Choosing where to go is easy for some.
I find it to be quite hard because I want to go everywhere!
First answer these travel goal questions
Who’s going? Solo, family, couple, friends…
When can I go? Am I flexible or do I have set days off? And how long do I want to be gone.
Why do I want to go? Is there something I want to do in particular, such as skiing, beaches, historical sites, relaxation, adventure, work, school, etc.
What‘s my budget? Am I looking for a frugal trip or an elaborate vacation?
Where – Do I want to stay in one place or move around and see a lot?
If you are using miles and points, you obviously want to keep track of what miles and points you have as that might dictate where you go. OR if you don’t have the miles/points, when you do pick a destination you can start working on getting those specific miles and points to get you to your chosen vacation! Awardwallet is a good web and mobile program to use to track your miles and points.
Now that you’ve answered (or tried to) these questions, there’s a couple of easy places to start.
- Pictures and blogs. Obviously there are tons of pictures and travel blogs out there to give you ideas. The internet is filled with knowledge! Read descriptions, check out pictures, see what destination everyone is talking about or just sparks your interest. My next trip coming up came to life because I saw a picture of a beautiful limestone karst (James Bond Island) jutting up out of the ocean and decided, “I want to go there”. And now I am going to Thailand! I never had Thailand, or anywhere in Asia on my bucket-list before that picture.
TIP: Google a country or city or specific building, park, etc then click “Images” at the top of the search page to see many pictures. Click “All” or “Web” to read articles about whatever you had in your search box. You can also click “Maps” to see where it is specifically.
- Good deals. Another way is to let price dictate. Maybe you come across an incredible airfare deal, or perhaps you found a cheap hotel on points. The decision is made for you! It can be spontaneous and exciting to use this method, sort of liking pulling a name out of a hat!
TIP: Following travel blogs and twitter feeds is a good place to find good deals along with websites such as airfarewatchdog.com. Some airlines like Southwest, Virgin and Frontier publish their own sale fares on facebook or in email newsletters. OR try Kayak Explore. Type in your home aiport and what month you want to go and it brings up fare prices for all the places you can go from there. Always be sure to check out alternate airports that are fairly close to you as you might get a better fare for a little longer drive to the airport. Groupon, travelzoo and other sites also list discounted trips that are worth checking into.
- Make a list of all the places you’d like to see. Make note of when the peak seasons and off seasons are. Most people would rather go to Europe in the summer when the weather is warm and sunny than in the cold and grey winters. However, you might find a much better deal during the off season, not to mention much less crowded sites to see. This will help you prioritize.
TIP: Off season prices are generally always cheaper and the crowds are much less. However, some things might be closed so if you have your heart set on seeing something in particular, make sure it will be open in the off season if that’s when you are going! Also be sure to check the weather for that time of year and make sure you’re comfortable with it. Two sites that can help you check the weather around the world during certain months are holiday-weather.com and weatherspark.com.
- My favorite thing to do is make a Travel Resolution List every year of a few things (5 or 6) that are on my “bucket list”. These usually aren’t places, but are things like “get a new stamp on my passport, go to an amusement park, take a tour, visit and old friend, go to a new city, or continent or country” etc. These few items tend to help me focus my trips-even though there is no specific destination in mind originally.
These are just a few tips to help you get started.