CHOOSING A HOLIDAY DESTINATION – 7 STEPS TO FIND THE BEST VACATION SPOT

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Whenever we decide to go on vacation, we always face two different scenarios – we either have a bucket list full of ideas or we are lacking inspiration. In either case, it is sometimes confusing to decide what destination to choose.

Over the years of traveling we have, a lot of times, been in a situation where we knew we wanted to go somewhere on vacation but couldn’t decide what the destination would be.

Yet, although there are many amazing places around the world, not all are right for us. Some may be too expensive or don’t offer enough activities that interest us. Or maybe our trip duration is too short to realistically fit in a faraway destination.

To choose your next vacation destination take a look at the time you have and how much money you want to spend. And then ask yourself “what do I want to get out of this trip?” and “what are my interests?”.

In this article, we are laying out a step by step guide that will show you exactly how to choose a holiday destination. We will break down everything you need to know to choose your next vacation destination to make sure the place you choose covers all your interests.

Each of the five steps below is necessary so that you can ultimately decide what is the best place to visit in summer or winter, why budgeting is important, and how to research your top three places before choosing a vacation destination.

In this image I placed my notebook, pencil, and few polaroids of my last trip which help me decide where my next destination will be

CHOOSING A HOLIDAY DESTINATION

Questions to ask yourself before getting started.

What is the purpose of the trip?

Is it a family vacation with children, or are you traveling as a couple, is it a group trip or maybe you are a solo traveler? 

Knowing the purpose of your trip helps in choosing the right destination.

For example, if traveling in a group, choose a destination offering a broad choice of things to do. That way you are sure that everyone finds something that interests them.

What is your budget?

Figuring out how much you can spend will help determine which destinations fit within your budget.

Do you need travel inspiration?

If all you know is that you want to travel somewhere, but don’t actually know where, there are many places on social media to find travel inspiration.

Do you have fixed dates?

You will need to choose your travel destination depending on when you can travel. Choose places with ideal weather conditions around your travel dates.

CHOOSING HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS IN 2021

Places all over the world are constantly changing travel regulations. Before deciding on a destination understand what the current situation is and once you get there make sure to follow the local protocols.

I know that travel insurance is a waste of money because most times we don’t actually need it. Hopefully, things remain that way. But in the case of things going wrong, especially in cases of hospitalization or any medical bills while on vacation, travel insurance will take care of those bills that often run in the 4 or even 5 digits. After all, it’s not worth the risk over something that costs less than $1.50 a day.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW SAFETYWING’S MEDICAL INSURANCE PLAN

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR PERFECT HOLIDAY DESTINATION

STEP 1. MAKE A LIST OF ALL YOUR IDEAS

Start off by listing all of your interests and ideas. The things you like to do and your interests will determine a lot of those places that you should be looking into.

At this point don’t worry if you’re lacking inspiration, we’ll get to that in the next step.

Ask yourself, “what are those things that interest you most?” and “what are the type of things that you like to do?”

Answering these questions will determine a lot of those destinations that you should be looking into.

For example, if your type of trip should include historical sites and cultural activities, probably old European cities like Rome or Athens are a good starting point. Or if you’re looking for far flung places, consider Asian countries like Thailand or Indonesia.

STEP 2. LOOK FOR INSPIRATION

We are all uninspired at times, so don’t worry about that. But even when we are inspired and have a bucket list of places that we want to go to, we sometimes have a complete blockage and don’t really know where to begin.

Whether it’s blockage or lack of inspiration and ideas, we always resort to social media platforms. Places like Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube are always a great place to begin when lacking a bit of that travel inspiration.

Below, we will explain a bit about each one of those platforms.

Instagram

Most of our inspiration comes from following some great travel related accounts on Instagram. Whenever we log in to Instagram we often end up looking up things to do in a particular destination because we had just seen something that we liked.

You can find travel related accounts by typing in #travel in the search box. This will bring up a list of travel-related accounts and you can follow any you love.

Alternatively, if you already have an idea of the area you will be traveling to (for example continent or large island nations like the Philippines or Indonesia) you can type in: #thephilippines, #indonesia or even #middleeast, #southeastasia, or whatever place you have in mind.

Just keep in mind that a lot of those people posting on Instagram go to great lengths to produce those images, like waking up super early to avoid the crowds and editing images. So what I mean is that, that what you see on IG isn’t always exactly what you get. Mostly this will depend if you go when all the other tourists are there.

YouTube

For more engaging content, search for things on YouTube. There are lots of travel related videos where to get inspired. And some are listicles of specific places like the top 10 things to do in Bangkok or the best waterfalls in Bali. YouTube is sure to get you inspired.

Blogs

Blogs are a great source of information because they are created by travelers just like you and me. Like our blog (this one). We create guides on content about places that we have actually visited so it’s like getting a first-hand experience and you will know what to expect before you even go to a specific place.

Pinterest

Pinterest is great to get inspiration and also to save all those amazing things that you find. You can search what you want on Pinterest and if you find something you like, save it in your account. Plus you can gather all those ideas that you have on Pinterest and create a separate board to make everything more organized.

Organizing all those ideas will make it a lot easier to find what you’re looking for in the future.

