When planning a trip the first thing you need to do is decide where you want to go. This is obvious but it may not be obvious as to which destination might suit you best. Your initial concern should be how long you want to be away and how far you want to go.
If you only have a week for your vacation it probably doesn’t make sense to travel across the world. If you fly to California from Australia, for instance, you completely flip your internal clock and you may be jetlagged for a week or more. Unless you want to spend your vacation being sleepy you may want to consider a more moderate distance.
For a weeklong trip it’s better not to go anywhere that’s more than a three-hour time difference. That way your body can adjust quicker and you can enjoy your stay more fully.
Once you’ve figured out how far you want to go, it’s time to think about what kind of weather you want when you get there. Part of the excitement of travel is experiencing new things. But if you know you can’t deal with humidity, don’t travel to South East Asia in the summer. If you can’t deal with the cold, stay away from Moscow…well, most times of the year.
If you’re a beach-goer then you’ve probably chosen a warm climate for your destination. But not all beaches are the same. Some offer water sports like wind surfing or wake boarding while other merely offer lying out on the sand. If you like snorkeling or diving you have to do your research find specific places that provide those activities.
The biggest choice when deciding where you want to go on vacation is if you want to be in a city or a more natural setting. If you’re someone who feels claustrophobic in a city after a while, then a city vacation probably isn’t for you. But if you can’t be away from nightlife for more than a few days, then you don’t want to be stuck out in the country.
Are you an exotic traveler? Then you want to get away from the tourist destinations and go where the locals go. This requires a bit more research but it can be all the more rewarding if you’re into in an authentic experience.
But if you feel uncomfortable in foreign places then you probably don’t want to spend your vacation in a place where you can’t speak the language. Some people are energized by exotic experiences but others just want to relax on vacation. It’s definitely good to decide which one you are before you book your trip.
Budget is something people usually consider first when booking a tip but it can be a little bit more complex than you might think. Airfare is of course the biggest expense when traveling far away. But a pricey plane ticket can be made up for with cheap accommodation and food. So travelling far away might not be more expensive. It all depends on the local economy.
Before you book your trip it’s good to have an estimate of what you are willing to spend. Go through your anticipated expenses while traveling and add some extras in for unforeseen things that may happen. You may see a souvenir that you really want to buy. Your luggage could get lost and you might have to buy clothing. God forbid you get in trouble and have to pay a bribe (some places this is more likely than others; do your research).
Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive if you don’t want it to be. There are always ways to save money, like staying in hostels or cooking your own meals. However you decide to pick your destination, remember to think through each step of the trip before you go.
If you’re an experienced traveller you may just want to wing it. But for newbies that can be a bit risky.
Have you thought through your next vacation destination?