy to apply is to begin with a day trip in your local area, then progress to a short weekend city break further afield and ultimately a 2 week trip to another country!
You can still experience the positive side of travel with only a day to spare and wherever you choose to visit, travel will open your mind to new ideas, new cultures and new and incredible experiences.
If you need specific travel destinations advice then head on over to the “Destinations” Section and discover a place or country you may never have even considered before.
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