Ready to take your next trip, but struggling with where to go? We feel you. The world is so big and there are so many places to see. Even as experienced travelers, we find ourselves struggling with where to go next ALL. THE. TIME.
Sometimes, we get the urge to revisit places we’ve already been and loved. But, then we start thinking about all of the places we still haven’t discovered! Then, the wheels start turning and they don’t stop. Pretty soon, we have a list of 30+ places I want to go next. Can you relate?
There’s no doubt that with so many options available and the Internet + social media showing us all of the must-see beauty of the world, it can be damn hard to choose. This has led us to a system of questions and thoughts that we’ve used to help us decide where we really should go next! There are some important factors to consider when you’re making that decision.
We are of the belief that we can totally make it to all of those 30+ places on our list…. eventually. But, the question is where to go NOW. So, we have to look at some major factors to evaluate where our lives are at right now, and where’s best for us to go. Here are the 7 things that we consider to help us choose where to take the next trip, hopefully, they’ll help you with where to go, too!
1. What is your budget?
Budget can determine where you go for a lot of reasons. Each destination has different expense factors that come with it. If you’re on a really tight budget, then going somewhere that costs an insane amount in airfare, might not be the best option for you. Or, maybe it has cheap airfare but the accommodation and living prices are insanely high, once again, not a great option!
If you’re on a tight budget, maybe you can find somewhere with decent airfare, and really cheap prices when you arrive! Win, win. On the other end of the spectrum, if you’ve just come into a load of cash that’s burning a hole in your pocket, maybe it’s time to check out the most expensive location on the map!
Either way, the two main things you’ll have to consider are the cost to get there and the expenses you’ll incur while you’re there. Maybe you can splurge a bit on the flight price if you know you can keep the budget really low when you arrive. Or, if you’re able to find a really good flight price, you can afford to go to a place that might be a bit more expensive when you arrive.
2. How much time are you able to spend there?
The more traveling we do, the more we realize the importance of spending quality time in the places we are visiting. It’s no fun to try to cram everything in 2 days when in reality that destination would require a full week to see and do all of the things you’d like. On the flip side, some places really do only require a few days of exploring to totally take it in! It’s all about figuring out what you’d like to do in the destination and breaking it down into the time needed. If you have a shorter amount of time, look at your list and figure out which place you could go to maximize that time!
3. What kind of things do you really want to do?
Do you want to do some rock climbing or hiking? Would you like to take a cooking class or learn something new? Do you want to sit by the beach the entire time? Are you a history buff who wants to see a famous museum? Is live music something you’re into? Do you want to try delicious local cuisine in a place famous for food? What is your priority for the trip?
This is really important to consider. Here’s a great example…
I studied Spanish all throughout high school and college, and I loved it! There was a point in time when I was pretty fluent. But, I’ve been out of college now for 4 years. I’ve only spent a few months here and there in Spanish-speaking countries. So, I’ve lost a lot of my language skills.
Something I REALLY want to do during my next trip is focused on re-learning and brushing up my Spanish speaking skills. So, I am thinking about Spanish-speaking countries! As much as I want to go to places like Australia or New Zealand, it wouldn’t make sense for me to go to an English-speaking country if practicing Spanish is one of my priorities.
Maybe you are really into hiking and you want to do as much of it as you can during your next trip. If that’s the case, I wouldn’t recommend going to Paris. Or perhaps, you’d really like to get a scuba diving license, maybe you should go somewhere like Puerto Rico. Likewise, if you want to sit on the beach all day in the hot sun and get a tan, then maybe don’t go to Iceland. But, you have to figure out what your most important priority is for this particular trip.
4. Are there any events or holidays happening at that time?
It’s important to look at this for two reasons: to attend the event, or to avoid it.
Is there a certain festival or event you’ve always wanted to witness or experience somewhere in the world?! It can be anything! Maybe you want to see a famous waterfall, then you have to make sure that it’s flowing at that time of year. Maybe you want to see the Christmas markets throughout Europe, then you have to go at a time near Christmas. Do you want to see Holi in India? Want to experience the lantern festival in Thailand? How about the ball dropping in NYC? Whatever it is, you will need to plan your trip around that event, to make sure you are there and that you can secure accommodation during the busy time.
Alternatively, maybe you want to avoid a certain event. Many times big celebrations or events like this will also bring with them large crowds of people and added expense. If you’re wanting to get away and don’t want the crowds and commotion, then you’ll want to make sure to plan your trip around whatever events take place in your destination.
5. What’s the weather like at that time of year?
Weather is something we simply can’t control. So, at the end of the day you will have to deal with whatever weather is handed to you. But, I would say that (to some extent) it can make or break your experience in a place.
I remember when I visited Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. What do you think of when you think of Rio or Brazil? BEACHES! BIKINIS! SUN! SAND! Well, I got none of that. We had 1 sunny day during the entire time I was there, and the rest of the days were rainy and gloomy, which meant that we didn’t get to spend even one day laying on the beach.
We still had a great time! But, it left me feeling like I need to go back to experience it fully. In hindsight, I realized I was there during their rainy season. It helps to do a quick search for what the weather is typically like at that time in the place you want to visit and factor that in with the things you really want to do there. If you’ll be outdoors a lot, you want to make sure that there’s a high likelihood of good weather!
6. What type of trip do you want: relaxed or on the go?
Each and every place has its own list of “things to do”. Some lists are much longer than others. When I think of places with quite a long list, I think of places like Rome or Paris. These are cities where if you want to see it all, you’ll be on the go a lot and your days will fill up really quickly.
Other places, like beach towns or small cities, tend to have a lot fewer “must-sees” because these places are made more for just relaxing and have a slower pace.
Which type of trip are you looking for? I love a good beach town, but if I sit on the beach for too long I get bored. I need to have things to do as well. But, maybe you just finished something huge at your job and it required you to work non-stop so, you just need a break. Then a sleepy town where you can chill out and feel zero pressure to go do things might be just what you need.
7. What is the travel time to get there?
There are places that it’s just not worth visiting if you only have a limited amount of time to be there. Long travel times can be grueling. They can leave you feeling jet-lagged and if you only have a couple days to adjust to the time zone before hopping on a flight back home, you might be better off going somewhere a little bit closer!
If you only have 5 days to go somewhere, I don’t recommend going somewhere that takes 2 days to get to. But, if you have a whole month off to travel, you can take that trip across the globe! This definitely ties back into how much time you have to spend there!
Take a look at your list of places you want to go. Then, ask yourself these questions. We bet it will help you to put that list of places in order. By looking at where your life is at right now and the things that are most important to you, you’re able to figure out which stop will be next and which ones can wait. It also helps to get the wheels turning as to what destinations are even an option right now!
Hopefully, these 7 things to consider will really help you when it comes to planning your next trip!
So, where will you go next?!