Do you ever have trouble choosing your next travel destination? I’ve travelled quite a bit over the past 6 years and there’s one topic that comes up frequently: how to decide where to travel to next.
There are so many incredible travel destinations to experience around the world, how is anyone supposed to choose?
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- How to Decide Where to Travel to on Your Next Big Adventure
- Scan through your bucket list
- Decide what you want out of it
- Figure out when you can travel
- Consider how much time you've got
- Set a budget
- How far do you want to travel
- Do you have travel companions
- Choose an event
- Read some travel blogs
- Conclusion on how to decide where to travel
How to Decide Where to Travel to on Your Next Big Adventure
There’s a certain element of chance when it comes to choosing a destination. You might hear through the grapevine about an amazing place, or your friends have said they want to visit a certain destination, or one of your favorite movies happened to be filmed in the location you are considering.
The best advice I can give is to think long and hard about what you really want from your trip. That will give you a better idea of where to go next.
“But what kind of things do I need to consider?”.
Well that’s what I’m here to help with! In this post, I’ll show you everything I consider when choosing my next travel destination.
Scan through your bucket list
Taking a look through your bucket list will give you some great ideas as to where you might want to go next. If there’s somewhere on your list you haven’t been to yet, that’s great!
My problem (if you could call it a problem!) is that my bucket list is so long, it’s difficult for me to choose just one place at a time. So, here’s what I do.
First, I choose the general area. Do I want to go to Asia, or Europe or maybe the Americas? That always narrows the list down. Then I choose a few destinations from that area and work my way through the points below to come up with my perfect destination.
Do you have a list of places you want to visit? If not, check out my epic bucket list for some inspiration.
If you have no idea where to start and need help coming up with your own bucket list, sign up below for my free Bucket List Guide!
Decide what you want out of it
Do you have a usual travel style? Are you an adventurer or more of a ‘chill by the pool’ kind of traveller? Mountains or oceans. Cities or beaches.
Or maybe you have different travel styles depending on where you’re going.
The more precisely you can define what you want to get out of your trip, the easier it becomes to find a destination that will suit your needs.
For example, if you know you want to do some scuba diving in pristine waters (which I do!), then maybe head somewhere like Thailand where there are lots of local dive sites.
Some of the different travel styles are:
This could be anything from lying by the pool or on the beach for days upon days or going on a meditation or yoga retreat.
Most of my shorter trips are city breaks, such as Hong Kong, Singapore, New York or Paris. Depending on where you’re living, a city break may sometimes be cheaper and they’re usually easier to get to.
The last trip I took was probably the most adventurous of all – Socotra. You can’t get much more adventurous than camping on a near deserted island, spending days hiking, swimming, snorkeling and climbing sand dunes – off the coast of Yemen!
A road trip can last anything from just a couple of days to months to even years! It can be the perfect option for when you want to get out of the city and explore the countryside, or if you don’t exactly want to plan your trip but just want to drive and see where you end up.
For an anniversary or even just a weekend break without the kids, you might just want to get away with your other half somewhere utterly romantic like Paris or Venice.
Figure out when you can travel
If you know when your free that will always help to narrow down where to go next. Often the shoulder seasons (different for each destination) are a little less busy and cheaper too, so that’s something to factor in.
Do some research on what the average weather is like in that destination at certain times of the year. For example, if you’ve decided you want to travel somewhere hot and sunny, then it’s probably best not to head there in the middle of winter.
Equally, a lot of South Asian countries tend to get incredibly humid during summer months, so you may want to avoid them if your hair gets anything like mine in the humidity!
My last trip before the pandemic was to Finland and it was purely based around the timing. The reason for this was that I wanted to see the Northern Lights! And they are only really visible during certain times. I had wanted to go a few weeks before but it was actually booked out so I settled for the later date. Unfortunately, we didn’t end up catching the magical Northern Lights but I continue my search for them!
Consider how much time you’ve got
If you’ve only got one week to travel, then flying half way across the world might not be the right decision for you. By the time you get to your destination, you’ll already be jetlagged and exhausted from your flight.
