So you’ve decided that you are going to travel this year, but you’re not too sure where your next big destination is. There are so many factors that determine where you choose to go – you can’t visit everywhere in the world at the end of the day – but fear not as here is a handy guide on what to consider and where to look when it comes to choosing your next getaway.
Before you consider any specifics, you need to ask yourself a series of questions as these will be able to whittle down the 196 countries in the world to a more manageable list. These include:
Do you want a city break or a beach getaway?
- Hot or cold weather?
- Do you want shopping and culture or partake in activities?
- A popular tourist hotspot or go off the beaten track?
- Are you travelling on your own?
Once you have clear answers to all of the above, this should enable you to create a list of, let’s say, ten preferred destinations. It is now bringing these down to that final choice that can often be tricky. Here are five major considerations:
One word: Why?
When you eventually ask yourself why it is that you are travelling, your options should be clearer to you. Are you seeking some relaxation with your mates? Do you want to top up that all-important tan? Are you trying to switch off the monotony of daily life? Once you have figured out why you are going somewhere, where it is you go should be easier.
Don’t be afraid
So what if you have never even heard of the place or don’t know how to pronounce it? Google is your friend and as long as it’s a safe destination to visit, why not take a leap of faith? You will often find that the best adventures exist in places you wouldn’t even guess. Alternatively, it could be a country’s ‘second city’ that is much cheaper, alternative and unique to the usually-cliched capital city. Whether it is Nice in France, Bilbao in Spain or Sao Paulo in Brazil, you may find that you get more out of these places.
Or be safe
All of this is not to say that you should sneer at the usual choices. Sometimes an all-inclusive package to Malaga or ticking off all the sights in Paris is all that you need, and as long as you have a great time, what matters if a million people have done it before you this year. It may have even been somewhere you regularly go, if your idea of a holiday is being in a home away from home, then go for it!
Be creative with your finances
Are you on a tight budget and your dream destinations are really pricey? Try and be creative with how you get there – you could fly to a nearby, cheaper city and then use road transportation to get there. And remember that even the most expensive of nations will have cheap hostels and budget eateries where your money will go a long way. It all involves extra planning but it’ll be worth it!
When you go is where you go
In some cases, you may not even have a choice of where you go if you know when it is you are travelling. This could be down to an individual festival (such as Holi in India, Songkran in Thailand, or Benicassim in Spain) or purely when you can take the time off work.
So where do you look?
If you’ve found a place to go, what are you waiting for? Book it right now before you miss the opportunity. However, after all this, you may still be stuck and need a bit more inspiration, so try out some of these tools.
Lonely Planet has some great lists that cater to all tastes, especially their ‘Top Places to Visit This Year’ articles. Not only will they highlight fantastic destinations but Lonely Planet tends to usually be spot-on when it comes to picking up-and-coming places, so if you want to explore somewhere before it becomes cool to do so, check out their site.
Another great resource is Pinterest, where you can set up boards for various things on your travel wish list – this could be country-specific boards hotels to visit, travel trips, stunning beaches or anything travel related that you may want to read later – all you have to do is search for travel pins and you’re ready to go!
There is also the expert opinion when it comes to travel. This could be in online blogger form or interesting magazines. In regards to the former, bloggers are great as they tend to travel themselves so they really know where is awesome to visit.
Finally, it may not sound like a whole load of fun, but looking on hotel comparison sites could always trigger something. If accommodation is really important to you, especially looking for quirky places to stay, this may be the determining factor when choosing a place. For example, when you have the spacious and comfortable Montcalm hotels in London, what else would you need for a great break in the capital city?
Wherever you decide to go in the end, make sure you don’t spend too much time fretting over it. Regardless of what you choose, you are sure to have a fantastic time, creating new treasured memories. And remember: holidays are supposed to be relaxing at the end of the day!