Picking the Best Travel Destination
Easy Ways To Narrow Down Travel Destination Options
Not all those who wander are lost, but it’s still nice to have a plan and a budget. Only a few people are capable of heading where the wind blows and enjoying themselves in the process. Or partaking in opulent luxury adventure travel experiences that combine thrills and comforts.
The rest of us need our questions answered first. These questions include where, why, how, when and what. Where do we want to go, and why are we going there? How will we get there? When is the best time to go? And, what will we do when we get to our destination? Without these answers, the trip of a lifetime may turn into a great big mess.
Picking the best travel destinations will involve understanding our needs, as well as the needs of those traveling with us. It’s more work than pointing at a map with eyes closed.
Even those who have taken the time to write a couples bucket list or have a list of dream places they’d like to go someday may be hard pressed to make a decision on where they want to go this time around.
For example, diet and health restrictions, time constraints and activity preferences should all be considered.
First, consider why you’re traveling.
Some of us get away for R&R while others seek adventure, and a few people may leave home for work, medical tourism, or hobby related trips. Knowing the reasons behind why we’re traveling will be a major shave off potential destination options. For example, those of us who like adventure may not appreciate the restrictions and organization associated with cruises. Those individuals would be far better off partaking in an adventure vacation in the UK.
Planning around personal constraints will further narrow down the destination list.
Diabetics, vegans and those with specific food intolerances should plan trips around the constraints of their diets. For example, a trip to a remote island may not be the best option for someone with seafood allergies. And vegans will enjoy menus that accommodate their palettes more than simple salads and sauteed vegetables. While usually overlooked, food restrictions are important to consider.
On the other side of the coin, sometimes you want to travel somewhere specifically because of the cuisine. For example, one of the best things to do in Panama City is to drink their world-famous coffee. It may seem silly to some, but others will understand the draw of trying Geisha coffee.
Time constraints are another consideration. Since many of us work for a living, trips are planned within 1-2 week vacations slots. This may not be enough time to backpack through Europe, drive across the USA or plan a simple trip to Australia (which requires around 20-30 hours for one way travel). Other destinations make for great weekend getaways. For example, Amsterdam weekend breaks are very doable for those living in nearby countries such as England and Germany, and likewise Texas weekend getaways for those living in New Mexico and Oklahoma, offering travelers a chance to explore somewhere new without having to go very far.
Budgets are a popular driving force that leads us to choose certain destinations. Some locations are simply more expensive than others. Those who can afford to splurge may enjoy going abroad and booking a castle stay in Scotland. On the other hand, those adhering to a very tight budget may opt to stay closer to home, or booking a camping site rather than a hotel. Although you may have to spend some money at first to purchase the camping essentials you’ll need, you’ll quickly save money by staying at campgrounds in lieu of accommodations with more amenities.
Does the hustle and bustle of city life attract you, or do you prefer quiet nature?
Again, this requires knowing yourself and the needs of those with you. Introverts may not appreciate the constant contact with strangers in a large city while extroverts will be bored to tears in the middle of the mountains. People who prefer a little of both may choose a smaller city with easy transportation to the quaint countryside.
Which activities are you hoping to enjoy?
If hiking is important to you, it makes sense to plan a trip towards mountains or any of the national parks in the US (see the hikes in Zion National Park as an incredible example). Beach bums, on the other hand, will prefer the ocean. Beer enthusiasts will revel in Portland with its plethora of brewery tours. Film nuts may love Hollywood, and Jane Austen fans may want to visit Bath or other English cities. Those looking for a wild weekend or even a historical education will find plenty to do in New Orleans. Write a list of those things that you must see or experience. Then pair destination options against your list.