How to choose a travel destination is not a straightforward question to answer. Choosing your destination is namely not as simple as it sounds. Maybe you’re looking for a destination right now but you simply have no clue about where to go. The world is large right?
So if you’re in this clueless stage, let me help you by providing you with some simple questions that will guide you to the answer to your problem!
Answer all of these and you’ll likely have a much better idea of where to travel to! After all, when we narrow down to what kind of trip we really want, there are a lot fewer options left which makes it much easier to choose your destination!
But before we pose ourselves these questions, we need to search for inspiration. Below, I’ll show you some creative ways to get inspiration for your next stay. Jot down all the options you like and start answering the questions!
Ready to choose your travel destination?
Let’s dive into it!
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The first step in finding a travel destination is looking for inspiration. After all, if you don’t know what options are out there, how are you going to choose?
There are several ways in which you can gather inspiration, and they can be as creative as you like! Discover some of the best options below.
An easy way to have an overview of a lot of wonderful destinations is to look at travel hashtags on Instagram. I personally love to use #aroundeurope for traveling in Europe but of course, there are thousands of others to gain inspiration from!
There’s an incredible amount of pictures of beautiful destinations on Instagram so if you’re completely clueless about where to go, take a look at these! They’ll likely start making you dream about your next trip!
If you haven’t already, you’re always free to follow my Instagram account @emmasroadmap for another portion of travel inspiration!
Find inspiration on Pinterest
Another great source to find inspiration for your next destination is Pinterest! Again, a lot of wonderful photography, but unlike Instagram, it’s mostly also linked to wonderful travel blogs!
So if you like a pin and you want to know more about a destination you can just directly click on it and read about it!
Walk into a book store
This is definitely my favourite non-digital way of gaining travel inspiration!
I just love to walk around book stores and definitely the travel section. Close your eyes walk along the shelf and pick a travel guide. That will be your next destination!
If you don’t like to decide on the spot, just take a look at the endless possibilities and browse through the guides you find interesting!
Ask your friends!
Nothing is better than the recommendation of a friend right?
The only way to really know whether a destination is worth a visit is asking people with firsthand experience!
Of course, every experience is unique, but your friends are likely going to recommend you destinations you also like. So ask about their best holiday so far and add that destination to your bucket list!
Open Google Maps
Nothing gives a better overview of the world than a map! Whether you prefer an actual physical map or Google Maps, both will be able to give you a clear overview of all the possibilities.
If you’re a bit adventurous, you can randomly pinpoint a destination and decide to go with that one! Or just write down all the destinations that seem interesting to you and add them to your bucket list!
6 questions to pose yourself
Now that we have a list of possible destinations, it’s time to make a choice and choose your holiday destination!
Chances are high that there’s a lot on your bucket list but unfortunately we can only go to one place at a time!
So start by visualizing how your dream trip would look like. Who is with you? What are you doing?
Next, pose yourself the following questions below:
- Who is with me?
- What weather do I prefer?
- Which activities do I want to do?
- What is my budget?
- How much time do I have?
- Are there any cultural hurdles?
Who is with me?
An important factor that will determine the choice of your destination is your company. In order to choose a travel destination, we have to take into account who will travel with us and most importantly, what their preferences are!
If you’re not traveling alone, your companions likely won’t follow you blindly on a trip so you should definitely first consult them about which destination they would like!
In an ideal situation, you answer the following questions together with them. If you’re traveling alone, lucky you! Now you can do whatever you like!
What weather do I prefer?
One of the most important things about a destination is the weather. Will it be warm? Freezing cold? Rainy? Humid?
Depending on what kind of holiday you want e.g. snow vs beach-weather you can already eliminate some destinations from your bucket list.
Take into account the seasons in these countries (and remember that seasons are different if you’re going to the other side of the world). Some places have rain seasons, others don’t have any night or day depending on the time of the year!
Which activities do I want to do?
Even more important is to decide what kind of things you’d like to do on your trip BEFORE choosing a travel destination.
Well, you might choose a destination where there’s nothing interesting to do for you. It’s not because a destination looks amazing that you’ll have fun being there for a week right?
So try to decide the type of vacation you want: active vs passive, beach vs city vs nature, nightlife vs quietness, etc.
What is my budget?
Probably the most important constraint on your destination is your budget. If you don’t have a large budget, it might not be feasible to buy a plane ticket to the other side of the world.
So it’s very important to determine your travel budget BEFORE you go on your trip! Even before planning anything at all, because this budget will determine to an extent your possibilities, from the destination to accommodation and activities!
Once you have determined how much money you’d like to spend on your trip, you can now quickly determine how much it would cost to travel to the destinations on your bucket list by looking at flight or train tickets.
Then make your own judgment as to whether this destination is realistically within your budget range or not.
Of course, there are several hacks to spend as little money as possible on your trip, but that would bring me too far in this guide.
If you’d like to read about some tips, take a look at my post about traveling on a budget!
How much time do I have?
The more time you have, the further away your destination can be!
If you’re planning on spending a short weekend abroad, then you might not want to sit on a plane for 12 hours one way, right?
So take a look at how many days you have at your disposal and see which destinations can realistically be seen within that time frame. If you have a lot of time, you might want to even visit multiple destinations!
Thus, do you have the time for a weekend city break? Or rather a full road trip around a continent? Gather a bit more information about your bucket list destinations to see how much time you need to spend at each destination.
Are there any cultural hurdles?
You might not want to visit a certain destination because of cultural reasons. Some countries/places might give you an unsafe feeling (or are just generally not safe at all).
If you’re a woman, you might not be eager to visit certain destinations as well. There are still a lot of prejudices in the world about gender, religion, sexuality, colour etc. If you don’t feel comfortable visiting a place because of any of these reasons, then delete it from your bucket list.
Of course, don’t do this before gaining trustworthy information about a destination and try to not just rely on stereotypes!
It goes without saying that you might also want to follow the media a bit to look at the political turbulence in a country as well. You don’t want to travel to a war zone right?
List the pros and cons
After answering all these questions, it’s possible that you still have multiple destinations on your bucket list.
If this is the case then I have a last resort for choosing your destination. Of the remaining places, list all the pros and cons you can think of. Then put them next to each other and compare!
Is there now 1 destination that surpasses the others? Trust your gut feeling and remember that the other destinations can remain on your bucket list for your next trips in the future!
So, with all these questions you should now be able to answer your question on how to choose a travel destination!
I hope that by now, you’ve found a perfect destination to travel to and are ready to start making your travel plans!
If you need help for planning your trip, take a look at my post ‘How to start planning for your next trip‘!
Or just download my FREE Travel Planning Guide to proceed with the next steps in the planning process!