Are you planning a trip to South East Asia? On a 1 year adventure, we visited loads of amazing destinations and island-hopped all over Thailand, Indonesia and ended our trip in the Philippines. You can click on the links to know what we were up to and also for inspiration.

STEP 3. FIGURE OUT YOUR BUDGET

So you have a list of all the things you want to do while on vacation. And you also have a list of destinations that cover all those interests.

Now you need to start narrowing down the list of destinations.

What you need to do is, take a good look at your financial situation and figure out how much money you want to spend.

Since not every destination will cost the same, knowing how much you want to spend on your vacation will help you determine which places fit within your budget. After this step, your list will inevitably narrow down, once you eliminate those places that are too expensive.

Setting a budget in place isn’t just a way to narrow down your list. It will also help you stick to your own means. Like when booking hotels, tours or searching for restaurants, you’ll have a good idea of how much you can realistically afford.

Flights are one of the biggest expenses when planning a holiday and it can be challenging to find cheap flights by individually looking for deals on airline websites. Kiwi.com is a website and mobile app that does all the work for you and you can find the best flight deals in just a few minutes.

VISIT THE KIWI WEBSITE AND FIND THE BEST FLIGHT DEALS TO YOUR DESTINATION

STEP 4. WHEN WILL YOU GO ON HOLIDAY

Do you plan to travel during a specific time of year?

Keep the time of year in mind when considering destinations. Not all destinations will be good all year round so it’s good to know which are those places that will be suitable during that time of year that you’ll be traveling.

Get the list of destinations and your travel dates and do some research to figure out which ones you should be looking into. Unless everything on your list is in one specific continent, probably not all will be suitable.

But before choosing a destination based on the best weather…

If any of your destinations are popular and you want to avoid all those crowds of tourists, consider going somewhere that won’t be the peak season month.

Everyone wants that perfect weather (or hopes it will be that way). But the truth is, the supposedly perfect weather offers no guarantee. We’ve had perfectly sunny days/weeks during monsoon season in Thailand. And in the Philippines, we had quite a few rainy days during the dry season.

So considering we always like to go places without so many crowds, we plan our trips on the shoulder months. Either just after or before the “best” time to visit (weatherwise). Generally, we have always found good weather and avoided a lot of the crowds.

STEP 5. LIST YOUR TOP DESTINATIONS

By now the list you started off with should have broken down into just a handful of destinations. If you followed the list above and each destination on your list fits within your budget, offers things that interest you and the time of year that you’ll be traveling is good for that place, then probably each of those destinations remaining on your list is good choice.

But to further narrow down your list, possibly into just 1 option do this…

Do some in-depth research for each destination and identify something that appeals to you more than what the others have to offer. This might include anything from unusual locations to visit or tourist attractions to additional lodging options, being more budget-friendly, or simply being easier to navigate.

PIECE TOGETHER YOUR HOLIDAY

Once you have chosen your travel destination you can start piecing together a holiday plan and itinerary.

Have you chosen your destination and want to start planning your trip right away?

Over the years, me and Jacqueline have planned many trips often not knowing from where to even begin. If this is you right now, take a look at our step by step trip planning guide.

CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED

If you don’t want to read the whole planning article, here is a quick summary to help you get started.

  • set a budget – to determine what hotels to book, tours, activities, restaurants.
  • research destination
  • know about any risks – (scams, pickpockets, natural dangers).
  • list your ideas – things to do, places to go, hotels, places to eat.
  • create a map – put everything on a google map to create a detailed itinerary
  • logistics – how you will be getting from one place to another
  • plan your arrival – find out exactly how you’ll get to your hotel
  • research flights – book flights between 3 weeks and 4 months in advance. We use Kiwi.com to help in our research

Whenever we’re planning a short trip, [like up to a week or if we’re short on time], we always like to prebook a tour. Tours usually cover a number of must-do attractions in any given destination and are a great way to save some time and also may even cost less (but this isn’t always the case so do some research) than doing everything D.I.Y.

If you do plan on doing a tour make sure to pre-book in advance because some of the best tours are often sold if you wait until you arrive at your destination.

PRE BOOK & GET THE LATEST DEALS WITH VIATOR HERE

OR PREBOOK WITH KLOOK FOR THE BEST DEALS ON TOURS & TICKETS IN ASIA

PACKING FOR YOUR TRIP

Have you ever noticed that after a vacation you end up going back home with a bunch of stuff that you didn’t even use? Well, overpacking is a common thing with many travelers and we often used to overpack too.

Whenever we used to travel it’s like we had no idea what we would really need. Therefore, we would pack a load of things that eventually we didn’t need. Surprisingly most things that we packed we could have easily figured out we didn’t need.

Packing light doesn’t mean having no outfits to change into, what it means is to pack only things that are essential to your trip. And if you’re moving around a lot, it will be easier to get trains, buses, maybe ferries with just one piece of luggage.

READ THE FULL POST ON HOW TO PACK LIGHTER

Final Note

And that brings us to the conclusion. With this information choosing a destination for your upcoming trip will be much more simplified.

I hope you found this guide useful. If you did, pin it on Pinterest for future reference and share it with your friends and family. You will no doubt help them get out of their comfort zone and explore new destinations!

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