You don’t want to be too close to home either – the world is a big place and there’s so much more to see.
If you can’t get off work or be away from the kids for too long, maybe a long weekend trip will work for you. Sometimes all we need is one short trip to keep us going until the next big adventure.
I tend to schedule most of my trips around public holidays so that I can add them to my annual leave. That way I spare some holiday days for my next trip!
Set a budget
The most obvious thing that will help narrow down the possibilities is budget. How much are you willing to spend on your trip. Some of the things you’re going to have to budget for are:
Of course you’ll need some cash for miscellaneous expenditure and for emergencies. Always be sure to have a credit card or two with you, just in case you need to make any larger purchases.
Once you have a firm idea of what your budget is, it’ll become that bit easier to narrow down the list of possible destinations. Of course, you could find a compromise if there’s somewhere you’ve been dying to go and it falls slightly outside your budget!
How far do you want to travel
How far do you want to travel from home? I’m a big fan of getting the most out of my trips so if I don’t have much time, I’ll stay closer to home. If I have longer than a week, I’m happy to head off on a 7 or 8 hours plane journey away.
If time isn’t an issue and you’ve got the budget, why not head off on a couple of months trip where you can visit numerous destinations in one go, rather than just staying in one place? You’ll get to experience more out of your trip and save on the cost of flights too.
I always say, “while I’m over that corner of the world…” when I’m talking about the destinations I’ll be visiting. And it makes sense! While you’re there, you might as well go visit nearby destinations too!
Do you have travel companions
How I choose where to travel often comes down to whether I’m travelling on my own or with others. As a solo female traveller, there are always going to be places I’m not comfortable going to alone, or places where you can only visit with a group.
For example, my last trip was to Socotra Island (one heck of a bucket list destination!). But you can’t visit there unless you’ve got travel guides. So if you’re planning on travelling solo for your next trip, this won’t be the ideal destination for you.
If you’re travelling solo but want to be around other travellers, I recommend choosing destinations that are popular with backpackers because there’ll always be fellow travellers around to make friends with! I love meeting new people when I travel and making friends to share the memories with afterwards.
Choose an event
Why not plan your next trip around an event or special occasion!
Festivals are often a big reason for me choosing certain destinations – Sziget in Budapest; Oktoberfest in Germany, Carnival in Brazil or St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland.
Or perhaps there’s a destination wedding coming up. My friend is getting married in Bali soon as I’m taking the opportunity to travel around Bali for a few weeks while I’m there!
If it’s someone’s birthday or your anniversary, maybe you could take the opportunity to travel somewhere your other half has always dreamed of going to.
Read some travel blogs
Well I may be biased, but reading through some of your favourite travel blogs (and you’re already here!) will give you some great inspiration on where to travel to next. See what other people are writing about – you can get some really interesting ideas that way!
You’ll be able to pick up helpful travel tips, travel guides for specific destinations and sometimes even travel discounts. A lot of bloggers even have a travel resources page to get you started on booking your next trip – check out the bottom of this post for my favourite resources!
If you’re not sure where to start looking for other travel blogs, check out social media posts on Instagram or Facebook.
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Conclusion on how to decide where to travel
Choosing your next destination can be challenging because there are just so many options. But it’s not impossible, don’t worry!
Following the steps above will help you narrow your choices down so you can start planning your next big adventure.
In the end, it’s about finding what you’re looking for. If your goal is to have a great time and come home with lots of memories from an exciting new place, then go ahead and book that flight.
But if you want a more meaningful experience or are hoping to find someplace where your life can change in big ways, don’t be afraid to take a risk by going off the beaten path.
Do you ever have trouble planning your next vacation destination? Do you currently have anything planned? Let me know in the comments!
Vourneen is a travel junkie and chronic illness warrior. Although she was late to game in terms of travelling, she has picked up numerous tips and tricks from the almost 30 countries she has visited in the past 5 years.